Desserts »Sweetheart Conversation Hearts

From Sweetheart

Is it just me, or do Conversation Hearts taste better? Once uniformly mute and chalky, now they have distinct and punchy flavors. I am happy with the change even though I was fine with them before too.

The wording, though seems stranger than I remember:

“Reach for It”? “1 on 1”? “Race Me”?

What happened to I Love You and Hug Me?

Oh, and forget all my praise if you have a total reasonable aversion to artificial flavoring.

Happy Valentines Evening!

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Posted on February 14, 2012

Desserts »Molly’s Cupcakes

228 Bleecker St

If you know me, you know I love birthday cake. And as it’s my birthday week, Jim brought home a birthday cake cupcake from Molly’s Cupcakes.

I know the city’s over run with cupcakes, but Molly’s French buttercream – that balances sugary and buttery to perfection and amazingly moist cake is note worthy.

It’s a welcome change to the oft copied Magnolia staple of overly sugary frosting or any cupcake you shell out four bucks for only to find a stale cake under the frosting.

I dare say, this Cake Batter cupcake could be the best cupcake in Manhattan. It takes what is so good about boxed cakes – the moistness, the familiar buttery taste but elevates it with the freshness that only comes with goodies made from scratch.

Jim had a pumpkin spice that was equally moist and yummy, just not as suited to my taste.

Interestingly, Molly is not the chef, but the chef’s beloved third grade teacher. A portion of all their profits go to local schools and if it means anything to you, they won a Cupcake War too.

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Posted on February 9, 2012

Desserts,Recipes »Fluffy White Frosting

20120205-111621.jpgfrom Allrecipes

A combination of seeing a Good Eats about frosting and cake and it being my birthday soon had me pining for birthday cake.

And what I really wanted was this marshmallowy fluffy frosting in a box I remembered from my childhood. “But wait,” I thought, I’m an adult. Instead of moping over my craving I can just make it!

I opted for a box of white vanilla cake that I had in the cabinet (I love box cake and white is so much better than yellow) and found this simple recipe for Fluffy White Frosting.

I was in a self-made heaven. And like an adult I only made half a batch (no one decent can have a dozen cupcakes in their home without a party planned.) This is great frosting and my new go-to anytime frosting is needed. And I didn’t even need a box.

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Posted on February 5, 2012

Desserts »Edy’s Fruit Bars

Various Flavors

Excuse my absence, Van and I have been in a pit of stomach flu sadness. One of the only things I’ve been able to eat? Edy’s Fruit Bars.

But whaat?? No usage of the words “organic” or “hand crafted”? Yes, Edy’s fruit bars aren’t going to win any yuppie awards for their garish presentation; next to all the fancy stuff out there (that I totally lap up, btw) this box looks like a throw back, a sweet snack you’d have to resort to at your dieting aunt’s house in a moment of desperation.

Except these are surprisingly good! Refreshing, buy not too sweet, they taste like real fruit. And great for sick tummies!

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Posted on January 28, 2012

Desserts »Best of 2011 – Dessert

Get ready to make your sweet tooth sing! Donuts, truffles, ice cream, macaroons, and pumpkin bread, hooray!

1. Payne’s Donuts

2. Pumpkin Bread at Eataly

3. Little Oven

4. Crema

5. Peat Scotch Truffles

6. Steve’s Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream

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Posted on December 30, 2011

Desserts »Madecasse Sea Salt and Nibs Bar

Made in Madagascar

In a world over run with sea salt chocolate. This one rules.

Available at the Bedford Cheese Shop and other schmancy places like that, these would make ideal stocking stuffers.

Plus, Madecasse is a company with a conscience.

Born out of peace corp experience, they make the chocolate in Africa where the ingredients come from allowing the local area to benefit from their natural resources.

Read more on their site.

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Posted on December 20, 2011

Desserts »Charlotte Patisserie

20111104-113149.jpg596 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn

While Greenpoint certainly isn’t lacking for polish desserts, the recently opened Charlotte Patisserie gives us a taste of French pastries.

We sampled an chocolate covered tiramisu, a tiny cupcake, and and honey and cream puff. The tiramisu was the winner, creamy, decadent and just the right size for having your dessert without gluttony.

The place is friendly with a cute hipster staff and a baker who is very proud of his goods. A nice addition to the neighborhood (certainly beats the Allstate office).

Cash only for now. No word yet on how the coffee is but I’ll try it soon.

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Posted on November 7, 2011

Desserts »Bisous Ciao

 20111012-095945.jpg101 Stanton St

French macaroons are having their day in the sun. With all the new spots specializing in them, one might even say the kind of obnoxious phrase “they’re the new cupcakes”.

After sampling Little Oven I stumbled across Bisous Ciao in the lower east side, a formal affair with gallery lighting, black gift boxes and gloved cookie servers who were surely slash models.

It seemed set up to really appeal to the Soho visitor, but I was compelled by the promise of exotic macaroon flavors, most notably Violet, a candy flavor I adore (but is certainly an acquired taste).

In my recent Little Oven review I said it’s what’s inside that counts and Bisous Ciao boasts creamy yumminess.

But I have to say, they fall a little short on the cookie that was too soft and lacked that macaroon flaky crunch.


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Posted on October 12, 2011

Desserts »Pumpkin Bread at Eataly

20111012-122722.jpgat Eataly

I’ll be honest, when Mike brought this seed crusted loaf to dinner last night, I didn’t have the highest hopes. It looked like it might taste too healthy.

But like most things from Eataly it impressed. In fact, it is possibly one of the best pumpkin breads I’ve ever had.

I’m itching to get more since it’s perfect for these brisk autumn afternoons and would be so comforting with cider or spiced tea.


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Posted on October 12, 2011

Desserts »Little Oven

12-07 Jackson Avenue, Queens

Oh, the macaroons at Little Oven are good. Really good. So good I almost forgot about that time I trekked up there with a 20 lb baby on me only to find it closed during their listed hours.

The flavors are creative – the Earl Grey and seasonal Spiced Pear were especially notable. The cookie is great but it’s the inside that counts and there’s is rich and wonderful.

Their pastries and cakes look equally yummy.

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Posted on October 7, 2011

Desserts »Honeycomb Chocolate

20110920-112844.jpgfrom Liddabit Sweets

A sign for homemade candy bars drew Jim and I back into Smorgasburg just as we were about to leave only slightly on the side of gluttony.

How could we resist crunchy spongey honeycomb dipped in dark chocolate?

I’ve seen Liddabit candies at various shops around town but this was the first I’ve tried.

A spectacular first impression. I only wish more came in a bag.


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Posted on September 21, 2011

Desserts »Julia’s Best Banana Bread on the Planet

Kahekili Highway, Wailuku, HI

How, you may wonder, did I end up eating a slice of Julia’s Best Banana Bread from a green beach side shack in Hawaii?

No, there was no last minute flight to Maui to escape Irene but we are lucky enough to have a very generous neighbor with an exciting travel life.

Julia boasts her bread is the best on the planet. It’s a bold statement but I’m not sure that I can disagree.

The loaf is moist as can be and when coupled with a small glass of whole milk (which I probably haven’t had since I was a teenager), wow! Real late night (and again in the early morning) decadence.

Thanks Brad!!

(right photo found here)

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Posted on August 31, 2011

Desserts,Drinks,Restaurants »Crema

3403 Lyndale Avenue South Minneapolis MN

Two of the most lasting memories to my taste buds from a recent Minneapolis visit come from the cute, comfy cafe, Crema.

The namesake beverage, crema, was stunningly delicious both in hot and cold form – think of the creamiest coffee ever and add a perfect sweetness.

And if that’s not enough endulgence, you simply can’t leave this place without a scoop of Sonny’s small batch homemade ice creams (yes, even if it means you’ll be having ice cream after brunch).

I went for it and sampled their wildest flavor – pesto – and found it remarkably refreshing and nice in that the herbal taste balanced out the sweet. So yummy I got a big scoop of it.

The backyard is romantic, the staff ultra friendly, and oh yeah, the food here is tasty too.

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Posted on August 26, 2011

Desserts »Payne’s Donuts and Aldo’s Bakery

on Block Island

Our recent visit to Block Island was a blast (more info coming soon). I expected a great time with the family, the ocean, and seafood but was surprised to come home raving about donuts and pies.

Aldo’s Bakery supplies the pies – we had an excellent blueberry one with a buttery crust that was heaven a la mode with their homemade ice cream.

The true gem though, are the fresh “killer” donuts from Payne’s in the New Harbor. Now, I have had many a great donut in my time, but these warm, sugar dusted treats rank among the top five at least.

I had three(!) in one sitting, truly living it up when on vacation.

These are so addictive that they could make anyone fat within a few months, so it’s a mixed blessing that they aren’t available closer to home.

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Posted on July 13, 2011

Desserts »Baskin Robbins Icecream Cake

643 Manhattan Ave,and a Million Other Locations

Father’s Day afternoon: Van is sacked out in my arms, so (best daddy ever) Jim has to go down to the land of I-forgot-to-get-a-cake, the Baskin Robbins attanched to the Dunkin Donuts for his own Father’s Day Cake.

As someone familiar with Carvel and Hersheys cakes in the past, I expected that strange sugary plastic icing and ultra sweetness. To my surprise, Baskin does things a little classier. The icing is more like whipped cream and doesn’t even coat your mouth with oddness.

It does, of course, still end up looking like some crazy clown nightmare by the time you’re nearly done though (see photo), as all ice cream cakes should.

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Posted on June 19, 2011

Desserts »Robicelli’s Cupcakes

Cupcakes in Cool Flavors

Robicelli’s adorable cupcakes in are popping up all over our neighborhood. We’ve found them at Radish and Eastern District and can never say no to their interesting daily flavors.

This pictured McFadden (Victorian lemonade cake and buttercream made with a splash of Pimm’s, hand candied lemon peel) was perfect for these warmer days.

The buttercream lemon frosting was truly amazing, so light and fluffy and buttery!

Their tumblr has the flavors of the day and the many places you can pick one up.

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Posted on June 13, 2011

Desserts »Eton Mess

A Classic British Dessert, Guest Written by Dana

Eton Mess is a very simple English dessert made with strawberries, meringue and whipped cream which is served on the last Wednesday in may at Eton college at the “Fourth of June” picnic/cricket match with Winchester University.

This recipe is what I fed my 3 year old daughter but you can also add port or balsamic vinegar or pomegranate juice. Some people add sugar, Heston Blumenthal makes his with bananas.

The story behind the recipe is that a dog crashed into (or sat on) a picnic basket on the way to the picnic and it made a “mess”. My neighbor says its because of the way the dish looks. A third option in Wikipedia describes it as “a quantity of food”, particularly “a prepared dish of soft food” or “a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together”.

Once you make the delicate meringues (which is not a good project with toddlers) the dish is really easy to assemble even with a toddler. I whipped my own cream, my daughter crumbled the meringues, big pieces are better (dyed in pastel colors and decorated with dinosaur sprinkles) and those were mixed. and strawberries plopped on top.

Forgot to take pics of ours, the photo is from My Best Days Ever.

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Posted on June 8, 2011