Home Home Home Home Home Home Home
CakeSpy

Featured: 

What is Pumpkin Pie Spice?

Unicorn Love: the Eating Disorder Recovery Blog

 

 Buy my brilliant books!

Buy my new book!

Buy my first book, too! 

CakeSpy Online Retail!

 

Archives
Gallery

Fantastic appliance for cake making on DHgate.com

everyrecipe.co.nz

Craftsy Writer

Entries in pastries to ship (26)

Tuesday
Jan262010

Sweet Love: A Bakery Crush on Sara Snacker Cookie Company



What happens when a former TV producer switches gears and decides to start producing sweet treats? 

You get spectacular productions of sweetness, that's what happens.

Say hello to Sara Snacker Cookie Company, "a milk and cookies company" run by Sara Leand, who left behind the world of creating and producing shows for the likes of TLC, E!, and Lifetime to start creating get-fat-now treats which meld old-school nostalgia with new-school creativity and awesomeness.

Some of the menu's highlights? 

The Chipn'etzel Cookie is their signature product, a kitchen sink-type cookie which combines many of the best snack foods--pretzels and potato chips--into one delicious cookie. There are variations which include dark and white chocolate drizzles, in case the original isn't rich enough for you.

The CandyPop Cookie is one of those cookies which makes children shiver with joy and dentists quiver with fear: a cookie with lollipop bits baked inside, topped with a gumball center.

Chocolate Dipped Twinkies and Devil Dogs: Want to get fat in an extremely enjoyable way? How 'bout eating one (or three) of these Twinkies enrobed in thick white chocolate or a Devil Dog smothered in deep, dark chocolate? Goodness gracious--somewhere Paula Deen is shedding a tear over these babies.

Homemade versions of classic cookies and candies: Homemade animal crackers (you can actually tell what animals they are!) and Tootsie Rolls that "won't break your teeth"--yes please!

Yup: this is what love looks like.

Where can you get Sara Snacker sweets? Right now there is limited availability in fancy food stores in the NYC area; however, they can ship anywhere in the USA! Here's a link to their online store; for more information, visit sarasnacker.com.

Monday
Jan112010

Sweet Love: A Valentine's Day Bakery Crush on Fields of Cake in Maine

Question: What is love?

Answer: Love is sweet, rich, and full of butter. And this Valentine's Day season, the collective CakeSpy heart has been captured by the sweet treats made by Fields of Cake, a Brunswick, Maine-based custom order baking operation which (joyfully!) is able to ship a select few sugary sweets nationwide.

So what kind of sweets could you get by mail? Here's a roundup:

Red Hots Fudge: White Chocolate Fudge with just enough crushed red hots for a creamy, spicy balance that is out of this world! $6/ 8 ounce box

Red Velvet Whoppidy-Do’s (pictured top): Red Velvet whoopie pies filled with scrumptious Amaretto Buttercream and half dipped in White Chocolate and beautiful edible red glitter. Amazing. $9/ half dozen

Fresh Raspberry Truffles: Fresh Raspberries, filled with a bit of almond paste then dipped in silky dark chocolate. $12/ 8 ounces (note: these are not shippable)

Fresh Strawberry Marshmallows: Beautiful light pink swirled clouds of strawberry sweetness. If you have never tasted a homemade marshmallow, DON’T miss out on this. They are heaven. $9/ dozen

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies: As big as a saucer, with chunks of delicious fine dark chocolate. These cookies are crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center made with 3 kinds of sugar and a few of my own secrets. $15/ dozen

Chocolate Toffee Marshmallows: A light delicious vanilla bean marshmallow swirled with fine dark chocolate and chunks of toffee. Insane! $9/ Dozen

Heartbreaker Cupcakes: Chocolate cupcakes, filled with chocolate chunks and smoked sea salt caramel, topped with chocolate ganache and white chocolate buttercream. (shipped cupcakes will be in mason jars) $21/ half dozen

Combo Pack: 4 pieces of Red Hots Fudge, 2 Whoopidy-Do’s, 4 Truffles, 4 of each Marshmallow and 2 Giant cookies. Blissful Excess at it’s best. $18/pack (Note: If you are having the combo pack shipped to you, the truffles will be swapped for either 4 extra pieces of fudge or 4 extra marshmallows, your choice).

Want to order? You can check out the Fields of Cake shop, or contact Head Baker Carrie by email at carrielynnfields@gmail.com or by phone (so old-school!) at (207)449-7982.

Thursday
Aug272009

Blonde on Blondie: The Blonde Bombshell from TrixieBakes

Blonde Bombshell Blondie by TrixieBakes
CakeSpy Note: This post appears concurrently on CakeSpy Seattle.

Let's talk about TrixieBakes. I had seen them before: I'd walked by their booth at the Madrona Farmer's Market, but had never purchased one of their brownies because at $4 a pop, they weren't exactly cheap. But after reading the DailyCandy feature on the brownies, paired with a reader writing to tell me how amazing they were, I knew I was going to have to fork over the cash.

Since I am one of those few people who prefers blondies to brownies, of course I had to go for the "blonde bombshell", described on their site as

A luscious blondie with an indecent amount of brown sugar and pecans
You can never be too rich or too dense. Ok, that's not really how the saying goes, but it definitely applies to this big blondie.

Doesn't that just give you a shiver of anticipation?

So, I enjoyed the blondie for breakfast the next morning, and I am happy to report that it was a particularly fine specimen of blondiehood: dense, chewy, and full of butterscotch-y flavor. The pecans were a particularly nice touch, adding a slight crunch and flavor contrast.

But getting back to the price. Was it worth it? Well, no doubt about it, $4 is a lot for a brownie or blondie--I think that most will agree on that. But when I reflect on my blondie experience and how decadent and satisfying it was, I do believe I got $4 worth of joy out of the experience. I'm probably not going to indulge too frequently, but maybe that just makes it more special?

TrixieBakes blondies and brownies are available at the Madrona Farmer's Market each friday, 3-7 p.m.; they're also available at Flying Squirrel Pizza Co., 4920 S Genesee St., Seattle and Pauline Patisserie, 2315 NW Market St. Seattle; also online.

Friday
May152009

Sweet Treats: Cake Bites from Frosting Bake Shop

Cake Bites from Frosting Bake Shop
Just for the record, the entire CakeSpy crew would be totally easy to kidnap. All you'd have to say is "hey little Cake Gumshoes...I've got a puppy and some cake in the back of my van!" and we'd be there in a flash.

So naturally, when Karen of Frosting Bake Shop in Mill Valley wanted to send us a sample of her new Cake Bites, we were more than happy to accept the sweet stuff. We love cake truffles--though they have been around for a long time, they've received a new life and lift recently which we credit to Bakerella, and we've been more than happy to embrace the trend.
The cake bites mark Frosting Bake Shop's first foray into the world of shipping baked goods, as a good gift item that keeps a bit better (and is easier to ship) than cupcakes.
The truffles are pretty to look at--little orbs with a tiny "foot" at the bottom--and happily, they are quite delicious too. They're very dense, and as a small-bite dessert goes, they pack a nice punch. Texturewise, the cake inside is very moist as a result from being mixed with buttercream; the chocolate coating seals in this moisture and adds a decadent touch. 
Our parcel included a full sampler of the 12 flavors currently on offer, as well as some new flavors under development. Our favorites were the "Juliana Banana" (velvety-soft cake made with real bananas and mixed with a classic cream cheese frosting, finished with milk chocolate) and the Red Velvet (rich red velvet cake with a hint of Callebaut chocolate blended with vanilla cream cheese frosting, finished in a milk chocolate) from their current list, as well as the soon-to-be-added Snickerdoodle. Overall we tended to like the contrast-y flavors better than the ones that relied on one main flavor for the coating and filling. Some tasters felt that the white chocolate coated ones were "too sweet"--and they were awfully sweet, but nonetheless, none were left at the end of our tasting.  
These bites are a sweet addition indeed--vive the cake truffle revolution!
Cake Bites are available at Frosting Bake Shop, 7 E. Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley CA.

 

Tuesday
Dec162008

Tele-Graham Crackers: Sweet Treats in the Mail

Tele-Graham Crackers

Though Cakespy Headquarters is based in Seattle, we're originally from a magical place known as New Jersey; as such, at this time of year, we really start to miss friends and family back East. And while certainly a holiday card is a sweet gesture, this year, if we may put modesty aside for a moment, we had an idea that is really pure genius: the Tele-Graham Cracker. These sweet little treats in the mail give a shout-out to a lost art of communication and offer sweet (or not so sweet) greetings for the holiday season.
What do you need to make them? We made ours into little sandwiches, using Honey Maid Cinnamon Graham Crackers and cream cheese frosting; for the outside messages, we used gel frosting (and we're gonna be honest here, we bought the little gel writers). 
How do you make them? Oh please, it's easy. Split a graham cracker in half; frost one side and adhere the top layer to form a little sandwich. Using your gel writer, write in the message of your choice.
May we make suggestions? We tried to personalize them for various friends in various places and states; for a friend who has promised to pay a visit but hasn't in four years, a "Visit Soon" Tele-Graham was in order;
Visit soon!Feel better

 

 

for Rakka, who has been experiencing some aches and pains, a slightly mangled "Feel Better" Tele-Graham complete with injured Teddy Graham seemed appropriate;

Suck it Tele-Graham Cracker
for the friend who disappeared after we loaned him 50 bucks, we made an extra-special treat (kidding); 

Mr. Cakespy loves pugsURAQT
For Mr. Cakespy, our own live-in Chia Pet, "URAQT" seemed to fit the bill;

Tele-Graham Crackers
and as general greetings for family and friends go, you can't miss with "Miss You" or "Love You" . 

Tele-Graham CrackersTele-Graham Crackers
How to Pack them Up? We packed ours up using waxed paper, with an outer layer of tissue paper to buffer the edges and protect the little Tele-Grahams. We then packed them in perfectly-sized kraft jewelry boxes purchased from U-Line, taped the edges and simply addressed and sent. Will they arrive OK? Only time will tell, but certainly the sweet sentiment will be appreciated. 

Cuppie has a moment

 

Tuesday
Nov182008

Ask a Gumshoe: Where Can I Find a Cookie of the Month Club?

Cookie Bakers
We get a lot of mail with baked good related questions--and we'll admit it, sometimes we're stumped! But we always try to do our homework--and so here is a new feature in which we will strive to answer these important questions so that others can benefit from our sweet findings too!

This week, we received a message from a Cakespy reader, wondering if there is such a thing as a cookie-of-the-week club. Though we don't know of any cookie of the week clubs, upon searching we did realize that there is a very active culture of cookie of the month clubs out there--the hardest part may be choosing your favorite. Now, we can't say we endorse any of these companies as we've never joined their clubs, but having looked at quite a few, these were the ones that seemed most appetizing, interesting, and user-friendly to us:


Cookie of the Month, Chip N Dough
Who: Chip N Dough
What to expect: 12 jumbo cookies a month; on the first month, your recipient will receive a cookie jar which they can replenish each month with the new batch.
The goods: You can either have them choose an assortment or choose your own flavors; the cookies are fairly traditional, including classics like chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal chocolate chip, and a decadent soft chocolate cookie-brownie hybrid which they call the "Brookie".
The investment: There are a variety of plans. Prices range from $67.95 for a prepaid three month plan to $269.95 for the whole year long. Monthly plans are available too, for $24.95 a month.
Shipping: Not included.
Where to find them: chipndough.com.

Cookies by "My Kids' Cookies"

Who: My Kids' Cookies
What to expect: 12 jumbo cookies each month; customizable packaging options available, and you have freedom to choose the day of the month you'd like to have them shipped to the recipient.
The goods: The monthly selections are set (flavors include classics like Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin, Milk Chocolate Walnut, and gourmet variations like Oatmeal Cranberry and White Chocolate Macadamia); however, it's possible to specify whether you'd like your selections with or without nuts.
The investment: $315 for the year
Shipping: Included in the cost.
Where to find them: mykidscookies.com.

Solomon's Cookies Carmelitas
Who: Solomon's Gourmet Cookies
What to expect: A set selection of gourmet cookies delivered monthly.
The Goods: They have a set selection, with a limited number of substitutions possible:
  • January - Jelly Cookie
  • February - Chocolate Mint Brownie
  • March - Coconut Bar
  • April - Raspberry Brownie
  • May - Caramelita
  • June - Chocolate Chip Brownie
  • July - Muriel Roth Bar
  • August - Turtle Bar
  • September - Chocolate Filler
  • October - Caramel Brownie
  • November - Banana Bar
  • December - No Nut Assortment
The Investment: A varying scale of plans are available in 3, 6, or 12 month intervals. You can choose either a 12, 18 or 30-count monthly shipment for any of these durations, depending on your budget. on the low end, a three-month plan of a 12-count box of cookies is $50.95 for the entire three months; for big spenders, a 30-count assortment sent every month for 12 months would run $448.95.
Shipping: Not included. They estimate that shipping adds $6.50-$8.50 per shipment.
Where to find them: solomonscookies.com.

 

Allisons GourmetAllisons GourmetAllisons Gourmet
Who: Allisons Gourmet

What to expect: One dozen of the generously sized "flavor of the month" cookie delivered early each month.
The goods: The flavor selections are set but correspond nicely to the seasons; all ingredients are all-natural and organic. Gotta love that.
  • January: Oatmeal Raisin
  • February: Double Chocolate Chunk
  • March: Butterscotch Pecan
  • April: Peanut butter chocolate chip
  • May: Vanilla Almond
  • June: Coconut key lime
  • July: Peanut butter
  • August: Chocolate Hazelnut
  • September: Oatmeal chocolate chunk
  • October: Pumpkin spice
  • November: Cranberry Orange
  • December: Gingerbread Spice
The investment: Two options are available--prepaid or monthly (with a three month minimum). The cost is $35.36 per month.
Shipping: It looks from the site as if some of the shipping is included in the cost, but it may be subject to increase depending where the cookies are being sent.
Where to find them: allisonsgourmet.com.

 

Gotta have Cookies
Who: Gotta Have Cookies

What to expect: A batch of cookies delivered each month to your recipient; a personalized gift message accompanies the first shipment.
The goods: The selections are set:
  • January: Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares
  • February: Heart Cut-Out Cookies
  • March: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • April:  Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • May: Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • June: Macadamia and Milk Chocolate Chunk
  • July: Snickerdoodles
  • August: Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip
  • September: M & M Cookies
  • October: Monster Cookies ( Peanut butter, M & M’s, chocolate chips and oatmeal)
  • November: Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip
  • December: Assorted Christmas Cookies: Spritz, Peanut Butter Blossom and the “baker’s choice”.
The investment: The club is set up in 3-month ($89.75), 6-month ($170.05) or 12-month ($321.20) installments. 
Shipping: Not included
Where to find them: gottahavecookies.com.

Monica'sMonica's
Who: Monica's Best Gourmet Cookies
What to expect: One dozen fat (in this case, this is a compliment) cookies delivered each month on a a box "elegantly finished with ribbon".
The goods: The selections by month are set:
  • January - Peanut Butter
  • February - Mocha Chocolate Chip
  • March - The Trio
  • April - Iced Lemon
  • May - Iced Almond
  • June - Assorted
  • July - Iced Orange
  • August - Oatmeal Raisin
  • September - Chocolate Chip
  • October - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
  • November - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
  • December - Iced Peppermint
The investment: The club is set up in 3-month ($72), 6-month ($145), 9-month ($214) and 12-month ($279) increments.
Shipping: Shipping is included in all aforementioned fees.
Where to find them: monicasbest.com.

Carolina Cookie Co
Who: Carolina Cookie
What to expect: Depending on your investment, either one or two dozen dense cookies per month which are strangely, almost shaped like southern biscuits. 
The goods: The selections by month are set:
  • January: Chunky Chocolate
  • February: Triple Chocolate Pecan
  • March: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
  • April: Sugar
  • May: Butter Pecan
  • June: Oatmeal Raisin
  • July: Chunky Reeses Peanut Butter
  • August: Oatmeal Cranberry Nut
  • September: Chunky Chocolate Pecan
  • October: Chunky Milk Chocolate
  • November: Milk Chocolate Macadamia Nut
  • December: Gingerbread
The investment: The club is set up in 3-month ($53.95 /dz; $75.30/ 2 dz.), 6-month ($106 / dz; $153.70 / 2 dz); 12-month ($201.93 / dz; $293.64 / 2 dz) increments.
Shipping: Price includes standard shipping.
Where to find them: carolinacookie.com.

SnickerDoodles by PlatineChocolateChip Cookies by Platine
Who: Platine Cookies
What to expect: 18 original artisan recipe cookies (and bars) the first week of every month.
The goods: The monthly selections are set:
  • January Platine Signature Cookie
  • February Our Best Brownies
  • March Chocolate Chunk
  • April Snickerdoodles
  • May Chocolate Galore
  • June Milk Chocolate Nut
  • July Oatmeal Raisin
  • August Blondies
  • September Traditional Rugelach
  • October Halloween Candy Craze
  • November Chocolate Gingersnaps
  • December Cranberry Chocolate Chunk
The investment: The club is set up in 3-month ($85), 6-month ($150) and 9-month ($220) increments.
Shipping: Shipping is not included.
Where to find them: platinecookies.com.

Tribeca Treats
Who: Tribeca Treats
What to expect: 1-2 dozen cookies per month (depending on the month's selection).
The goods: The monthly selections are set: 
  • January: Stick to your resolutions (at least until February!) with our fat-free and gluten-free "Spa Cookies". The recipe comes from the famed Golden Door Spa in Southern California.
  • February: Treat yourself or your valentine to heart-shaped raspberry linzer cookies
  • March: Traditional New York black & white cookies, only bite-sized
  • April: Our ever-popular caramel sandwich cookies, in both chocolate and vanilla versions
  • May: For Mother's Day, our fudgy brownies (even better than mom used to make!)
  • June: Peanut butter thumbprint cookies filled with milk chocolate ganache
  • July: Refreshing lime shortbread cookies, with a lime glaze
  • August: Cinnamon buttermilk cookies (if French Toast were a cookie, this is what it would taste like!)
  • September: Rekindle your summer campfire memories with our S'mores cookies
  • October: BOO! our Halloween sugar cookies are a hit with kids and adults
  • November: Chocolate hazelnut cookies are a perfect treat by a toasty fire
  • December: Adorable gingerbread men, just in time for Holiday season
The investment: The club is set up in 6-month ($210) or 12-month ($360) increments.
Shipping: Shipping is included in the cost.
Where to find them: tribecatreats.com.
Carol's Cookies
Who: Carol's Cookies
What to expect: A monthly shipment of 1 dozen enormous cookies with a gift message.
The goods: The monthly selections are set: 
  • January: The No-nutter...a dozen of all of our handmade cookies without the nuts
  • February: Sweets for my Sweet - a dozen of Cinnamon Swirl and Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
  • March: Awww, Nuts! - a dozen of our assorted cookies with nuts
  • April: Specialty Chocolate Month - a dozen of our cookies with rich dark, milk and white chocolate
  • May: The Kitchen Sink - whatever we have in stock is what you get
  • June: Cookie Jar with half of a dozen of our gourmet assortment
  • July: Best Sellers - whatever our best sellers are, you'll be getting our top three
  • August: Fruit of the Month - a dozen of our Oatmeal Raisin and Oatmeal Chocolate Cherry Cookies
  • September: Minis - a Small Gift Tin packed full with Carol's Minis
  • October: Choco-holics - anything and everything chocolate this month!
  • November: Tandem Coffee Cups - two of our Carol's Coffee Cups so you have something to dip your cookies into
  • December: Gourmet Assortment - our standard measure for perfection, a dozen of our handmade, assorted cookies
 
The investment: The club is set up in 6-month ($205) or 12-month ($400) increments.
Where to find them: carolscookies.com.

Do you have an opinion on the best cookie of the month club? Leave a comment or send us an email!

 

Sunday
Aug032008

Berger, Hold the Fries: Baltimore's Famous Cookies and More

Berger Cookies
You know that scene in the Wizard of Oz, after the house lands, when Dorothy opens the door and suddenly her world is in technicolor?

Well, that's sort of how it was for us when we recently tried the Berger Cookie for the first time. Call us starry-eyed dreamers if you will, but it felt as if something changed in our lives when a parcel of the precious cookies arrived (a gift from our friend Mitch in Baltimore) at the Cakespy Headquarter doors.

(Cakespy Note: Since the cookies were shipped to us, the cookies shown in our photos may differ in appearance from cookies purchased in Baltimore! They were no less delicious though.)
Berger CookiesBerger Cookies
For those who may not be familiar with these treats, the Berger Cookie is possibly Baltimore's crowning culinary achievement: a buttery, cakey cookie with a soft, sweet, fudgy chocolate topping. The recipe was brought to America in 1835 by German immigrants George and Henry Berger; since then the bakery's ownership has changed a few times and they are now produced on a large scale--but unlike many prepackaged the cookies, they are all still made and frosted by hand, and it shows: like snowflakes, no two are alike. We think that DCist put it beautifully: 

...the extra-thick layer of fudge, which is nearly a half an inch at its thickest point (yes, we measured), is applied in an absurdly generous schmear that can barely be contained by the limited surface area of the cookie. As a result, the fudge tends to droop over the cookie in odd formations with distinctive wave patterns--like chocolaty stalagtites. What's more, the actual amount of fudge can vary dramatically from cookie to cookie.
Of course, as the article goes on to say, "This, of course, leads to dilemmas when sharing your Berger Cookies with others". Because if you're like us, when you bite into that "absurdly generous schmear", there's no turning back, and certainly no offering bites to others. The beauty is not only in taste (which one Serious Eats reader described as "almost nauseating--in a good way") but in texture--whereas on other cookies the chocolate topping may be hard and break off unevenly, the soft fudge on the Berger cookie doesn't crack when bitten, and therefore allows the perfect ratio of chocolate to cookie with every bite.
Berger Cookies, we love you. 
Buy Berger Cookies online at bergercookies.com, or check out the list of retailers in the above-mentioned DCist article. Also--what a find!--though the official Berger recipe is apparently quite closely guarded, you can find one baker's version here.

Cowgirl Cookie from Liz LovelyGinger Cookie from Liz Lovely
Of course, we realize that one cannot live on Berger Cookies alone (arguable). That's why we're glad to have experienced some other mail-order cookies recently too! We first learned about the vegan Liz Lovely cookies through our friend Imani, who has a website called Chocolate Nerd, and knew we had to try some. Not only do these cookies have heart (they're organic, they're cruelty free, they're free trade, and packaged with green materials), but they happen to be addictively soft and insanely delicious as well. We are particularly in love with the Cowgirl Cookie, whose description promised "A chocolate chip cookie so soft, sweet, and slightly baked you'll wonder why we didn't just leave it in the mixing bowl for you!"--and oh, does it deliver. A close second was the Ginger Snapdragon, a spicy confection of molasses, ginger, and delicious (it's also their bestseller). The package says a serving is half a cookie, but we defy you to let the second half sit til later. Available online at lizlovely.com.


Berger Cookies on Urbanspoon

 

Tuesday
Feb192008

Happy Cakes: Cakespy Offers Sweet Prozac Alternatives for Dull Winter Days

The chocolate boxes are empty; the red roses are wilting. Without a doubt, post-Valentine's Day can be a bummer time of year, with not much other than the chance green-dyed pastry and Irish Soda bread between now and Easter Candy. Happily for you, Cakespy has put together a list of some confectionery Prozac alternatives: happy desserts, perfect for the dark winter days still ahead.


Topping off the list is the Basque Cake (or, if you're feeling authentic and/or fancy, the Gâteau Basque). Really, the Basque cake is probably the embodiment of sunshine in a cake; not a bread, not a pie, not a cake, but some delightful amalgamation of all three, with all sorts of variations depending on where your recipe comes from geographically. As its name would imply, it hails from the Basque region, a magical area that straddles the border between Southern France and Spain, and is traditionally served in June when cherries are plentiful (there's even a cherry festival each June in the town of Itxassou). Just a taste of this cake, with a fruit complement, is like tasting the sun itself, transporting your tastebuds to a warmer climate, surrounded by trees bowed with the weight of their own fruit. Basque in the sun, indeed. Recipe listed below.

Still not happy? What can we say: when life's a drag, get dragées! San Francisco-based Miette Patisserie has just revamped their site and added an online store, so these Frenchie treats can be delivered right to your home. While dragées may also refer to the crunchy-silver ball bearing-esque cake toppings that have been banned in California, the type we're referring to here are what may also be known as Jordan Almonds; entire almonds coated with a sugary shell and finished in lovely pastel colors which the French have been serving up since the 13th century. The contrast of the tender almond with the crunchy, ever-so-slightly vanilla-y sugar coating never fails to bring a smile to our faces; you too can have this joy for just $5 plus shipping by visiting miettecakes.com.

 

Frown not upside down yet? While personally we've begun to suspect that you might be soulless, nonetheless we've got one more fail-safe happy idea, provided by Cake Gumshoe Karen (who also works at a very cool company, Mailbox Tees): an over-the-top Rainbow Layer Cake! While some may say (shun the non-believers) that simply adding food coloring doesn't change a cake's taste and character, we suggest that you hold off on making judgements til you taste this rainbow; we think you'll find that yes, magic does add a little something to the mix. Recipe listed here.


Gâteau Basque (Basque Cake)

Servings: 8
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 oz (12 Tbs) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup black cherry jam
  • 1/2 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs flour to prepare the mold
  • 1 yolk for decorating the cake
Directions:

 

Pre-heat the oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Using 1/2 Tb, butter a round 7" pan. Coat the pan with flour.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar and baking powder together and then add eggs and soft butter.
Split the dough into 2 parts, roll one out and place it in the pan, rising up the side of the pan by 1/2”.
Pour the jam on top of the dough.
Roll the second part of the dough on the table (after sprinkling some flour on the table) to form a round crust the same size as the pan.
Put it on top of the jam and stick the edges with the bottom dough. It is important to keep the jam inside the crust.
Mix an egg yolk with a few drops of water. Paint it on top of the crust.
Place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Recipe thanks to France Monthly.

Want to learn more about all things Basque? Check out The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation by Mark Kurlansky. Planning a visit to la belle France? We suggest trying to fit in a visit to the Gâteau Basque Museum (it exists!); find out more at legateaubasque.com

 

 


 

Thursday
Jan172008

Holy Cowvin: A Good Cookie (Which Happens to be Vegan)

Photo credit goes to Greg Schaler Photography; thank you to Sticky Fingers Bakery for permission to use the image!

The subject of vegan pastries really brings out some passionate feelings. There are those (usually non-vegans) who swear that they don’t taste as good as dairy desserts; there are those (usually vegans) who insist that they taste a whole lot better. As for the Cakespy crew? While few of us eat a strictly vegan diet, perhaps our vegan vs. non-vegan cupcake tasting best sums up our feelings: while they can sometimes taste different than their dairy counterparts, vegan pastries are often good--really good--once you get past certain preconceived notions.

However, sometimes a baked good comes along that is just so good that it defies labels: vegan, non-vegan, who cares—it’s just good.

And the Cowvin Cookie from the Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington DC, is definitely one of these exceptional baked goods: a cookie bar comprised of a rich oatmeal cookie crust cradling a generous dollop of rich, creamy, delicious, dairy-be-damned frosting in the middle. In fact, it was an experience so pleasurable that East Coast Cake Gumshoe Jenny described it as so good that she saved the second half til later so that she could continue to savor the experience all day (got to love that restraint!).

 

And certainly, the Cowvin can be loved for its story as well as its taste: the name is inspired by a real-life veal calf by the same name who was rescued from becoming a special of the day by do-gooders in the DC metro area. The little guy was placed in the Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland, where he lived out his days in bucolic bliss. Cowvin loved oats, so it seemed appropriate to name an oatmeal cookie-cream bar in his honor--especially since it is dairy-free!

Now that’s what we’d call a sweet treat—one you’ll enjoy whether you’re vegan or not!

Want to make ‘em? Well, you’re on your own there—the recipe’s top secret! However, the kind folks at Sticky Fingers wouldn't leave you hanging; they'll ship them nationwide for $18.50 per half dozen (so worth it) plus shipping and handling; order them (and other pastries too!) by phone: (202) 299-9700, or order online at stickyfingersbakery.com .

Or, if you're in the DC area, just go visit! They're located at 1370 Park Rd. NW, one block north of the Columbia Heights metro stop.


Sticky Fingers Bakery in Washington

 

 

 

Thursday
Dec132007

Memoirs of a Forbidden Cookie

Forbidden Cookie
It was a dull Monday, this past one. Until they arrived. None of us even saw them coming, until there they were, in an unassuming priority mail box from somewhere in Texas.

We opened the box, and there they were: the cookies of our dreams.

We were first drawn to these cookies via the seller's Etsy store, where the photo kind of made them look like a cross between a slab of cookie dough and a scoop of ice cream. Intriguing. A bag cost $12.99 for 8 cookies, and came to about $20 after shipping charges. Were they really worth it?

Resoundingly, yes. These cookies were somewhere between cookie dough and cookie, a wonderfully moist and dense cookie that had a wonderful "toothfeel": not so sweet as to make your teeth hurt, and with a gorgeously yielding texture. The cherry and chocolate chips were subtle but identifiable, and one of our spies actually closed their eyes while eating; they were that good.

The one downfall? When we emailed to inquire about featuring a photo from their Etsy site, we were told that they did not like to have their photos put up on blogs. Fair enough, we reasoned--so we took our own photo. But we wouldn't be so brash as to tell you that all you'd need to do to buy these cookies is go to a web site that has letters contained in the phrase Full Jasper but with no space, followed by etsy.com.

Because that would be giving away the forbidden secret.

Black Forest cherry cookies are available somewhere on the internet.

© Cakespy, all rights reserved. Powered by Squarespace.