Friday, January 29, 2010

Lady Gaga Cupcakes!

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

In honor of the Grammys this Sunday night, may I present you with my tribute to Lady Gaga in cupcake form. Of course, I couldn't resist doing my interpretation of Lady Gaga's red lace number from the VMAs. I'd like to say that no cupcakes were harmed in the creation of her headdress and veil, but that wouldn't be true...

Why Lady Gaga? Well, why not? If I can do Liza Minnelli as a cupcake, surely Lady Gaga deserves to be one, too. Liza was all sparkly and Funfetti on the inside, but for Gaga, I knew that she'd need a different cake. Then it hit me. Red Velvet--edgy, unexpected yet widely popular.

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

She's a Fame Monster...

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

How could I do Lady Gaga cupcakes without some rockin eyewear...

Lady Gaga Cupcakes

And here are the many faces of Gaga...

Lady Gaga Cupcakes


Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Almost Pancake Month at Clinton Street Baking Co!

Blood orange peel and bittersweet chocolate pancakes from Clinton Street Baking Co

I love pancakes. And I love having excuses to eat them for meals other than breakfast. And what better excuse than Clinton Street Baking Company's Pancake Month Celebration. As in years past the special pancakes will be served Monday thru Friday from 8am-4pm and 6pm-11pm. Here's what's on tap for this February...

Dates and Flavors:

Feb 1st, 2nd, 3rd: chocolate & blood orange pancakes w/candied orange glaze

Feb 4th, 5th: poached pears with vanilla bean whipped cream & warm maple butter

Feb 8th, 9th: fresh coconut pancakes with passion fruit syrup and bananas

Feb 10th, 11th: roasted apples with candied walnuts and warm maple caramel

Feb 12th, 15th: chocolate chunks, fresh raspberries, and raspberry-caramel sauce

Feb 16th, 17th: brown sugar pecans, bananas and cinnamon maple butter

Feb 18th, 19th, 22th: classic chocolate chunk

Feb 23th, 24th: fresh blackberries, pecan streusel, warm maple butter

Feb 25th, 26th: crunchy bananas with cinnamon-chili-chocolate sauce

And if you're not a fan of the particular pancake of the day, they do have their famous wild Maine blueberry or banana walnut, with warm maple butter pancakes on their everyday menu.

Blueberry Pancakes from Clinton Street Baking Co

I'm wondering how the "chocolate & blood orange pancakes w/candied orange glaze" will compare with last year's "blood orange peel and bittersweet chocolate pancakes." I really enjoyed the decadent and delicious candied orange peel and chocolate combo last year. Clearly I'm going to have to do a little recon next week.

And speaking of February month long celebrations of deliciousness, The Feed Blog has an exclusive look at City Bakery's Annual Hot Chocolate Festival Calendar. Hello, Vietnamese Cinnamon Hot Chocolate!

Clinton St. Baking Co.
4 Clinton Street
Between East Houston & Stanton
New York, NY 10002
Mon-Fri: 8am-4pm & 6pm-11pm
Sat: 10am-4pm, 6pm-11pm;
Sun: 10am-4pm

Meanwhile, South of the Gowanus

Brooklyn Taco Experiment
They brought you Beer, Cheese, and Chocolate, but now they want Tacos!! The fourth installment of the Brooklyn Food Experiments is happening this very weekend, and to the winner goes the glory and a vacation! What, what!

From what Nick Suarez has told us, there are over 25 different tacos showing up with enough variations to keep everyone happy, along with your complimentary beer with ticket. After you've eaten all the tacos, indulge in free churros and hot chocolate from Cascabel Taqueria, or a Maker's Mark open bar. Holy queso. But the winner of this shindig is going to M.E.X.I.C.O. care of Aero Mexico. You can't beat that. The runner-up isn't making out so bad either with $150 cash money, a private tour of the Red Hook taco vendors with Mr. Cesar Fuentes, and lunch for 4 at the stands. To all the contestants, you need to bring it, for reals.

For more information, check out

Tickets are $20 in advance (meaning buy now), or $25 at the door (if there are any left). Click here to buy tickets. As always, a portion of the sales go to support Ovarian Cancer Research.

The Bell House
149 7th Street
(718) 643-6510

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hoedown, Hill Country, Haiti.

Hoedown For Haiti
This doesn't need repeating, but it is horrible what has happened in Haiti. At the same time, it is heartwarming to see the amount of generosity these events have brought about. If you're free this upcoming Sunday evening, an evening of BBQ and Karaoke can be your way to show you care.

Hill Country has teamed up with Batey Relief Alliance to throw a Hoedown for Haiti. $35 gets you food, songs, an open bar, and maybe a wining raffle prize. Batey Relief Alliance is a humanitarian aid entity that works specifically in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the US with a focus on the Haitian diaspora. They've worked hard for years to bring sanitation, health care, and educational programs to those in need, doing enough good works that even President Clinton praises them. For more information on what your $35 donation can do, check out

It's this Sunday, the 31st at 6:30pm, all you have to do it show up!

Hill Country
30 West 26th Street
(212) 255-4544

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jelly Doughnut Perfection at Almondine in Park Slope

Inside Almondine's Raspberry Beignet

FACT: I'm not a huge jelly doughnut fan. The jelly doughnuts I grew up with were of the DD Munchkin variety--small powdered sugar covered numbers with a dollop of squishy, sugary fruit filling. Thanks, but no thanks. But when my friend and fellow jelly doughnut doubter, Erin, blogged about discovering the perfect jelly doughnut at Almondine Bakery, I knew I had to give jelly doughnuts another try...

Upon our first visit to Almondine in Park Slope Lawman and I learned two lessons...
1) fried faux pas alert: the staff does not refer to the jelly doughnuts as "doughnuts" they are raspberry beignets (visions of the cheesy classic Polaner All Fruit commercial)
2) you snooze, you lose out on beignets. They make them in the morning and when they are gone (usually within an hour) they are gone.

Our second visit just further confirmed lesson two. If you go in the afternoon there will not be beignets waiting for you.

On our third visit, this past Sunday morning at 11:30am, we were finally rewarded with a case full of beignets. Not wanting our beignet to be lonely, we decided to spring for pain au chocolat as well.

Raspberry Beignet from Almondine

The beignet was utterly delicious. The dough itself was soft, airy and perfectly sweetened and the filling, oh the filling. The photo below is a little misleading because it looks like the beignet is only about half filled. In reality there were probably only about 2 bites that were mostly fillingless. I'm not sure how they managed to fit so much raspberry jam goodness in there, but I'm glad they did.

Inside the Raspberry Beignet

The pain au chocolat was a nice second breakfast treat. The pastry was light and flakey and they didn't skimp on the chocolate. I would definitely order both again (and soon!).

Inside the Pain au chocolat from Almondine

442 9th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 797-5026

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reason #1 to Own a Cast Iron Skillet

Nutella Skillet Cake
To try to recreate the Nutella Skillet Cake/Torte/holy goodness Pichet Ong has brought to the table at his latest bakery, Village Tart. Whipping out his usual style of mixing savory with sweet, I focused on two of the sweet treats for my first visit. And I was rewarded two of the best treats I've had in a long, LONG time.

Nutella Skillet Cake
After the closing of Batch and P*Ong last spring, New York City had to wait two seasons before being able to enjoy Pichet Ong's desserts again. The first of the new bakeries came with the November opening of Spot, it appears to be a high-end dessert bar that I unfortunately have not visited (hatred of St. Marks Place.) The second was the weekend opening of Village Tart, another sit down or take-away bakery. The interior includes a glassed off cafe, a lot of dark wood, and a large pastry selection. I immediately spotted the Nutella Skillet Cake, mainly because it looked like a s'more cake and the sign said "Nutella."

Nutella Skillet Cake
Score and a half on this cake (or torte? My memory fails me.) The cake part is a dense moist chocolate cake, not too sweet though, think more cocoa than chocolate. On top of that is a layer of Nutella, sweet nectar of the gods, it slightly soaks into the top layer of the cake. Sealing in the delicious is the layer of marshmallow creme, silky and creamy. Chocolate, cake, hazelnuts, sweet cream, my newest favoritest dessert.

Stracciatella Cupcake
Though there were various other desserts to choose from, I felt like a cupcake, picking out the Stracciatella from the three available. The buttercream frosting was perfectly done, not too buttery, not too sweet, loaded with chocolate chunks. The cake was what makes this cupcake though. It's not a true vanilla cake, I tasted something else, something different. Buttermilk maybe? I kept thinking that it reminded me of corn bread and biscuits. Whatever it was, the cake was exceptionally moist and enjoyable.

Stracciatella Cupcake
I have a new favorite spot, hands down. And I haven't even tried any of the savories yet, and those pizzas looked scrumptious.

Village Tart
86 Kenmare Street
(212) 226-4980

Friday, January 22, 2010

This Weekend Practice Random Acts of Pieness!

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie with Chai Oatmeal Crumble Topping

Saturday, January 23rd is National Pie Day. That's filled pastry dough "Pie Day" as opposed to the mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space "Pi Day" which is of course celebrated on March 14th--why the math geeks and pastry freaks can't just combine their celebrations, I'll never know, but I never mind an excuse for good pie...

$5 seems like a bargain entrance fee for Third Annual Brooklyn Pie Contest to Benefit BK Farmyards and the event is free for competitors.

The event runs from 6:00 until 11:00pm at K&M Bar in Williamsburg. If you want to compete bring your pie at 5:30 and be sure to follow these rules:

a. Crust MUST be homemade.

b. Sorry, no pizza pies

c. Bring "a modestly sized place card with a description of the pie ONLY written on it"

Three local chefs will judge the competition and prizes will be awarded for BEST SWEET, BEST SAVORY and PEOPLE'S CHOICE.

You don't need to sign up to enter but it would help them to have an idea of how many pies will be competing. You can email BEEKEEPER@BROOKLYNHONEY.COM to sign up.

Best of all, funds raised from the event will go to BK Farmyards, an organization seeking to turn the vast amount of unused acreage in NYC into farmable land.

If I didn't already have plans for Saturday, I'd definitely enter. But come on back tomorrow for a round up of some of my favorite pie recipes and a brand new recipe for a tribute in pie form to the King. If you love peanut butter, bacon and bananas you don't want to miss out...

K & M

225 N. 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211
at Roebling St.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Look At Me Being All Healthy

Vegan Chili
I ate too much during the holiday season, plus the few months before the holiday season, and a little too much in the week following the holiday break, and A LOT in the actual week of the holiday break. To make up for it, I'm cutting back just a tad, and by a tad I mean eating a lot of healthy things. Because if it's healthy, it doesn't really count, right?

This reasoning led me to finally try Angelica Kitchen. Bezzy McBez, our token vegetarian, and I went out on a movie date and ended up discussing how neither of us has ever eaten at Angelica even though it's been around since we were babes. It just seemed too crunchy, and granola, and healthy, and om-y. AKA the perfect dinner spot for two 'I'm on a healthy kick' ladies. While I went for the beet salad, Bez went for a special. I can't recall the exact name, but it was vegetarian chili with a side of quinoa and surprisingly delicious. Meatless definitely doesn't have to mean bland, and the quinoa's nutty flavor added to an already excellent chili. The only real problem came from huge broccoli florets that needed cutting, but that's hard to achieve with no knife available. If we were on dates, it would take some serious finagling to eat those gracefully.

Si Se Puede
Now my salad, the Si Se Puede, wasn't the worst, but it wasn't mind-blowing. Just a normal beet salad, chickpeas, greens, a very tarty dressing, and these crostini topped with tofu ricotta. The crostini were the best part, mainly because they tasted a little decadent compared to the greens.

Blueberry Dessert
But Bez and I both LOVED the dessert, a Blueberry Kanten. See the layers, like a trifle, or a sundae. Those layers seemed to be an apple butter cream, layer of crunchies, more apple butter, more crunchies, and more apple butter with three blueberries. Did I mention the crunchies that tasted like graham cracker crumbs? Like pie crust! If you like graham cracker pie crust, and I don't know a soul that doesn't, and apple, you'll love this. I want to make some and place it on ice cream. Mmm, that would be delicious. You know, after I get off this healthy kick.

Be warned! Angelica Kitchen is stuck in 1990 and is cash only.

Angelica Kitchen
300 East 12th Street
(212) 228-2909

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Eat With My Hands, But Not Bone Marrow

Last Sunday, I took my first field trip to West Harlem-there are places in this huge city that even I haven't been to-on a mission to meet Hagan, The Wandering Foodie, and join him for one of his 93 Plates. It also happened to be my first experience eating Ethiopian and I was very excited!

After a little schedule snafu, we were off to eat some food. For appetizers, we were served Kategna, toasted injera. Injera is the crepe you use to eat Ethiopian with-yes, it's your utensil that you eat with your hands. The Kategna reminded me a lot of dosa and is fairly enjoyable especially with the soft cheese accompanying it. Our other appetizer was Sambusa, a large phyllo pastry puff filled with meat. This was sided by a spicy chili paste; I focused more on the pastry. I could have eaten about 10 of them.

Combination Plate
Our main entree was a combination plate of Doro Wett (bone-in chicken simmered in spices), Yebeg Alitcha (chunks of lamb marinated in ginger and rosemary among other spices), Bozena Shiro (definitely a chickpea dish, but I don't think it had beef), and Collard Greens. Now, all were delicious and I'd eat everyone again, my favorite actually being the Bozena Shiro. If you read Hagan's post about our time there, he calls me out on not trying to suck out the bone marrow from the lamb bone. Yes, I have a problem with bone marrow. I know it's the new thing to eat, I know it's "where all the flavor is," but I have a mental hurdle blocking my bone marrow experiences. When I think of marrow, I think of red blood and stem cells, and the giving of life, and LIFE in general and how this was one not too long ago, and before I know it, I have omnivore guilt. I can't suck the life force out of dead bone no matter how delicious it is until I can rectify all of this in my head.

Moving on to dessert, I have to agree with Hagan, I would have enjoyed a more traditional Ethiopian dessert if there is one. Baklava drenched in honey is always way too sweet for me. Despite that, I think Brownie and I will be making the field trip back there soon so she, the Ethiopian expert, can compare and contrast.

Full disclosure: This meal was comped by Zoma.

2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 113th Street
(212) 662-0620

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There's Nothing Like a Hot, Fresh Red Velvet Doughnut from Peter Pan

Peter Pan Red Velvet Doughnut
I'm not a Krispy Kreme fan, but they are on to something with their hot doughnuts sign. I wish every doughnut place had one. Doughnuts are great. Hot doughnuts are incredible. And one of our very favorite places to get hot doughnuts is Blondie's neighborhood bakery, Peter Pan, where you just can't beat a Red Velvet doughnut when it's fresh out...

One of the best things about Blondie's new nabe is her proximity to Peter Pan Bakery. She's told you about the wonders of their chocolate doughnut, their muffins, their cinnamon buns, but let's talk Red Velvet doughnuts.

Before Peter Pan, I'd never even heard of Red Velvet Doughnuts. In fact on our first trip there Lawman and I were beguiled by a chocolate frosted, cream filled number that we were blissfully unaware of the growing crowd behind us as we sat at the counter. When we had finished up our doughnut we finally looked up and noticed that everyone else was doughnutless and waiting. Moments later the infamous Red Velvet doughnuts that Blondie had spoken so highly of emerged from the back. It was like locusts. LOCUSTS. And Lawman and I had wasted the last bit of our post brunch tummy space on that other doughnut. We vowed that next time we hit Greenpoint we would not be denied.

It took a couple of tries, but after a recent brunch with Blondie we decided to pop in just to check and see if they had any Red Velvets. While we were waiting in line a baker burst through the kitchen door with a huge tray of hot, fresh red velvets. Score. We go the very first one off the tray. Still warm, this doughnut was melt in your mouth delicious. Not as chocolatey as a chocolate doughnut with a hint of extra sweetness from the glaze. Lawman mentioned craving this doughnut no less than 3 times this weekend. I guess we'll be making a Greenpoint pilgrimage soon.

Peter Pan Red Velvet

Peter Pan Bakery
727 Manhattan Avenue
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
(718) 389-3676

Monday, January 18, 2010

Breakfast Decadence at Shopsins: French Toast Grilled Cheese and Donuts!

Shopsin's So Good (French Toast Grilled Cheese with Poached Eggs)
One of my favorite things about going to Shopsin's with friends is seeing what they'll order. On our last trip to Shopsin's I was still on a bit of a lunchy kick, opting for the Brigette: chicken salad, avocado and tomato on on garlic bread while Blondie went the breakfast route with the So Good: french toast grilled cheese with poached eggs. Now that's what I call breakfast...

Only Shopsin's could come up with something as diabolically delicious as a grilled cheese made up of french toast and poached eggs. Brilliant.

I was excited to see that Shopsin's famous donuts have made their way back on the most recent iteration of the menu. In addition to our entrees we opted to share a half order of cinnamon donuts with Blondie's friend Ginger. There's nothing in the world like a hot, fresh donut and these are made to order. They go from fryer to your plate (to your table) in around a minute, arriving perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and tender in the middle. Highly, highly recommended that you save or make room for these.

Shopsin's donuts

Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street
New York, NY 10002

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Grover Serves a Sandwich

Poor Grover, he tries to so hard as a waiter, but you know whenever Mr. Johnson walks into the restaurant there's going to be trouble...

Now, to be fair when Mr. Johnson actually places his order he says he wants a "sandwich" just like the one in the picture--the chips and pickle are part of the lunch special. So really, based on what he ordered, the sandwich was only missing the olive. Were Grover and the kitchen being too careless or was the customer just being kind of a jerk?

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Schne-What? A Schne-Who?

Maple-Walnut Schnecken
A schnecken? What? What is this?! Those were my thoughts after hearing the list of available Balthazar pastry on hand at my neighborhood/weekend coffee shop, Cup. Apparently, there is one German Jewish pastry I do not know well, I don't know it all!

Maple-Walnut Schnecken
Cup on Norman is a cute little coffee shop that, from what I gather, usually gets pastries from their next door neighbor, Halcyon Gourmet, but they also get some special pastry from iconic Balthazar. Even though I don't typically get morning pastry, I save that treat for vacations, every now and then I want a little something with my coffee. This particular time, it was an afternoon coffee, so the maple walnut schnecken in question had been out of the oven for many hours.

Schneckens are a cousin of rugelach, a main difference being that the schnecken are made with sour cream, not cream cheese. They're often described as Sticky German Cinnamon Buns, the name means snail in German, and are quite popular around Philly and Baltimore (two cities I've never visited.) My Walnut Maple Schnecken reminded me of a maple cinnamon bun crossed with rugelach; the dough is flaky, but denser than I'm used to in pastry. I would definitely love to taste one hot out of the oven, and will be trying any schnecken I come across.

Norman Avenue between Manhattan and Lorimer
Greenpoint and their Twitter

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shake Shack "Sighting" in Rome...

Shake Shack Quote<
First stop in Shake Shack's plan for global domination: Kuwait. Could Italy be next? At least the natives seem receptive to their message. Lawman and I spotted the Shack on a menu at Vineria Roscioli in Rome...

"Non esistono scorciatoie per la qualita" or as they say in the good old US of A: “There are no shortcuts to quality.”

Shake Shack quote 2

I think the Romans would also approve of January's Monday custard flavor at the Shack as well...Gianduja the classic Italian chocolate and hazelnut combination. Buonissimo!

Shake Shack
Madison Square Park
23rd Street and Madison Avenue

Upper West Side
366 Columbus Ave (at 77th Street)
Shake Shack's Twitter

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So That's What Flagels Are For!

Bacon, egg white, cheese and tomato flagel sandwich from Terrace Bagels

I'll fully admit that I've never really understood flagels (aka flat bagels). For a brief (sad, sad) moment when I was low carbing it, I thought I got it--it's kind of like a scooped out bagel, less carbs inside, right? But really--and flagel afficianados you can correct me here--it's just a regular bagel that's been flattened. More surface area for your schmear. Less of the dense chew factor. While I support more surface area, I do miss the chew factor. But, the other day I discovered the flagel in it's perfect form: the base of a killer breakfast sandwich...

I generally don't go for bagel breakfast sandwiches because between the thickness of the bagel and all the filling, it's recipe for a jaw ache for me. Flagels give you the bagelike experience while making for a sandwich that you can still fit in your mouth. Win!

Take one toasted Terrace Bagels flagel, add egg whites, American cheese, crispy bacon(!), and tomatoes. The tomatoes are key to the sandwich. Not that there's anything wrong with bacon, egg, and cheese, but the tomatoes give a what's admittedly a "farmer's breakfast" (or just a gut bomb) that little bit of lightness. I recommend going with an everything flagel if they have them--those toasty oniony bits take the sandwich right over the top. Delicious.

Bacon, egg white, cheese and tomato flagel sandwich from Terrace Bagels

Terrace Bagels
224 Prospect Park W
between 16th St & Windsor Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 768-3943

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010: The Year of the Blizzard...

Dairy Queen Mint Oreo Blizzard
It's been a chilly start to 2010, how appropriate for the year of the Blizzard. Yes, 2010 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Dairy Queen Blizzard...

In honor of the 25th anniversary, DQ has expanded their Blizzard menu to 25 options. Hellooooo, Double Fudge Cookie Dough Blizz!

I still remember my very first Blizzard. I suspect it was sometime around 1987--probably after getting a shot at the doctor's. My mom took me for a Blizzard treat and I could pick anything I wanted. What did I choose? Um, a Nerds Blizzard, of course. And at the time it was the most delicious thing in the world to me.

My current favorite's a tie between Mint Oreo and an off menu special from my hometown DQ known as the Mississippi Mud--coffee syrup, chocolate syrup and crushed Oreo cookies.

Unfortunately the closest DQ is in Jersey City, but given that this is the year of the Blizzard you have 353 more days to seek out one of their 5700 locations. Happy Birthday, Blizzard!

Pumpkin Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen

What's your favorite Blizzard memory?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chinese BBQ on a Hot Dog-Brillant!

Ginger Brew Ha-Ha
During my winter holiday break, I had the chance to judge the entrants in the Ginger Brew Ha-Ha competition. I would never have had the creativity to come up with some of the entries, and in all the event was great fun and held at least one big surprise for me.

Ginger Brew Ha-Ha
As a serious migraine sufferer, I'm always wary of one of my triggers, hot dogs and nitrates. Migraines that can last for days are the antithesis to everything good and holy, trust me. That said, I'd heard of Asia Dogs, but never sought them out which is a major fail on my part. During the Brew Ha-Ha, some friends asked Asia Dogs if they had nitrates, and they did not! I was pleasantly surprised, genuinely happy, and ready to have hot dogs and beer for dinner (it was the holidays, anything goes!)

The Wangding
Chinese BBQ pork? Yes, please. I chose the Wangding and it. was. awesome. Saucy, sweet, porcine topped beef, if they ever get a truck and move around Midtown, I'm in trouble. I'd rather be seeking this out during some massive craving, not facing the temptation every day at lunch.

The Ito
My vegetarian extraordinaire, Bez, was along and tried out The Ito (Japanese curry & homemade kimchi apple) on a veggie dog. "Very good. I like this kimchi stuff." The freshness and quality of the ingredients used really came through in the final products, and I hope to be able to try them out again soon, now that I know they won't knock me down for a few days.

Raspberry Bakeshop
I also got to try Raspberry Bakeshop's cupcakes for the first time! Roopa, one of our lovely readers, started this business last year, and if the mini cupcakes I tried were any indication, the girl's got talent. Minis are notoriously hard, dryness and bad taste abound, but hers were moist little sumptuous bites. I highly recommend.

Asia Dogs
Locations varies, check their Twitter

Raspberry Bakeshop

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Satruday Morning Cartoons: Ernie's Half Sandwich is Missing!

Have you ever had your lunch stolen? Then you can totally relate Ernie's predicament. Fortunately he has Sherlock Hemlock on the case...

There are few things as frustrating as heading to the fridge or freezer at work only to discover that your lunch has disappeared. It's happened to me on a couple of occasions at work, but I've never been able to catch the culprit. Have you ever caught a lunchtime thief?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Non-Chocolate, Non-Porcine Roni-Sue Goodies

Buttercrunch Cookies
God bless Rhonda Kave, we love her! Hanging out at the Roni-Sue counter is one of my favorite things to do: Michelle's quips, Rhonda letting you eat all the chocolate samples, Zach Shopsin randomly throwing Jesus toast, there isn't a better way to spend an afternoon off. And now I have a new favorite thing, the Buttercrunch cookie.

Buttercrunch Cookies
I will admit I do try to limit my Roni-Sue visits because I always want to take home Pig Candy, or BaCorn, or now Buttercrunch cookies. They're chewy, buttery, nutty sweet goodness, and just as good the next day (I did have the So Good at Shopsin's-the line has to be drawn somewhere!) They're offering at least one other type of cookie, Chocolate Chocolate, and I suspect many more are in the works. Apparently this is what I've been missing, and now that Ginger is converted, I doubt I'll be away for long.

Check out the latest Roni-Sue article in the current Edible Manhattan.

120 Essex Street
(212) 260-0421

Happy Birthday to the King!

Photos from Brooklyn Kitchen's 3rd Annual Cupcake Cookoff

The King of Rock and Rock, Elvis Aaron Presley, would have been 75 today. How are you going to celebrate? Might I suggest a fried Robicelli's Elvis cupcake from ChipShop...?

Banana cupcake + peanut butter buttercream + candied bacon deep fried = fitting tribute to the king. According to the Robicelli's Facebook page the ChipShop in Park Slope started selling the deep fried Elvises yesterday (aka Elvis birthday eve). The fabulous Stacie Joy from CCTC has the full scoop. Looks like this weekend ChipShop will be doing Sticky Toffee Pudding and Car Bomb deep fried cupcakes as well. While Sticky Toffee and Car Bombs have more of a UK connection, it is the King's birthday this weekend. You know what to do....

383 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215-3304
(718) 244-7746

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Enter to Win a Copy of The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts

In December, I had a chance to attend the launch party for the French Culinary Institute's new book The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts. I was lucky to snag a copy and now you can, too...

Let me start by saying this is a GORGEOUS and substantial book. 512 pages! 650 color photographs! The book is based on the pastry arts curriculum at New York’s French Culinary Institute's --a curriculum developed by master p√Ętissier Jacques Torres. There are chapters focused on each of the classic categories of confection: tarts, cream puffs, puff pastry, creams and custards, breads and pastries, cakes, and petits fours. It's like culinary school in book form. If you're a budding baker, you'll want this as a learning tool. If you're an experienced baker, you'll want this for a reference. I've already used my copy a couple times and it's saved me from screwing up several batches of caramel.

The book retails for $75, but we're giving one away for free. Here's how it's going to work... I've tweeted the link to this post. To enter, retweet the link to your followers and post a comment here with the link to your tweet. You can enter as many times as you'd like, but you have to post a separate comment and separate link for each entry. Next Thursday we'll randomly choose the winner and the friendly folks at Abrams will ship a copy to you (we have to limit this to the 50 states, sorry international readers!).

To whet your appetite for this book, take a peek at Abrams' site. Where you can download the recipe for Tarte aux Pommes, the same delicious tart in the photo below, used with FCI and Abrams' permission.

Or you can check out their recipe for eclairs here. But come on, you know you want the book, so get tweeting!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not Like Whoppers as Cake

Chocolate Malt Cake
And I mean the Chocolate Whoppers-malted milk balls, not Burger King Whoppers. The malted milk Whoppers are one of my favorite candies, maybe it comes from eating the Robin Eggs in my Easter basket, but I love them.

Chocolate Malt Cake
So when Momofuku brought Chocolate Malt Cake to the Milk Bar menu, it went on the list of things to try before it was rotated out. I was anticipating Whoppers in cake formation. I got a dense chocolate cake with a fudgy ganache frosting with marshmallows. Top it with a graham cracker and call it a s'more. Not that it was bad, the cake was good in itself though I needed a glass of milk after two bites. The marshmallows couldn't stand up to the chocolate, and by that I mean I didn't taste them at all. It was very decadent dessert made for splitting. Maybe if switched out the marshmallows for Whoopers? It's still available if you want to try!

Momofuku Milk Bar
207 2nd Avenue