Writing about pie got me thinking about desserts generally. Here a few of my favorite bakeries, shops, cookbooks, and desserts:
Flour Bakery, Cambridge, MA and Boston, MA. All locations are great, but you’ve got to time your visit right. Otherwise, you’ll be fending off yuppie parents who use their strollers as weapons and think baby spit-up is adorable. I love babies, but spit-up just isn’t cute. But, back to the bakery – Flour is terrific and I’ve never been disappointed. I always order the roast beef sandwich (hold the onions and horseradish), an iced latte, and a treat, usually a scone.
Madeleines at Café Boulud, New York, NY. At the end of your dinner, warm, buttery madeleines arrive, snugly wrapped up in a white linen napkin. Just unreal.
Truffles from La Maison du Chocolat, New York, NY. I like buying a tiny coffret of two truffles or stopping in for a hot chocolate at the Rockefeller Plaza location. We’ve been known to detour for hot chocolate en route to LaGuardia. We’re highly committed chocolate lovers.
Maida Heatter’s Book of Great American Desserts. Sometimes, I read the directions and I think “Good lord, that’s complicated” or “She’s asking me to do what?” Just do it. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the undisputed queen of desserts. I’ve made and shipped her chocolate cheesecake brownies to lucky recipients all over the country. But, to fess up, I do make some modifications. After all, every baker’s got to have some secrets….
Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies. A recent gift. I’m impressed by her thoughtfulness and the number of variations she gives for each cookie. These recipes definitely went through some serious testing. When I decide to get down to business and work on macarons, her recipe will be the first I’ll try.
Katharine Hepburn’s Brownie Recipe. A friend recently asked for my brownie recipe: It’s all Hepburn’s genius. I’ve been making these brownies since I was seven and had a lemonade stand. The lemonade stand was very successful and I had to open a savings account.
Haagen-Dazs. Ice cream solves all problems. But only good ice cream. And I can always justify paying five bucks a pint if it’s this good. My favorite? Chocolate. I’m a purist.