Cookie lovers, make your way to Kessler Baking Studio in North Oak Cliff.
This bakery sits in a tan, Craftsman-style house on North Beckley Avenue, on the same block as neighborhood favorites Spiral Diner and Jonathon’s Oak Cliff. Opened five years ago by Clyde Greenhouse, this charming bakeshop serves gourmet cookies, brownies, blondies, bars, shortbread, nuts and specialty items such as cakes and tarts.
Greenhouse first started baking in the early 2000s, when he and Michal Taylor started Kessler Cookie Company, then an online-only bakery.
“We mostly did corporate gifts, mainly during the holidays,” Greenhouse says.
His background is not in cooking or baking. Until five years ago, Greenhouse was a senior vice president for a real estate investment trust.
“While in corporate America, I started the culinary program at El Centro — not the baking program,” Greenhouse says. “But I only finished a couple of semesters because I was working full time and we were running Kessler Cookies. It was too hard to juggle all three of those.”
He quit his corporate job when he moved from selling cookies online to opening a brick-and-mortar business, Kessler Baking Studio.
While Kessler Baking Studio opened in 2014, Greenhouse has owned the building on North Beckley Avenue since 2005.
“I originally signed a lease on it in 2003,” Greenhouse says. “I had the option to purchase after two years, which I did. We were there before anything else, before there was a Jonathon’s or Spiral Diner. My friends were scared to visit me at first. Now, those same people get why I did it.”
Kessler Baking Studio makes 30 types of cookies ($2.75 each), with 12 rotating flavors available each day. Flavors include double chocolate-espresso, oatmeal-cranberry, vanilla-sugar, chocolate chip-coconut, trail mix and more. They offer 16 types of brownies, blondies and bars ($4 to $5 each), eight of which you can get daily.
Kessler Baking Studio also has seasonal cakes and tarts you can pre-order. Right now, they offer a very berry layered cake ($25 for a 6-inch cake).
All of the sweets are made from scratch.
“Everything is touched by hand,” Greenhouse says. ”We don’t buy cookie dough, we scoop all of it ourselves. We seek out the best ingredients. We spend a lot of time researching before creating an item.”
One of Greenhouse’s favorite items right now is the Kesslerdoodle cookie, a play on a snickerdoodle.
“We add ginger to the cinnamon-sugar mixture that we roll the cookie in, so it gives it some extra warmth,” Greenhouse says.
The chocolate brownie peanut butter delight is another standout.
“One of my favorite items are Reese’s Pieces, so I created a brownie that has a honey-roasted peanut butter cookie baked in the center of it,” Greenhouse says.
The shop is grab-and-go, with seating available on the porch outside. Greenhouse has plans to expand; he’s awaiting a permit to add a coffee bar, as well as additional parking in the back.
Kessler Baking Studio puts on a monthly cookies and cocktails event in tandem with Kim Hunter of Potent Pours.
“Kim is a mobile mixologist,” Greenhouse says. “One month, she will develop two cocktails, and I create two baked goods to pair with those cocktails. The next month, we trade off and I create two baked goods, and she pairs two cocktails with them.”
The next event is Friday, Aug. 23 from 8 to 10 p.m. and features an apple-ginger crostata paired with a green apple-ginger cocktail as well as a pineapple-coconut madeleine with a mai tai. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
Kessler Baking Studio, 1129 N. Beckley Ave. (North Oak Cliff). 214-948-7412. Open noon-6 p.m. Sunday and Monday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.