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Entries in cakespy undercover (112)

Saturday
Nov172012

CakeSpy Undercover: Whoo's Donuts, Santa Fe NM

Vanilla Cake Donut, Whoos Donuts

Doughnuts, donuts. Whatever you want to call them, I go nuts for these holey treats. Since I'm writing about Whoo's Donuts in Santa Fe, NM, today, though, I'll stick with "donuts" for this post (if you want to explore the subject more, look here).

I mean, seriously. Aside from the fact that they are delicious, their very name is one of my favorite words to pun with. Some of my favorites:

If at first you donut succeed, fry, fry again.

Dead men donut bite.

Donut stop thinking about tomorrow.

Damned if you do and damned if you donut.

Donut have a cow!

Donut Stop Believin'.

and one of my faves...

Donut Soup!

(the donuts pictured in that last one are not from Whoo's, but are rather part of my donut soup recipe)

So. This is all to say, I am a lover of donuts, and as such, donut doubt my authority on telling you where to get a good one.

Donuts Coins

And if you want a delicious holey treat in Santa Fe, donut delay in getting yourself to Whoo's Donuts! Owned by the same folks as The ChocolateSmith next door, this is a fancy-ish donut shop where the donuts are more expensive than, say, Dunkin' varieties, but you definitely get what you pay for. All organic, they prominently feature the classics (yeast and cake, cream-filled); here is an example of how you can get two Vanilla Cake donuts and form a figure-eight of delicious...

Vanilla Cake Doughnuts

And to start with the classics, they have a very good donut baseline. Especially, in this Spy's opinion, on the cake donut front. The crispy edge that they somehow attain is absolutely fantasic, lightly crunchy and giving way to a soft, cakey interior. If you get a bit of that crispy edge in every bite, you're feeling like a holey roller. 

And their delectable donuts also dress up nicely for creative, tricked-out treats. Some that I have sampled are the choco-toffee variety, sprinkled with hunks of buttery toffee atop a rich chocolate glazed chocolate donut (yes! yes!):

Chocolate Toffee Donut, Whoos Donuts

I have also tried the Cherry coconut donut, which is sublime. The cherry flavoring adds a little zest to the doughnut, and the fat flakes of toasty coconut on top add a pleasant crunch and a pleasing richness. 

Whoo's Donuts

But my favorite treat from Whoo's so far has been the Lemon Pistachio White Chocolate donut. Something about the sweetness of the white chocolate with a hint of lemon zest, complemented by the salty pistachio bits just makes me wish this was a donut I could curl up in and live inside for a while. It is just so good.

Whoo's Donuts Whoo's Donuts

They also have donut holes ("Why-Nots") Whoo's Donuts

and filled donuts (Key Lime! Caramel-filled!) and the requisite bacon variety. But next on my list to try is the Blue Corn donuts!

Whoo's Donuts

So, basically what I am telling you is run, donut walk, to Whoo's Donuts. And drop in to The ChocolateSmith next door for something like this:

Chocolate Smith

Whoo's Donuts, 851-B Cerrillos Drive, Santa Fe NM; online here.

Sunday
Nov112012

CakeSpy Undercover: Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

Mexican Wedding Cookie, Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

When a place has a name like Chocolate Maven, you'd probably expect the walls and fixtures to be made of chocolate, not to mention every single thing for sale. 

But you're not entirely right. 

Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

While Santa Fe's Chocolate Maven does have a highly respectable offering of chocolate goodies, it's got a whole lot more than just chocolate going on. It's a bakery / cafe / tea shop / restaurant. They have a counter in the front filled with fresh bread and baked goods, ranging from breakfast type items to cakes and pies. And cupcakes!

Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

In the back, it's a restaurant, where they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For sweets lovers, the brunch (chocolate almond crepes! Peach compote French Toast!), High Tea (Champagne Tea for two: two types of finger sandwiches, chocolate-dipped strawberries, two glasses of champagne!) and dessert menus in particular will probably be of interest. 

Mexican Wedding Cookie, Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

When it comes to the baked goods, I haven't sampled extensively, but I have enjoyed what I have tried (um, none of it with chocolate). First, the mexican wedding cake. This is absolutely one of my favorite types of cookies: soft, crumbly, luxuriantly buttery, and nutty to boot. The Maven's version was a very nice size--not teeny tiny, but with a nice heft to it. The flavor was just perfect--the buttery nuttiness rendered completely addictive with the addition of sweet confectioners' sugar. 

Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

The cherry tart was also highly pleasant - with a rich, crumbly crust which acted as the tasty bed for a dollop of custard topped with sweet cherries. I felt like chocolate shavings would have been a nice addition to this dessert, but this thought didn't in any way keep any part of the tart from being devoured. 

Chocolate Maven, Santa Fe NM

Chocolate Maven has won a ton of awards over the years, and I can see why. They do sweet stuff right.  And you know what? I really can't wait to get back here to try some of the other things on the menu, like hazelnut cheesecake or an almond fudge brownie, or the Mayan chile hot chocolate, or the Mocha Mousse Petit Four Grande with Caramel Sauce (try saying that five times fast!). 

Chocolate Maven, 821 W. San Mateo Road, Santa Fe NM; online here.

Thursday
Nov082012

CakeSpy Undercover: Braum's Ice Cream, Oklahoma City

Birthday cake ice cream

One of my favorite things about traveling is discovering local chains. You know, the types of places that might be part of your everyday life if you live in a given region, that you might even forget about in day-to-day life. But as a visitor, it's fun to discover these places--I consider it a great way to pretend you live somewhere for a short time and eat like a local. 

Braum's

So when I passed through Oklahoma City recently, I was delighted to visit Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store. If you live in the area, you are undoubtedly familiar with their bright and happy ice cream logo. To the uninitiated--I'd describe Braum's as a sort of regional Dairy Queen, with a market attached. It's cool. The business started in the 1930s in Oklahoma--you can read more about the history here.

Braum's

Really, for me it was interesting enough just to walk around and visit, but I was even more delighted to find the ice cream highly satisfactory.

Since I only eat sweets that have colors which appear in nature, I chose the Birthday Cake ice cream, which is a perfect sky blue hue. Awesome: the generous scoop was surprisingly low in price, about 2 dollars. I found that to be very welcome, having recently enjoyed fancy ice cream in both Seattle and Philadelphia which cost about double the price. Not that I don't appreciate that these are higher rent cities, but this was pretty nice since I am kind of a cheapskate. 

Braum's

The ice cream exceeded my expectations. It was fluffy, almost marshmallow-like, in its texture; the flavor, however, was still very creamy and full, and the chunks of cake (with frosting, I believe) were wonderful landmines in the creamy cup of ice cream. Ohhhh yes. 

Braum's

A friend tried the Black Walnut ice cream, which I also sampled; it was a very unique flavor which was indeed very black walnutty. If you've ever tried black walnut cake or baked goods of any sort, you know what a wonderful, buttery, spicy something it offers to sweets; this ice cream was a fantastic fall flavor, in this spy's opinion. 

So, to sum it up: Braum's is a sweet spot with plenty of locations in the OKC area (including locations in Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas). Give them a try!

Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Store, various locations; find more info here.

P.S. Like the pictures in this post? I took them on my new Intuition phone, part of the Midwest Savvy Gourmets program from Verizon!  Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Gourmets program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Saturday
Nov032012

Coming up Flours: Bloom Baking Company, Kansas City MO

PB Krispie chocolate bar

Recently I found myself in Kansas City, MO, for about an hour. What to do? Go to a bakery, natch!

So after asking around, I learned that a fantastic one stop wonder of a place to get food, both sweet and savory, and maybe pick up a unicorn figurine, would be the historic City Market (est. 1857). OK! 

Bloom baking co

Nestled in the market was Bloom Baking Company. I was so glad to see them. I spent a long time ogling their cases. They had homemade bread, which was fantastic, but unfortunately I didn't think it would travel well.

Bloom baking co

Nor did I think their specialty--bread pudding--would. Although I got to sample it and it was very good.

Bloom baking co

So after being tempted by many goodies, including a pecan cranberry tart, pumpkin roll, macarons, cupcakes, lovely croissants and frenchy things, cookies, and so on, I settled on two items.

PB Krispie chocolate bar

First up: the chocolate peanut butter crispy treat. I had to get this, as it reminded me of another favorite Midwest treat, the Special K Bar. Gosh, was this thing good. The peanut butter and chocolate were the dominant flavors, and they were done very well. The crispiness of the treat mixture below made it almost alarmingly addictive. I wanted to eat my weight in it. Like a candy bar, but fancier and better. Such a good treat that embraces fancy and lowbrow all at once.

Bloom baking co

Next up: the flourless chocolate cake. When bought by the slice, it's made even better by being coated in chocolate, a brilliant trick which both makes it more decadent and keeps the cake moist. It was a very chocolatey treat. One of those ones that coats your mouth with chocolate. You might want to smack me for saying it, but probably of the two treats this was my lesser favorite. There is a personal preference that plays into this, though. When it comes to chocolate desserts, I generally prefer them as chocolate with another flavor. The traveling buddy I was with, however, is a choco-choco-choco sort, so it was perfect. So there you have it: if you're a chocolate blackout sort, this one is perfect for you. 

Chocolate covered cake

All in all, I found this a most pleasing stop during my hour in Kansas City (alas, the vendors did not have any unicorn figurines); I spent the rest of my hour eating, looking at vendors, driving by the Hallmark Headquarters...and then I was gone!

Bloom baking co

Bloom Baking Company, 15 e. 3rd Street, Kansas City; online here.

Monday
Sep032012

Rock Out With Your Cupcake Out: Confections of a Rockstar, Asbury Park

Confections of a rockstar

Recently, me and SpyMom hit up Confections of a Rock$tar, a new bakery in Asbury Park, NJ. A rock n roll bakery is right at home in this town, which is famous for being the place that Bruce Springsteen made a name for himself, at clubs such as the Stone Pony. This town has inspired confections before: there is a bakery a few towns over called the Scone Pony (love it, don't you?). 

Confections of a rockstar

At Confections, they have really good cake. Like, we were impressed (we being me, SpyMom, and SpyDad - come on, this is like royalty visiting your bakery!). We got the "Greetings from Asbury Park" cupcake, which as a cinnamon cake with cinnamon infused frosting. Yum Yum Yum. Rich frosting, moist cake - a winner.

Confections of a rockstar

But what impressed me equally as much as the cake was some of the names for the baked goods, which were rock themed. Some were just given iconic names (like the aforementioned Asbury Park), some had clever puns such as "S'more than a Feeling", and "Macaroon 5" cookies. After a lengthy discussion, me and SpyMom decided that the Greetings from Asbury Park really ought to have been called Cinnamon Girl, after the Neil Young song.

Confections of a rockstar

Of course, this brought on a big conversation, and we'd like to present some ideas we had for future cupcake names and flavors. (And I'm kind of a pro--I once designed a whole baked good menu involving rock music puns. Rolling Scones, anyone?).

Confections of a rockstar

BonBon Jovi: Howsabout a cupcake stuffed with a truffle in honor of a NJ rock legend?

Chai Baby: Not "Cry Baby" - Chai Baby!

Cinnamon Girl: cinnamon cupcake, Neil Young would approve.

Bananarama: Make a delicious Hummingbird cake, and name it for the 80s group. 

Crosby, Stills, and Ganache: A chocolate feat of deliciousness inspired by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

Peter, Paul, and Berry: A berry cupcake (could also be used with "cherry").

Bruce Sprinklesteen: A sort of funfetti variation inspired by the Boss.

Love me Two Limes: A lime cake and lime buttercream with a Doors feel.

Purple Glaze: A blueberry or blackberry cupcake with a matching violet-hued glaze would be a delicious homage to the rock song Purple Haze.

Another Peach of My Heart: Janis Joplin wailing "Piece of My Heart"? Enjoy it with a peach cupcake.

Greetings from Asbury Pork: Everyone has a bacon cupcake now; why not call it by a clever name?

Red Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol would love to eat the cake named after his pet project band.

Sympathy for the Devil's Food Cake: Rolling Stones approved cake.

But I digress. The main point of this post was to tell you that A) Confections of a Rockstar is worth a visit, and B) to inform you of how clever me and SpyMom are. Having (I hope) proved both points, I will now leave you with one more picture:

Confections of a rockstar

Confections of a Rock$tar, 550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park NJ. Online here.

Tuesday
Aug282012

CakeSpy Undercover: Federal Donuts, Philadelphia

Federal Donuts

Today, I went to a place called Federal Donuts. They specialize in the following things, listed in order of my interest:

1. Donuts

2. Coffee

3. Fried Chicken

Apparently they have awesome fried chicken. Maybe one day I will go back to try it, but I hear the lines are epic. But mostly, I wanted to try the donuts.  Let me tell you about my experience.

Federal Donuts

When I walked into the small space, I had a good feeling about the donuts when I saw this: Federal donuts

I trust donuts!

Dollars to donuts, it was an extremely pleasant visit. When I walked in, I asked the friendly counter girl "what is going on here?" and she explained that they had a variety of "fancy" donuts ($2 ea), and you could also order donuts to be fried to order for $1.25. Whaa? Awesome. So the ordering began, and before you know it here is what was in front of me:

Federal Donuts

Whew! Time to get to work. Here's one of the spiced "Appolonia" donuts. Federal Donuts

Here's the creamsicle "fancy" one. Federal Donuts

and here was the figgity fig fig. I think they called it "double fig" but clearly I have made my decision. Figgity fig fig!

Federal Donuts

But the basis of everything--the place from whence it all begins--is the plain donut. They are fried to order.Federal Donuts

They have an interesting, smooth finish. But once you take a bite, you can see why this place is so freaking popular. It's delicious. It tastes like hot, doughy goodness. It's simple, and in its simplicity, it is great. It's assertively, but not aggressively, greasy, and somehow manages to have a feathery texture. It's a good donut to begin with, but the fact that it was fried to order, just for you, makes the experience so much richer.

 Federal Donuts

Let's have another one of those, shall we?

The fancy donuts are also very good--flavorful, and I appreciated how the donuts themselves seemed a bit denser (I am a dense donut lover) and enjoyed the creative but not over the top flavor combos. But really, I think that the hot fresh donuts are the way to go. Or at least get one of each, so you can see it all for yourself. 

I got there pretty early, and it wasn't too crowded and they still had plenty of donuts. But I hear that they DO sell out, so try to hit them early or during off hours (I am thinking the weekend is probably pretty insane). And let me know if you try the chicken, but it might take me a while to move past these donuts to anything else!

Federal Donuts, 1219 S. 2nd Street, Philadelphia; online here. 

Wednesday
Aug222012

Cakewalk (Mostly Carytown) in Richmond, VA

Dixie Donuts

Richmond, Virginia is a fantastic place to get fat. And be very happy doing so. From barbecue to stick-to-your-ribs southern fare, they've got savory down--but they seal the deal with plenty of delicious desserts, too. 

I recently spent a day (yes, just one) in Richmond, and if I do say so myself, I made quite a bakery dent in the bakery scene, especially in the pedestrian-friendly Carytown neighborhood. Care to read about where I went and what I ate? Yeah, knew it. 

First up, in the morning, was TaZa for some coffee. But lo and behold, they had a bakery case and chocolates too! We picked up a couple of donuts made by Dixie Donuts (a glazed old fashioned and "French Toast", pictured top), as well as a few walnut creams from Chocolates by Kelly. The donuts were small, but extremely good quality; they had that wonderful "airy yet decadent" taste, like fancied-up Krispy Kreme donuts.

Chocolates by Kelly

Next up was breakfast at The Village, where they have a nice dessert menu, but since it was breakfast, I played it safe and just sampled a shake. Chocolate-almond with chocolate ice cream, thank you very much! It was a very good shake. Also of note: if you get an egg dish, one of the optional sides (instead of hash browns) is fried apples. They're like eating the innards of an apple pie on the side of your plate. What a beautiful thing.

The Village, Richmond

Asking for directions next door at Ipanema Cafe, I noticed that they had vegan blondies. I didn't get one, but I thought I should mention it to the vegans, because these looked pretty good up close.Blondies

It was time to hit Carytown. Carytown is clearly the "arty" section of town. You can tell by artful touches such as this rainbow-colored brick. 

Rainbow!

I like me a good rainbow-colored brick, but I like it even better with a unicorn, don't you?

Magical!

 

And they have a ton of bakeries there. Dixie Donuts, it turns out, has a retail outlet! But I'd already tried their donuts so I just peeked inside. It's very cute. Go there.Dixie Donuts

Next up: Bev's Ice Cream. Bev's is a nice place to get some ice cream - so I hear. But because I was on the move, I got some fudge to go. Nice and smooth, no "chocolate sand" here. I enjoyed it, and wish I had had a bigger appetite at the time so I could have gotten some ice cream too. 

Bev's Ice Cream

Just up the street was Carytown Cupcakes. Carytown Cupcakes

After reading about them on Cupcakes Take the Cake, I knew this was a destination. Things that made me happy at Carytown Cupcakes? Let's see. For one, they had hummingbird cake on the "classic" (readily available) menu, and theirs was a particularly toothsome variety. Also pretty awesome: they have monthly rotating specials -- for instance, during my time there, they had "pie-inspired" flavors, such as "Strawberry Pie"--a vanilla cupcake with a Graham cracker crust, filled with cream cheese icing and topped with glazed strawberries.

 

Near Carytown Cupcakes is a cute little gift store called World of Mirth, where they sell my book. They're out of stock at the moment though. Reminder: buy my book, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life.

Luckily, I wasn't tired of cupcakes, cos just up the block is Baby Cakes. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Caramel apple spice. Dark chocolate cake with pecan cream cheese frosting. Blueberry cake with blueberry buttercream. Chocolate toffee crunch. These are just a few of the reasons I was enticed to visit this little cupcake shop. Online, I read some mixed reviews about this place, but I found the cupcakes pleasant, if not life-changing. 

Source: babycakesva.com via Cake on Pinterest

 

I walked by a coffee shop that had watermelon-shaped cookies in celebration of the upcoming Watermelon Festival.

Coffee shop in Carytown

Apparently this is a big deal there, but I was gone by the time it happened! Here's a promo: Watermelon Fest

Next up was Jean Jacques Bakery, a sort of Frenchie spot. I felt enticed from the very moment I saw this on the outside window:

.Jean Jacques Bakery Jean Jacques Bakery

A nice lunch-and-morning pastry type of place, with French leanings (but American standards on offer, too). I got a croissant, figuring it was a good litmus test of a bakery: it was flaky and buttery and good. Interestingly, though, I learned in retrospect that they are known for their cinnamon rolls: per their website, "People who never liked danish love this danish! The cheese danish filing is made with cream cheese, eggs and sugar - just like the best cheesecakes. And our cinnamon buns are a huge craze in Carytown. Freshly baked and warm smelling everyday." Dommage! Next time I shall try you, Cinnamon Roll!

Next door was a chocolate place, but I didn't go in. I can only do so much, people! Chocolate

Well. It started raining, and I took shelter under a supermarket awning, and then lo and behold, there was another bakery! Since I hadn't gone in the chocolate place, I went in here. It was called Williams Bakery. It was cute, and felt like it had been there for a while. Turns out it's one of a few locations they have in the Richmond area.

Williams bakery

I got a doughnut. It was less than a dollar, it was old-fashioned, delightfully but overly oily, and pretty perfect.

Williams bakery

Lucille's bakery, richmond VA

On the way out of town, we hit Lucille's Bakery, not quite in Carytown, but close. You can read more about that bakery visit here. 

Across from Lucille's, you'll see this place--for if you've ever wondered where extracts are made!

Sauer

Driving away toward the highway, you'll see this as you exit town: a fantastic parting view! A commercial bakery which once made Girl Scout Cookies!

Interbake

Places Mentioned: 

Babycakes, 3324 W Cary Street, Richmond

Bev's Homemade Ice Cream, 2911 W Cary St RichmondVA 23221. 

Carytown Cupcakes, 3111 W Cary Street, Richmond

CF Sauer Extracts, online here

Chocolates by Kelly, find retail locations on the site.

Dixie Donuts, 2901 W Cary Street, Richmond

Ipanema Vegetarian Cafe, 917 Grace Street, Richmond

Jean Jacques Bakery, 3138 W Cary Street, Richmond

Lucille's Bakery, 719 N Meadow Street, Richmond

TaZa Coffee

The Village, 1001 Grace Street, Richmond

Williams Bakery, 3544 W Cary Street, Richmond

Friday
Aug032012

Sweet House: Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches

Coolhaus

Did you know that yesterday was National Ice Cream Sandwich Day? That's very good timing, because I am always a little late (hence the day after business), and who wouldn't want to make this day last a little longer? And it just so happens that I was just thinking that I wanted to tell you about my delicious experience with this very treat from Coolhaus, a mobile ice cream truck which operates in a few different cities.

Coolhaus is, well, pretty cool. They combine a love of sweets and architecture. Here's the 411 on them, from their website:

 


[1] Bauhaus, an influential modernist design movement of the 1920′s and 30′s. 

[2] Rem Koolhaas, the famous Dutch Architect and Theorist who challenged the mantra "Form follows function" 

[3] "Cool house," isn't that what you're eating – an ice cream sandwich deconstructed into a cookie roof and floor slab with ice cream walls?
Natasha and Freya started baking cookies and making ice cream in Freya's mom's kitchen in the Fall of 2008. They named the flavor combinations after architects and architectural movements they were inspired by and started experimenting with recipes and testing them on friends. It seemed like a fun art project with "farchitecture" in mind ie food + architecture. 

One day it occurred to Freya and Natasha that an ice cream truck would be a perfect way to disseminate their ice cream sandwiches (and architecture dialogue) around the city of LA. The truck would be a nod to the past tradition of the Good Humor man selling ice cream novelties around neighborhoods, but with a modern twist – not to mention the long-withstanding popularity of taco trucks around LA and the rapidly growing infatuation with "gourmet" food trucks. The timing seemed perfect, now all Freya and Natasha needed was a truck! 

They found a postal truck on Craigslist and were able to afford it with money they had saved from their other jobs. They prepared the truck and their product for their launch at Coachella Valley Music Festival in April of 2009 where the product was very well received – and when they came back to LA, they had generated a strong buzz and following. 

Today, they have a fleet of 4 trucks in LA, 2 trucks and 1 cart in NY, 2 trucks in Austin, 2 trucks in Miami, a newly launched storefront in Culver City, CA and even have their ice cream sandwiches at Southern California Whole Foods Markets. They hope to continue to expand to other cities nationally, and maybe even globally (doesn't hurt to dream, right?)!

 

Coolhaus

So when SpyMom and I walked by their truck in New York City, you must know that we pretty much HAD to stop for a sweet sandwich.

You build your own sandwich by choosing your cookies and then choosing the ice cream with which to fill it. SpyMom chose the double chocolate cookies with bananas foster ice cream; I got the potato chip skor cookies with bananas foster ice cream.

What can I say other than "Damn, that was a fine ice cream sandwich?". The salty-sweet cookies combined with the mellow-sweet banana ice cream with a caramelly taste finish was pretty much perfect. So perfect, in fact, that I may or may not have licked the napkin clean (they give you an edible wafer for a napkin - so it was totally normal for me to lick it). SpyMom said she thought my cookies tasted better, but she was still extremely pleased with her sweetwich as well.

The sandwiches are kind of spendy - our total for two was over $10 when combined - but for the experience and the novelty of finding this cool business right on the street we were walking down, and for the deliciousness of the sweets we purchased, I'd day that it is certainly worth it for a special treat. You deserve it!

Find out more about Coolhaus, including where you can find them, on their website. 

Tuesday
Jul102012

Pastry Profiles: Scoopcake from The Sweet Spot, New Milford, CT

Sweet Spot

Not so long ago, I spent some time at a place called The Sweet Spot in New Milford, Connecticut. Now, I'd been to the area before: my college roommate's family lived in nearby Danbury. But until this visit, all I ever wanted to do in the area was visit dairy superstore Stew Leonard, where they boasted several flavors of soft-serve. 

So I had never been to The Sweet Spot before. But I was so glad to have a chance to visit.

Sweet Spot

I even got something savory: an egg and cheese on their house-made wheat bread. This bread was very good.Sweet spot

But don't worry, I saved my appetite for the main event: the sweet stuff. But where to start? After all, they have cupcakes. Cupcakes that resemble my Cuppie character! See picture at the top of the post. But they also have cookies. And ice cream. Sweet Spot

How to decide? So I didn't, because I noticed that they also have something called a Scoopcake. What is that, you ask? They conveniently laid out the anatomy of a scoopcake. Basically, it's a hollowed-out cupcake filled with something sweet, topped with ice cream and sprinkles. YES!

Sweet Spot

I made use of this construction by choosing a vanilla cupcake, which was then filled with caramel, topped with cookie dough ice cream, and (of course) topped with rainbow sprinkles. Hooray! So I ended up getting cookies, cake, and ice cream...all at once.

Sweet Spot, New Milford CT

It looked from the top like just a regular ice cream scoop, so I wish they would have put it into a clear cup (at least so I could have given you a better indication of what lies beneath), but you're just going to have to trust me on it: this is an amazing cupcake concoction. 

I mean. A moist, buttery cupcake. Silky-sticky-thick caramel filling. Cookie dough ice cream, which is two parts amazing. And rainbow sprinkles. This is like heaven on a plate (or in this case, in a dish). 

There is some very good stuff going on at The Sweet Spot, and if you find yourself in the New Milford environs, I highly suggest it. 

60 Railroad Street, New Milford, CT; online here.

Thursday
Jun142012

Well Bread: Bantam Bread Company, Connecticut

bantam bread co

Not so very long ago, I went to a bakery which goes by the name Bantam Bread Company.

With a name like that, you might figure that they specialize in bread. Well, you'd be right. But they just as ably make and offer a delicious array of sweet stuff. 

Included on the roster? Fruit crostadas. Biscuits. Crumb cake. Shortbread. Cheesecake. Teacakes. And more.

The delicious fruit crostadas look something like this when bitten into:

Morning pastry

Oh, that's right. The crumb cake is pretty fantastic, too. It's buttery, brown sugary, and delicious. Only problem? There should be more crumb. Like, this much.

Crumb cake

But one of the true standouts, in my opinion, was the Peach Brulee. It was sort of like a creme brulee tart, but with peaches too. Although the peaches might sound like they make a delicious dessert into health food, really, it's not that way at all. It's peaches n creamy and very decadent. A very pleasant dessert, indeed!

Peach brulee

And, you know what, since I'm always a sucker for a great story, I found the story of how this bakery came to be rather fascinating. Here it is, from their site:

In the summer of 1995 Niles Golovin and Susie Uruburu attended the Fancy Food Show in New York City. Niles, a chef in NYC for many years was restless to do something on his own. He found bread baking to be fascinating. 

At the show Niles spoke with an old friend from NYC who owned one of the most successful wholesale bakeries in New York about his thoughts of opening an artisan bakery. He said “The time is right if you want to do it, do it now”. 

On the way back to Litchfield, with visions of beautiful golden brown loaves in his head, Niles and Susie stopped at a popular fruit/vegetable stand on Mt. Tom Pond. Niles asked, “If I can find a place to bake at night, could we test market bread at your stand”? The owner happily agreed. 

Next stop was a pizza shop in Litchfield where he baked after hours on Friday and Saturday nights. “Niles’ Bread” was born. 

The next weekend Susie packed the fresh baked loaves in the old Volvo wagon, set up a card table at the farm stand and sold out in two hours. After a busy summer Niles spent a month of Sundays at an organic bakery in the Berkshires honing his craft and learning from a bread “guru”. 

The following summer a location was found in the basement of an old house on Route 202 in Bantam. Stone and brick walls with windows overlooking the Bantam River made the bakery look like a step back in time to a French boulangerie. 

Through word of mouth and a stunning review in the Waterbury Republican (three weeks after opening) The Bantam Bread Company arrived.

How sweet! So. If you're in Bantam, go to this place.

853 Bantam Road, Bantam, CT 06750; Online here.

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