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Thursday
May012008

So Bad, So Sweet, So Good: An Exploration of Guilty Pleasures

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Occasionally, we're asked if we'd like to try new products. Generally these inquiries are mass emails from marketing or PR companies, and much of the time, we delete them--we generally like to sleuth the sweet stuff ourselves. But when we received an email last week from Philly Swirl asking if we'd like to try their new product, Ice Cream Cupcakes, we were...intrigued. Maybe it was the hint of warmth in the air, making us nostalgic for ice cream truck visits in the summer. Maybe it was just the sprinkles in the sample picture (cute!). But whatever the reason, we accepted the sample, which arrived in a container packed with dry ice (très dramatique)

Ice Cream Cupcakes
The cupcakes are comprised of several layers: a top whipped frosting layer, followed by a layer of ice cream, then anchored by a sponge cake layer, covered with a thin hard chocolate shell molded in the shape of a cupcake wrapper. The taste, while not fancy, is satisfying nonetheless--somehow eating them made us sort of giddy, in the same way that dixie cups for a class party or a visit from the ice cream man might. That is to say, insanely eatable, perhaps in the same way that US Weekly, while not fine literature, is insanely readable. A guilty pleasure. 
Of course, this got us thinking about the guilty pleasure. From grocery store birthday cakes to Twinkies to chocolate covered pretzels, we all have them. And since the Cakespy crew has been "tagged" several times to reveal some facts about ourselves, we thought we'd satisfy it by revealing five of our crew's various deep, dark, secret guilty pleasures:
Guilty Pleasure 1: Hot Chocolate from 7-11
Yes, it's made using water, and a powder. Yes, it's so sweet it actually makes your teeth hurt. But oh, that hurt is so, so good. And available 24 hours! Available at 7-11 stores everywhere. 

Lemon Bar from Tully's
Guilty Pleasure 2: Lemon Bars from Finales Gourmet Desserts

In Seattle, there's a wholesaler, Finales Gourmet Desserts, which supplies baked goods for a variety of cafes and coffee shops in the area. Though we don't have a complete list of where this particular treat is available amongst their accounts (trust us, we called and asked), it's usually a pretty safe bet that you'll find their dangerously delectable lemon bars at most Tully's locations in the area. These weighty bars have a bottom oaty crust, smothered with a thick, creamy lemon curd (which is delightfully devoid of the eggy flavor that can plague some lemon bars) and then topped with a layer of hard, ever-so-slightly salted crumbs which add a light crunch and a nice contrast to the sweet lemon filling. As a Finales employee tells us, they're certainly "not low-fat", but they certainly aren't lacking in deliciousness. Generally available at Seattle-area Tully's locations; tullys.com. 

Pink Frosted Cookie
Guilty Pleasure 3: Pink Frosted Cookies

Whether it's from a plastic box like the Lofthouse Cookies, singly packaged like the mighty Uncle Seth's, or homemade (slice and bake acceptable), we love soft frosted sugar cookies--especially when the frosting is pink. This is a simple cookie, deeply un-gourmet and yet amazingly satisfying somehow. True, sometimes they're so sweet they make our head hurt. But they always make us smile, and isn't that worth something? For more resources, check out our history of the Pink Frosted Cookie.

Guilty Pleasure 4: Vanilla or Chocolate Kreme Donuts from Dunkin' Donuts

Have you ever tried one of the Kreme filled donuts from Dunkin' Donuts? Well. If not, here's a hint of what you're missing. First, the puff of "Kreme" that comes out the top of the donut, a sweet, slick taste that envelops the entire mouth. Then, the bite of powdered sugar and carbohydratey goodness that is the donut. Then the combination of tastes, mingling in your mouth, which tastes something like a mother's love and slow death all at once. How sweet it is indeed. Of course, there's no pleasure if it's a "Bummer" Kreme Donut--one that only has the Kreme on the outside and a mere puff on the inside. Those are just cruel. Available at Dunkin' Donuts locations; dunkindonuts.com

Guilty Pleasure 5: Frosting-Smothered Animal Crackers

On the one hand, you may think this is too similar to the pink frosted cookie to have its own category. However, upon further thought, they really are different worlds. These crackers have a satisfying snap and no-way-can-you-stop-at-one quality which leaves them on their own turf. It's as if a cookie was shrunk down into elf form, and then smothered in a sweet coating that is half frosting, half nonpareil. Gorgeous. Available in most grocery stores.

Of course, all of this begs the question...what are your guilty pleasures?

 

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Reader Comments (58)

OMG...Wiping the drool off my keyboard as I type this!

May 11 | Unregistered CommenterC

ah.. pink frosted cookie vs animal crackers.. i think i have to stop reading since neither is available here.. and i'm making my stomach hungry for sweets!!

May 12 | Unregistered Commenterjoanh

oh here it is!!!!

the kreme filled donut. And yes, I HATE the bummer donut -- especially when you come across a DD that actually carries them!!!!

June 8 | Unregistered CommenterBethany

Hot chocolate from Seattle's Best. Frothy with a mountain of fluffy whipped cream, a stick of delectable milk chocolate and shreds of white chocolate. Chick-Fil-A vanilla milkshakes are incredible, along with mint chocolate chip Mistos from Rita's. And, to deviate from beverages, I could eat frosting all day.

June 15 | Unregistered CommenterEdgyVeggie

Recently discovered are the No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies from Lofthouse. These aren't the chocolate ones, but the plain peanut butter. Room temperature they are fabulous. Out of the freezer, slightly chilled, they are even better. (The freezer was an effort to make them last longer - so much for that!) I would love a recipe for these! They are not overwhelmingly sweet, though very reminiscient of peanut butter fudge, only oaty.

June 29 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Rachel, those sound like they would rock our world. Mr. Cakespy and I must seek them out!!

June 29 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Let me know what you think when you (hopefully) find them!

June 30 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I completely agree with the Dunkin Donuts Kreme donuts. The bummer donuts are the pits! I have complained to franchise stores that occassionally make bummer donuts and for some reason, even though they can make them correctly half the time, they seem completely ignorant about the bummer donuts. Anywhooo, try putting the donut in the fridge first for at least 3-4 hours (overnight is best). It's super yummy. Also, Dunkin Donuts in VT used to (maybe they still do) make a Maple Kreme filled donut. Very yummy. I always wished more dunkin donuts made these.

May 29 | Unregistered CommenterKreme
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