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Entries in maine (5)

Saturday
Jul232011

CakeSpy Undercover: Cake Gumshoe Karen Visits Somethin' Sweet, Maine

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Karen, who blogs here and is the Italian Food Examiner for Portland Maine on examiner.com.

Maybe it's Sunday afternoon and 86 degrees and the last thing in the world you want to do is hang around the house with your cranky kids, since you yourself are very cranky.

Here's an idea: throw...er, put the kids in the car and drive over to Somethin' Sweet Bakery. Jen opens for business Thursday through Saturday  from 11:00am to 7:00pm and Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm.  She may open other days as well.  For example, Jen opened on a Monday for the 4th of July to provide excellent edible support for hungry (for Somethin' Sweet!) parade go-ers. 

Jen has always loved baking and that fact comes through loud and clear to anyone who has been lucky enough to enjoy any of the Whoopie Pies (try the Coffee-filled Chocolate Whoopies! They are amazing!), cookies, brownies, eclairs, and other treats that you can find at her bakery. She changes up the flavors and items daily but of course, like the ice cream parlors always have vanilla and chocolate on hand, you can always find the old standbys (vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting for instance) represented at Somethin' Sweet! Jen is working on the new website for her business, but if you need a focal point for your (sweet) meditation today, check out the picture up there now. . . you will have no trouble sitting for 20 minutes if you are focusing on that. Do it.

Got an occasion coming up? Maybe a birthday party for your tween? Give Jen a call with your special order request and she will have it ready to go when you are ready to go get it.  Speaking of Somethin' Sweet, the decor of the store, as well as the lovely store owner, are exactly that. Jen mentioned that she is working on some new offerings (this week she made caramel blondies..now that's what I'm talkin' about!), so keep coming back and check out what's in the display case. You can also check out the daily cupcake flavors and treat offerings which she posts on Facebook. 

You may find that, despite the variety of options, your tween will always want the Cookie Dough Cupcake.  What is this much-desired-by-tweens cupcake, you ask? It’s a yellow cupcake with a lovely white frosting that has a nugget of cookie dough tucked inside it and…wait for it….a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie on top! Be gracious and let your tween have that cupcake, as long as she stays away from your Chocolate Whoopie Pie with Coffee Filling...

Somethin' Sweet, 883 Main Street Suite 1 in Sanford. Online here.

Wednesday
Jul202011

CakeSpy Undercover: Two Fat Cats Bakery, Portland, ME

If you are in Maine, if you are near Maine, or have the possibility of being near Maine, I have some advice: visit Two Fat Cats Bakery.

Why? To put it simply...this place is what happiness tastes like.

On a recent trip to Maine (on which I got to meet Carrie of Fields of Cake!), I had the good fortune of hitting up this sweet shop in Portland, Maine, and I was so glad I did.

Walking in, it's sort of hippie-granola-y, very laid-back, but with a very alluring bakery display filled with homey pies, cookies, cakes, and of course, Maine's signature treat, the Whoopie pie.

I went for two treats: the whoopie pie and a vanilla cupcake. First, let's talk about the cupcake.

This cupcake was not a fancy specimen, but it was an extremely well-executed homestyle variety. It instantly made me think of elementary school birthday parties, but in the form of a product that suited my (slightly) more grown-up tastes. The frosting was so buttery and smooth that thinking of it now, I wish I had an extra vat of it next to me. Le sigh.

And as for the Whoopie Pie.

Deliciously cakey and moist (no dry, crumble-apart cakey cookies here!), the chocolate flavor was strong in the cake, and the filling was creamy and light yet not so feather-light that it felt like fluff. It stuck with you, in a delicious sense. I could easily and happily get fat eating a plate full of these whoopie pies.

According to some, they're some of the finest whoopie pies in Maine. Having only tasted a few from Maine I don't feel extremely qualified to weigh in on that important issue, but let me just say I was very impressed by them. And--they've been featured on Jeopardy!

Discover this deliciousness yourself; 47 India Street, Portland, ME; find them on Facebook here.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Maine Event: Maine Wild Blueberry Muffins Recipe

 When it comes to Maine Blueberries, technically Pie takes the cake--Wild Blueberry Pie is the official state dessert. 

But the fact is, when you go to gift shops, you'll find postcards touting this recipe for Wild Blueberry Muffins, so I vote that they are worth your time, too.

Maine Wild Blueberry Muffins Recipe

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Maine wild blueberries

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a muffin pan.
  2. Beat egg slightly; stir in milk and oil. Mix in the dry ingredients until the flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy--don't overmix. Add the blueberries. 
  3. Fill the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 12 muffins.

 

Sunday
May292011

Wickedly Delicious: Wicked Whoopie Pies, Freeport Maine

Whoopie pies are basically the best excuse to eat two large, cakey cookies at once, with a big smear of frosting holding them together.

There are two places in particular in the US in which this sweet treat proliferates: Pennsylvania and Maine. The style is slightly different in both places, and if you want to read about who truly invented it, you can read this great article in the New York Times.

And of course, in Maine there's even an added dimension of controversy, because the race between Whoopie Pie and Blueberry Pie as official state dessert was quite a hot debate.

But at this moment, we're going to set aside controversy and backstory and simply talk about some Whoopie Pies that I ate in Maine, from Wicked Whoopies. I went there shortly after I visited a big boot with Carrie of Fields of Cake.

If this place looks kind of corporate when you walk in, that's because it is; they have a retail storefront in the Freeport Outlets in Maine (and another in Farmingdale), but also have a very large mail-order business. 

Initially I found it slightly off-putting that each pie was individually cello wrapped in the style of Twinkies or lower-market treats, but I was extremely impressed by the variety of flavors--banana! Red Velvet! Pumpkin! Lemon!... and pretty much I got over it once I unwrapped slowly and saw what treasures awaited.

First off, the Maple Whoopie Pie. The cookie-cakes were extremely moist and redolent of that gorgeously mellow maple flavor; the cream filling was the perfect complement, extremely rich, pairing the mellowness of the maple with a nostalgically and fairly unforgivingly sweet charm. I say this in a loving way. It was a mouthful of awesome.

But the real highlight was the chocolate-covered mini whoopie pie ("whoop-de-doo"). these were under a dome and were not individually cello-wrapped, which made them feel slightly more pinkies-out.

Now, you might think that topping a cream-filled double-chocolate cookie sandwich would be gilding the lily, but you know, it actually didn't come off as excessive in the taste. The thin chocolate shell added a nice texture contrast, and kind of crunch-melted into the soft cookie as you bit into it. This was a fairly pleasurable experience to repeat over and over until the cookie was all the way gone. 

Final verdict: not pinkies-out fancy, but double-fist, big-time tasty.

Wicked Whoopies has two locations in Maine, but you can also order online; find out locations and order online here.

Wednesday
Mar302011

Oh Fudge: Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge by Fields of Cake

Images: Fields of CakeCheck it. So, a week or two ago, I went to Vermont for the Maple Open House weekend. Which was awesome. You'll totally hear more about it soon. But.

Right now, I want to address a beautiful diversion from said Vermont Maple Weekend. 

So, I have been bloggy BFF's for, like, ever with Fields of Cake. Carrie Fields, the talented proprietress of this blog and Portland, Maine-area home-based baking business, has not only been a customer of mine for years, but has wowed me with her baking prowess on many occasions.

So when she sent me a message that basically amounted to "You're this close, come to Maine!"...I listened.

And I went to Maine, where I was treated to sea, sunshine...and the most delicious fudge I have ever, in my life, tasted.

And I have tried my share of fudge varieties, let me tell you.

This chocolate-covered cherry fudge is extremely sweet in the up-front, assertive way that only fudge can get away with. But Carrie's was a gorgeous variety: completely smooth, none of that "chocolate sand" gritty texture business, and in spite of the sweetness you could still taste the flavor of real cherry shining through.

Basically, this was the type of fudge that could make you swear off chocolate covered cherries forever.

And--happy dance--she posted a recipe, here. But I'll bet she'd also sell it to you if you sent her an email through her great site.

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