Archive for October, 2011

New York Cupcakes

October 29, 2011

A couple Saturdays ago I decided to take a trip to Madison Valley to see what I could round up for lunch. Imagine my delight when I realized it happened to be the grand opening of the new location of New York Cupcakes.  Originally located just in Bellevue, NY Cupcakes is inspired by the cupcakes made famous by Sex and the City’s trip to Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan.

I was never a huge fan of Magnolia’s cupcakes because they are all done with buttercream frosting, as are the ones at NY Cupcakes.  Still, I couldn’t argue with the tower of free cupcakes offered on this special day:

NY Cupcakes offers up to 40 flavors, and there were about 10 to choose from in the pyramid of free samples. I ate the cookies and cream mini-cupcake in a single gulp, and then decided to make a purchase (lunch was quickly forgotten) before grabbing one more free sample on my way out.

I chose the peanut butter and jelly and the black and white cupcakes.  Even though I normally avoid buttercreams, the free samples I had indulged in convinced me that these were worth the calories. The cake was especially good – moist and flavorful, not just a conveyance for the frosting.   I will definitely return for another cookies and cream cupcake (and I want to try the snickerdoodle – after all, I could only consume so much in one sitting).



Fresh Flours

October 15, 2011

With locations in Ballard and Phinney Ridge, Fresh Flours is yet another excellent choice for your croissant and coffee (they serve Stumptown). I chose the Phinney Ridge location so I could park, although I’ve heard that the Ballard spot is better.

Fresh Flours has been around for several years, and competes with Besalu and Honore for best croissants in North Seattle.  They also have just a touch of Japanese influence, and offer green tea flavors in some of their baked goods. I started out with a coffee and a quiche and was quite pleased (after having several bad quiche experiences, I’ve now had two good ones in a row). I moved on to the chocolate chip cookie, just because it looked so good:

Not too crunchy nor too chewy, and plenty of chips in this one! It wasn’t the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had, but it was satisfying and just fine for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Since I’d heard good things about their croissants I decided to take a chocolate one home with me for the next morning’s breakfast.

It was surprisingly good, considering that it was a day old by the time I ate it. The top came off in large (but thinly layered) flakes. Even after sitting a day, the dough was still moist and after a quick zap in the microwave, the chocolate was gooey. A great way to start my week!


Beehive Bakery

October 10, 2011

I never did get a chance to eat at the Philly Cheese Steak shop at 23rd and Union before tragedy struck a few years ago, when several employees were killed in a shooting on the premises.  I always regretted not sampling their sandwiches, so when a bakery moved into the location I decided to check it out. The Beehive Bakery is certified Kosher (and not open on Saturdays), with quiches, baked goods, coffee, and space to enjoy it all.

I ordered a salmon quiche, which I’ve never had before. It turned out to be amazing, so I ended up saving my cinnamon roll for the next day (it was still delicious):

So good, especially the frosting. Usually I don’t like too much frosting on my sticky buns, but this was an exception. The frosting had that perfect tang and texture, and I could have eaten it plain.  I’m wondering if the owner uses the same frosting on her beehive cakes, which I was fortunate enough to sample:

She makes these on special order, and I’m just waiting for an occasion. It’s hard to describe the goodlyness of this concoction. The frosting seeps into the cake, so that the syrup and the batter become one. The rest of the frosting hardens into a shell around the top of the cake. I highly recommend.