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In Fashion – Our Favorite Layer Cakes

Posted on Feb 13, 2012 in Best Of, Dessert

With all the talk about cupcakes, pies and mini desserts of all sorts, we got to thinking about classics that have come back in style and we couldn’t help but notice how layered cake has made its way back into the spotlight recently. Just think of Parm’s newly famous layered ice cream cake or Billy’s Bakery’s criminally good ice box cake.  What we found were some pretty inspired and delicious takes on this old fashion cake, including Baked’s caramel apple layer cake.  Here’s a few of our favorite discoveries… Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery  Address: 126 Rivington St, btwn Essex & Norfolk Sts.  Phone: (212) 995-1960 Website:  This East Village bakery crafts a variety of terrific baked goods, but people often overlook the standout selection of layer cakes. They’re so serious about their layer cakes that they make them...

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New York's Finest Hot Chocolates

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 in Best Of, Dessert, Winter Eats

With the chilly winter moving in, it’s officially hot chocolate season again–and New York never disappoints.  Some local restaurants and shops are taking things to a whole new level this year with everything from hot giandiuja chocolate at Otto to salted caramel hot chocolate at Scratchbread or even rum-spiked cocoa at L.A. Burdick. From your standard classic cocoa to the more exotic renditions involving spices, liqueur, and homemade marshmallows or fluff, there are some notable hot spots to check out this year to warm up. Grom 233 Bleecker St., at Carmine St. (212)206-1738 Sure, they’re known for their gelatos, but that doesn’t mean they’re not serious about their hot chocolate.  Oh, they are.   Grom’s hot chocolate, made with no milk or water is one of our absolute favorites. A melted mixture of pure Bolivian and Venezuelan chocolate adds to the richness of...

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New York’s Best Thai Desserts

Posted on Jun 21, 2011 in Best Of, Dessert

We’re crazy for Thai food: The scent of fish sauce, coconut milk and peanuts mingling in a bowl of rice noodles.  It doesn’t get much better.  When you’re through with the heat of a spicy duck salad or chile-rich curry,  there’s nothing better than a cool, creamy dessert.  Apart from gelato and fruit pies, Thai sweets are some of our all-time favorites.  Fact. There’s the more commonplace mango-topped sticky rice or coconut custard over black rice. And then there’s the more exotic, like an egg yolk in syrup, preserved bananas, or coconut milk with tapioca-dusted water chestnuts.  You can find them not just at Thai restaurants, but grocery stores that carry Southeast Asian products. Pure Thai Shophouse 764 9th Ave. (between 51st and 52nd) (212)581-0999 Website: We love this little Hell’s Kitchen eatery for its spicy chicken with...

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Top Ten Peanut Butter Eats

Posted on Jan 23, 2011 in Best Of, Dessert

Happy National Peanut Butter Day! (Yes, really.) Today, January 24th, is a national holiday that ranks right up there with Christmas.   It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with peanut butter any way I can get it. Hell, I’ll eat it straight from the jar, preferably Skippy Super Chunk, but there’s so many more delicious and creative ways to get it.  There’s the peanut butter BLT sandwich at Peanut Butter & Co., the monster-size dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookies at LeVain Bakery, the peanut butter and grape jelly sundae at Oceana, and The Breslin’s fried peanut and banana sandwich to name just a few. Here’s my top ten… Peanut Butter & Co. – Peanut Butter BLT Address: 240 Sullivan St., btwn West 3rd & Bleecker Sts. Phone: (212)677-3995 This West Village spot makes their own peanut butter in lots...

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Best of Summer's Frozen Sweets

Posted on Jul 18, 2010 in Best Of, Dessert

We all love frozen sweets, but often warm weather desserts are better fit for a kid’s palate.  But this summer, there are a slew of New York City shops crafting grown-up versions of all our childhood favorites. There’s everything from gelato on a stick to slushies-on-wheels and frozen hot chocolate.  The city can get scorching hot, so we’re thrilled to find these delicious, frozen escapes. 

People’s Pops Address:75 Ninth Ave. (inside Chelsea Market) Phone: (850)322-6071 Most people think of popsicles as those overly sweet treats stacked away in the back of the freezer, but the founders of People’s Pops want to change that notion.  Their ice pops (pictured right) are all handmade from fresh, locally grown fruit and sold at their shop in Chelsea Market and The Brooklyn Flea.  We love their creative combination flavors, especially the blackberry...

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Off-the-the-Beaten Path Frozen Desserts

Posted on Jul 5, 2009 in Best Of, Dessert

Pesso’s Italian Ices20320 35th Ave., at 203rd St.Bayside, Queens(718) 224-9130You can spend a day trying to eat your way through Pesso’s extensive selection of ices, ice creams and gelatos, easily worth a day trip out to Queens.  If you’re dining in the neighborhood, it’s a great last stop.  On a recent visit I had the dulce de leche and the zabaione gelato, both of which were super dense and true to their names.  A lighter menu item is the “miscela,” an authentic Italian blend of ices and frozen yogurt. Timmy O’s49-07 104th St., at 49th Ave.Corona, Queens(516) 242-1843Timmty O practically lives at his warm, vibrant frozen custard shop where he spins his wonderfully fresh custards daily.  He’s more than happy to give you a sample of vanilla, chocolate, and the special of the day (blueberry, peanut butter, coconut, dulce de...

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New York City's Best Brownies

Posted on Oct 4, 2008 in Best Of, Dessert

As we eat our way through the city’s greatest sweets, we check on how brownies are stacking up these days.  As we learned, there’s more to life in the big city than just brownies… BEST BROWNIE – PERIOD Fat Witch BakeryChelsea Market75 9th Ave. (at 15th St.)1-888-41 WITCH Though they’re small, Fat Witch Babies (or mini brownies) pack a sweet punch, especially the blondie. Described as a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form, it’s a cube of chewy perfection  that doesn’t skimp on the chocolate ($1.40). The white chocolate Snow Witch, Red Witch (cherry), and Breakfast Witch (oatmeal, nuts and coffee) are other unusual takes on the classic brownie that come in larger sizes for $2.75 each. BEST BROWNIE INVENTION — THE BROWNIE ICE CREAM SANDWICH Bierkraft191 5th Ave. (btwn. Berkeley Place and Sackett St.)(718) Apparently, ice cold...

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New York’s Top Classic Desserts

Posted on Apr 13, 2008 in Best Of, Dessert

Balthazar 80 Spring St., at Crosby St. (212) 965-1785 This classic French bakery brims with exquisite breads, cakes, pastries and other treats. But the sleeper here is the splendidly moist bread pudding ($4.) Made with the bakery’s own cherry focaccia, this cake can be eaten like a fruit-filled muffin, but far creamier and denser with an unbeatable cinnamon essence. Fat Witch Bakery Chelsea Market 75 9th Ave. @ 15th St. New York, NY 10011 1-888-41 WITCH You’d be hard pressed to find a denser brownie in the city. These insanely  decadent squares are worth every calorie.  If you’re not a chocolate person, there’s also a stellar blondie.  Described as a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form, it’s a cube of chewy perfection ($1.40.)  The white chocolate Snow Witch, Red Witch (cherry), and Breakfast Witch (oatmeal, nuts and coffee)...

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New York’s Best Cookies

Posted on Apr 1, 2008 in Best Of, Dessert

Vosges Haut-Chocolat 1100 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10028 (212) 717-2929 Vosges is known for folding unusual flavors, like wasabi and bacon into its chocolates, and the same goes for its exotic cookies. Caramel, toffee, and chocolate chip adhere to the classics, but go for the most unique: the Naga cookie.  With an orange hue, the cookie is chock full of coconut, milk chocolate chips, pumpkin puree and sweet curry.  It’s the perfect mate for a warm cup of tea. Insomnia Cookies 50 W 8th Street New York, NY 10011 1-877-63 COOKIE This is a dangerous newcomer for anyone with late night sugar cravings (pictured right.)  For a mere ninety nine cents, you can pick from seven delicious varieties of cookies, delivered directly to your door – freshly baked, warm, and gooey until 3 AM.  We’re partial...

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Best of Dessert: Part One

Posted on Nov 29, 2007 in Best Of, Dessert

Otto Enoteca and Pizzeria 15th Avenue and 8th Street 212-995-9559 If you haven’t already noticed, olive oil gelato is currently seizing its moment in the restaurant limelight.  But Otto’s rendition is the real deal: Sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, its subtly sweet and mellow.  Likewise, the hazelnut stracciatella harkens Nutella, and the pistachio proves itself profoundly creamy. Levain Bakery 167 West 74th St, nr. Columbus Ave. (212)874-6080 A permanent fixture on our “Favorite Desserts List”, we’re humbled in the over-sized presence of this UWS bakery’s cookies.  In a nutshell, you’re simply not going to find a better cookie – chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate chocolate chip, or dark chocolate peanut butter chip – in New York City.   Just yesterday we learned by way of Eater, Bobby Flay couldn’t Throwdown with these talented...

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The Crack of Cake

Posted on Nov 6, 2006 in Best Of, Dessert, Sneak Peek

Cake Man Raven708-A Fulton StreetBrooklyn NY 11217718-797-2598718-694-CAKE (to pre-order cakes) I have accidentally stumbled upon the perfect slice, (no, not Di Fara’s pizza).  Behold, Cake Man Raven’s sublime red velvet cake; a cake so decadently divine, it literally keeps me up at night.  I suggest you get yourself to Fort Greene immediately for the slice of a lifetime.  At the risk of playing the role of the playground drug dealer, this is one addiction I encourage you to  indulge in, calories be damned.    Deep in Fort Greene, a line of people slowly file into a modestly marked shop, slip the counter girl a five, then skip out with a slice as if you’re about to engage in some sort of illicit activity.  Parodixically located in Park Slope, Harlem Baking Company sells giant fluffy slices of red velvet cakes. ...

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Posted on Sep 29, 2006 in Dessert, Reviews

7 West 32nd Street (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.) (212)695-9631 Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 11 AM – 11PM daily NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Though curiously under wraps, I managed to coax owner Daihwan Choi into divulging that the medium (8 oz.) is 200 calories.  All of the yogurt here is non-fat, but carbs have yet to be disclosed. INSIDE SCOOP: Pinkberry hopes to open locations on the UES (82nd & 2nd Ave.), Nolita (Prince & Mulberry), and Meatpacking (20th St. & 8th Ave.). INSIDE SECRET: There’s an off-the-menu mochi topping for in-the-know yogurt addicts or bi-coastal Pinkberry loyalists. PRICES: Original flavor – Small, $2.95, M $3.95, & L $6.45 Green Tea flavor – Small $3.90, M $ 4.95, & L $8.25 One topping is an additional $.95, $1.50 for three toppings Still reeling from the disappointment of yesterday’s...

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Burgers & Cupcakes

Posted on Jun 2, 2006 in Dessert, Reviews

458 Ninth Ave. (btwn. 35th & 36th Sts.) (212)643-1200 VIBE: Cafeteria cool OCCASION: Breakfast or your lunch break GO WITH: Co-workers or go it alone DON’T MISS DISH: Beef Burger DON’T BOTHER DISH: Fresh squeezed lemon Fizz PRICE: under $ 10 INSIDE SCOOP: Will deliver anywhere in the city if you pay the cab fare HOURS: Monday-Saturday, 8-9 PM, Sat. & Sun. 10-9 PM RESTAURANT GIRL RATES (1-10): 6 FINAL WORD: What could be better? You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven at Burgers & Cupcakes if only it weren’t in Hell’s Kitchen with a window view of Lincoln Tunnel traffic.  This simple, but perky cafeteria-style luncheonette with pink & brown painted walls invites you to rediscover your inner child, bringing you back to a time of blissful naivete when calories and carbs didn’t matter.  I took the...

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Posted on Feb 23, 2006 in Best Of, Dessert, Winter Eats

Forget about love, hot chocolate is in the air every February at The City Bakery and time is running out!  Whether you’re looking to make a big commitment or just sample the goods, run don’t walk to  the Hot Chocolate Festival for a shot or cup of the hottest chocolate in town.  If you’re looking to slip into something more comfortable, sip the banana peel hot chocolate on Saturday, February 26.  But if you’re looking to fulfill your darkest desire, slip in on Sunday, February 27 for expresso hot chocolate.  Whatever you’re craving, The City Bakery will be sure to satiate your sweet tooth.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  It might just be better than sex. Until we eat again,...

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