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Entries in missouri (4)

Monday
Nov122012

CakeSpy Undercover: Federhofer's Bakery, St. Louis Area

Federhofer's

It's a funny thing about bakeries. These days, a more boutique-y, spare sort of display is favored. And that's just great. I love it.

But sometimes, I just have a craving for an old-school bakery that is totally packed with pastries of every sort, cookies by the pound, cakes, pies, and bars; you know, the type where you take a number and they call when you're up. 

Federhofer's

If you love this kind of bakery, I promise--I absolutely promise--that you will adore Federhofer's Bakery, on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri.

It's been there roughly forever (ok, since 1966). Per their website:

 Federhofer's Bakery was  established in 1966 by Bill Federhofer with a vision for success and a taste of  perfection. Federhofer's has built a reputation for providing the freshest and highest quality of baked goods for over 46 years. We have been using the same recipes over the decades to ensure our customers a wide variety of  baked goods and the same great taste.

Well, they've certainly honed their art. It's a bustling, good-smelling bakery, and they have all sorts of interesting pastries. Can I tell you about them?

Some of their specialties are stollen and danish.

Pecan stollen, Federhofer's

They have cakes and bars galore. Federhofer's

Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. Federhofer's Federhofer's

and lots, lots more!

Federhofer's

So after my number was up, the friendly employee walked me through their entire menu, and here's what I chose. 

Federhofer's

First, a plain doughnut. A good litmus test of any bakery. And in this case, a fine specimen: soft and cakey and just enough oiliness to let you know it was, indeed, fried. A gentle, lightly sweet flavor. Nice.

Gooey butter cake, Federhofer's, St Louis

and of course, a gooey butter cake. To the uninitiated, this buttery cake--made of a soft, cakey crust topped with, well, a gooey butter mixture. It's said to have been invented when a baker made a mistake baking a cake and ended up with this delicious thing. It was an instant classic. It's quite similar to Philadelphia Butter Cake, but the St. Louis version is more likely to include cream cheese. Like Philadelphia butter cake, in St. Louis, the cake is generally sold by the 8-or-9 inch pan rather than by individual slices, and is more a morning coffee cake than an after-dinner dessert.

And the gooey butteriness has pervaded other areas of the menu--behold, a gooey butter danish!! It was sweetness overload, in the best way possible. Gooey butter danish, Federhofer's, St Louis

I also got a taste of a St. Louis specialty--coconut toast! Interestingly, it seems to be a sweet treat that has faded in popularity, because even some residents I asked didn't even know what it was. But I found it at good ol' Federhofers! Basically a use for day-old bread, it's (to the best of my knowledge) brushed with sweetened condensed milk and coconut, and toasted. That's it. Simple, but oh so good. 

Coconut toast, Federhofer's, St Louis

So, after having had a wonderful experience at Federhofer's, I urge you to visit them if you find yourself in St. Louis. They've been doing it since 1966, and based on what I tasted, they have been doing it right. 

Federhofer's Bakery, 9005 Gravois Road, Affton MO; online here. 

Sunday
Nov042012

CakeSpy Undercover: Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Grandma's cookies

I need to tell you about a place called Grandma's Cookies.

At this magical place in a charming suburb of St Louis, MO, they specialize in--well, cookies.

But here's the thing. The cookies are only about 60 cents each! Well, less than 70 cents each. I forget exactly how much. And they're a pretty good size. In a world where cookies are regularly up to and sometimes even exceed $3.00, this made me like them from the get-go.

Grandma's cookies

And after reviewing the offerings, the unique formation of the chocolate chip cookies made me like them even more. The chocolate chip cookies almost looked like little sun hats: A cookie base, with a cookie lump on top. Oddly, none of the other cookie flavors shared this formation, they were just kind of flat cookies. I'm sure they were good but I zeroed in on the cool (and more bulky) looking chocolate chip cookie. 

Grandma's Cookies, St Charles MO

Look at how it looks in my hand!

Grandma's cookies

Alternate view!

Grandma's cookies

And look how it looks bitten into!

Grandma's cookies

Dude, this cookie was good. And not just "good for 60 cents" good. It was genuinely good. The unique formation gave it a particularly chewy and nearly gooey center, but the edges were crispy. The chocolate chips were ably met by the brown sugary buttery cookie base, and when they came together in my mouth, I felt a moment of pure magic.

A very good cookie indeed. If you find yourself in this charming part of the world, please go there. And buy a baker's dozen of these cookies. It won't even cost that much!

Grandma's Cookies, 401 S. Main Street, St. Charles MO; online 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.

Sunday
Nov142010

Guest Post: Bakery Suggestions for Springfield, MO from Emma Chapman of Red Velvet Sweet Shoppe

CakeSpy Note: I have to admit, I am always curious to hear what bakeries are beloved by bakery owners. Happily, I recently received a great list of bakery suggestions from Emma Chapman, co-owner of Springfield, Mo-based Red Velvet Sweet Shoppe. Here's the lowdown on Red Velvet, an obvious must-visit if you're in the area...as well as other suggestions for delicious sweets in the area! Images all provided courtesy Float Away Studios.

Red Velvet Sweet Shoppe is new in town. The entire store is actually owned by two sisters, one who bakes cupcakes and makes bubble tea, and one who loves handmade and vintage. Daily cupcake flavors include (but
are not limited to): Salted Caramel, Red Velvet, Snickerdoodle Cookie, Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Monster and Cookies and Cream. The sweet shoppe also offers bubble tea in variety of flavors on a rotating basis. 211 East Commercial Street in Springfield, MO 65803; online at redvelvetcatering.com

But the sweetness doesn't stop there. Where else do the owners of Red Velvet suggest stopping in for a sweet? Why not try one of these places suggested by co-owner Emma:

  • The Cup (cravethecup.com) tons of yummy cupcakes and coffee drinks. My favorite is the tuxedo flavor:)
  • The Pie Box (mypiebox.com) charming place to get sweet or savory pies to go. My personal favorite is the fancy peach, although I really NEED to try the old fashion buttermilk pie soon.
  • Amy Cakes (sweetsbyamycakes.com) located downtown and is probably Springfield's longest running cupcake and confections bakery. My favorite is the mini red velvet cupcakes. 

You can learn more about Emma and her bakery Red Velvet Sweet Shoppe here, and keep up on her adventures via her blog here.

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