Monday, July 25, 2011

A wee sweet spot in Hell's Kitchen

It’s true. I’ve been a little obsessed with Ben & Jerry’s this summer. I’ve never even been a huge ice cream person but for some reason, I can’t get enough. So far, I’ve sampled:

Mission to Marzipan
Karamel Sutra
Oatmeal Cookie Chunk
Peach Cobbler
Maple Blondie
And, as of this past weekend, Cinnamon Buns.

So consumed I am by Ben & Jerry’s that when I buy a pint, I eat the whole thing. I literally can’t stop. It’s bad, very bad. Because it’s so damn good.

And now there’s a new threat in my world. It’s a sweet little shop in the middle of nowhere—i.e. right around the corner from my office. It’s called je & jo.

Similar to Ben & Jerry’s, je & jo was started by two ice cream fanatics who have excellent principles and even better taste. And a love for cookie dough in their ice cream.

Everything at je & jo is made by hand in their little Hell’s Kitchen spot and then peddled around town on tricycles. They use fresh ingredients, as locally sourced as possible. They even use wind power for their kitchen and package the ice cream in compostable sugarcane fiber cups.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about the ice cream. je & jo do not disappoint.

As with Ben & Jerry’s, I am quite sure I will make my way through their roster of flavors: Coffee ice cream with spicy chocolate cookie dough… cardamom ice cream with snickerdoodle cookie dough… lemon ice cream with ginger molasses cookie dough…. Peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter cookie dough…

But I had to start somewhere. So I started with cinnamon ice cream with oatmeal raisin cookie dough.

The top was creamy and melty.

The first bites, spicy and sweet…

And then, woah, what’s this?

It’s the cookie dough. Buried like treasure.

Good to the last lick.

As this new obsession inevitably continues to run its course this summer, I'll keep you posted on the other flavors...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The heavenly pretzel croissant

What is wrong with me? Ten years in this city without so much as a bite of City Bakery’s pretzel croissant? I obviously didn’t know what I was missing.

Last week, I met my agent at City Bakery for lunch. Which posed the dilemma: do we actually eat lunch, or go straight for the sweets?

Luckily my agent gets it. We had salad bar for appearance’s sake but indulged in two sweets. The peanut butter cookies, which I knew I loved. And a pretzel croissant, which opened a whole new world to me.

It’s salty and buttery and doughy and chewy. It’s crisp and delicious and I think I have a new addiction.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Peanut butter cookie sighting at City Bakery!

For some reason, peanut butter cookies aren’t always on the menu at City Bakery.

But for years, they’ve been one of my favorite sweets in the city.

Even though there are all kinds of other delicious specimens…

…a rich, moist, savory peanut butter cookie can’t be beat.

And they're back.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

“Bite me, vegans”

I didn’t say it. It was the headline for an ad for Life Thyme Market in the West Village.

In fact, I’m all for vegan baked goods lately. Between Cowgirl Bakery, Babycakes, Tu-Lu’s and now Life Thyme, I could easily do biscuits and baked goods without eggs and butter (wellll… maybe).

It’s tempting though. Just look at these chocolate chip blondies.

And cakes and cupcakes.

And cookies: peanut butter, oatmeal, ginger lemon and Life Thyme’s signature Tollbooth cookies.

Ever a sucker for the chocolate-raspberry combo, I took home a raspberry Tollbooth cookie. I was not disappointed.

Chewy. Sweet. And full of chocolaty and berry bits.

Bite me, indeed.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

One lump, or two?

It’s a funny thing, this relationship between the French and Japanese. Their cultures and aesthetics are quite different, but there’s a mutual admiration. There’s an equal love for all things refined and fancy. A higher degree of precision and a shared devotion to details. Pierre Hermé and Jean-Paul Hévin launched their careers in Tokyo. Sadaharu Aoki rocks the éclair and croissant in Paris. Franco-Japanese mélanges totally work.

So it makes perfect sense that there is a Japanese company with a French name that’s soon to be found in New York: Chambre de Sucre.

They’ve taken the humble little sugar cube and turned it into a work of art.

Did you know the French invented the sugar cube? C’est vrai.

And Chambre de Sucre has created little bits of artistry…

… made to charm…

… before they magically disappear in a fine cup of tea.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Dolci, dolci at Bottega Falai

I love Bottega Falai’s chic Italian design, including its wall of fresh breads.

I was in awe of its cakes, which reminded me a bit of Paris.

Especially this otherworldly crepe cake. It’s like a cloud straight from heaven, no?

But what really got me were the pastries. No, not the bombolini, though they looked pretty divine.

But the beautiful array of croissants.