And finally, an ATM got a whimsical upgrade with a cupcake bearing the saying "The economy will be OK".
But on to the big question: Why?
But on to the big question: Why?
Does a blog help your baking business? Read one business owner's thoughts here.
Are you an artist who loves to bake in NYC? You've got to apply for the Sweet Tooth of the Tiger's awesome Bakesale Residency program!
These Teddy Bear Cupcakes are so cute, you'll wish it was your first birthday again.
Looking for a mail-order layer cake? Multiple flavors are available to ship at Midway Country Corner.
Build your own customized cakes using this modular alphabet-number cake pan. (via Serious Eats)
Our friend Judi Hendricks' new book is coming out February 10th--her novels always prominently feature delicious food!
I found this variation--the vegan Russian Teacake--at PCC. I can't be sure, but it *might* be from Flying Apron. It was a crumbly and slightly messy cookie, but the sandy, sugary, nutty taste was pure deliciousness. With a touch of salt (so important to sweets!) it was nicely balanced; in fact, I liked this cookie so much I went back for a second one. As for the vegan aspect, to be honest, if it hadn't been labeled as such, I probably would not have known that it lacked dairy; certainly there was nothing lost flavorwise.
Vegan Russian Teacake from PCC in Fremont.
Cakespy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe B More Sweet, Baltimore's authority on all things sweet!
Oh, Baltimore, that rascal of a city. While some may be deterred by its abnormally high murder rate, please, don't pass Charm City by--because it really does have a certain je ne sais quoi--among other things, it is the home of John Waters, the birthplace of the Berger Cookie, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, and of course, home to so many wonderful bakeries. Recently our buddy and Baltimore sweets afficionado friend, Cake Gumshoe B More Sweet put together of her Baltimore picks for us:
Charm City Cakes: Duff Goldman of Food TV Network's Ace of Cakes holdeth forth here. It's not a bakery you can walk into, but makes special-event and cakes for occasions. However, Duff and his crew are SO FANTASTIC that I'm sure with prior arrangements you can get yerselves in there. Duff's cakes are awesome. Online at charmcitycakes.com.
as for a cupcake interlude...
Bonaparte Breads: My heart belongs (also, because I am fickle) to Bonaparte Breads, 903 S. Ann Street, in Fell's Point (itself a fun, funky neighborhood full of bars.) This gleaming little spot is a definite go-to for croissants, plain or flavored. You won't find cupcakes here, but instead all manner of butter-laden French pastries and warming, delicious breads. Click here for more info.
And for candies, confections and chocolates?
Cacao Lorenzo Chocolatier: I can't overlook Cacao Lorenzo Chocolatier, where the brilliant Larry McGlinchey creates the most elegant, lyrical, amazing chocolates anywhere. Cacao Lorenzo is a small boutique, impeccably clean, and the candies are just stunning. It's not inside Baltimore City proper, but it's in the Baltimore suburbs, and for a chocolate candy lover, well worth the short car ride to get there. Online at cacaolorenzo.com.
***Dangerously Delicious Pies: If you were to be given an option only to go to one sweet spot in Baltimore, I'd steer you to Dangerously Delicious Pies, where Rodney Henry makes a pie crust to bring you to your knees. The original Dangerously Delicious is located in trendy Federal Hill, and the tatted rockstar former Marine Rodney holds forth behind the counter of this bright red establishment on all things pie, whether sweet or savory. Dangerously Delicious has a second outpost in equally-hip Hampden, where the restaurant is called Dangerously Delicious Savory House and if you're lucky Rodney's rock band might be playing. I will never make pie again, after eating Dangerously Delicious. At our house we are always looking for an excuse to buy a DD pie. Online at dangerouspies.com.
*As an added note, those who find this cake of interest may also get some extreme enjoyment out of David Lebovitz's Devil's Food Cake recipe.
Our discovery of Carolina's Cornetto was a chance encounter. Waiting at the bar until our table was ready, the barista had accidentally cracked the shell in which this dessert is served, and so gave the damaged one to us for free. Score!
This treat is apparently new on Tutta Bella's roster--it's a rework of the cannoli that used to be on their menu, according to our server. Basically, the shell has changed and the composition has been altered: it's an Italian pizzelle cookie cone filled with a blend of mascarpone, sweet ricotta cream, dried cherries, grated orange peel, pistachios & chocolate.
Once we finished dinner we also got the Tiramisu and the Cantucccci ("little stones")--a
Trio of traditional Italian cookies similar to biscotti--and both of these desserts were certainly respectable, but it was the Cornetto that really stood out to us. Not only was it a sweet (and free) surprise, but it was a perfect size (just a couple of bites) and the contrast of textures and flavors -- crunchy and creamy, slightly sour and sweet--was memorable.
Carolina's Cornetto, Tutta Bella Pizza.
Well, it's all about the location. Louisa's Cafe Bakery is on Eastlake Avenue East, and to a car-less person who doesn't enjoy any bike ride with even the slightest hint of an incline, this is kind of like no-man's land. But I had seen their cute logo while riding on the bus, and today I finally made it inside.
Louisa's is a cafe / breakfast and lunch spot, but they also have an extremely respectable bakery case, will all sorts of cookies, cinnamon rolls, mazurkas (!) and brownies and bars. Generally cherry isn't my go-to flavor, but the top crust on the cherry cobbler bar looked too good to pass up. At $3.75 it was an investment, but it weighed about the same as a hardbound copy of War & Peace, so I found it fair.
Even as a liker-rather-than-lover of cherry flavored baked goods, I recognized that this was good stuff. The bar held its shape nicely--no unbecoming ooze here. The cherries were not too sweet, but rather slightly sour, which provided a nice complexity to the flavor. But what really got me was the buttery top and bottom crust--slightly crunchy, with a touch of saltiness and a nice coating of coarse sugar on the top, it was simply wonderful. This bodes well for the rest of their baked goods--next time I'm definitely going for the cinnamon roll.
Cherry Cobbler Bar, from Louisa's Cafe Bakery.
Who needs to stick to their New Year's Resolutions when they can stick these cool magnets to their fridge instead? iPop, a very cool magnet company in Seattle has just released a new line of their patented Clicks® magnets with Cakespy artwork!
Last week, I ventured down to the Pike Place Market with the goal of checking out new bakery Svedala Bakery. It's a small stall in the same corridor as Daily Dozen Donut Co., specializing in Swedish pastries none of us had ever even heard of, but wanted to try, such as Mandelfläta (cardamom yeast bread with almond paste), Mazarin (almond tarts) and Dröm Rulle (chocolate sponge cake rolled with vanilla buttercream). You can imagine my horror as I approached at about 9:30 in the morning and they weren't open yet. Seriously, it should be a law that all bakeries open by at least 6 in the morning--or ideally, they'd be open 24 hours.
But reading that their goods were also sold at Whole Foods, today I ventured over to the Westlake location and picked up one of their very pretty Katalan--a Mazarin with a layer of raspberry jam.
Dude, this thing was good. Starting from the bottom, you've got a delicate, buttery crust that wasn't too flaky but was deliciously crumbly and moist; a very thin layer of raspberry then gives way to a thick filling of sweet almond paste, which was all topped off with a sort of raspberry jam icing. It's not a very large pastry--maybe 3 inches in diameter--but it certainly packs a decadent and delicious punch.
Katalan from Svedala Bakery, via Whole Foods Westlake.
Little Rae's has been garnering quite a bit of press for their First Family cookies--and deservedly so, in my opinion--I think they're very well-designed. But are Little Rae's cookies delicious?
I haven't tried the Obama cookies, but I was very impressed by their same-flavor-but-different-shape Alien cookie, which I picked up on a trip to Cafe Bambino in Ballard. I was pleasantly surprised by their subtle flavor and satisfying texture--a touch of crunchiness from the hard icing on the outside, giving way to a soft, just-a-touch crumbly interior. Of course, it didn't hurt to later find out that the bakery is committed to using fresh and natural ingredients--no hard to pronounce ingredients in these cookies. Also, they happen to be one of the few completely nut-free bakeries in the area, if allergies are an issue.