Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Festivals and Farmers Markets

June 3, 2017

Spring may have come late to Seattle, but this year’s food truck festival and farmers markets are right on time. If you’ve never checked out Fremont’s glorious Food Truck Rodeo, put it on your bucket list – it’s one of Seattle best foodie events. After thoroughly scoping out all the offerings available, I had lunch at It’s Bao Time and dessert at Street Donuts. Not only are the donuts fresh out of the fryer, they have all sorts of clever topping combinations.

I wanted the Dulce de Leche but they were out, so we went with Nutella and powdered sugar.

These were seriously addictive – some of the best minis I’ve ever had. This is a truck worth seeking out if you can track it down.

Several weekends later I lucked out again at the Madrona Farmers Market with a new stand – Sweet Season Bakery. They are actually based in Arlington but should be at the Madrona market all summer and I can safely say you will love anything you buy. I can say it safely because I bought everything.

Okay, maybe not everything, but you can see homemade “oreos,” fudge, peanut butter sandwich cookies, pretzel cookies, and shortbread cookies. They freeze really well so I was able to stop myself from eating everything in one sitting and instead allow myself one or five treats a day. Get thee to the Madrona market next Friday afternoon!

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Little Lago

April 21, 2017

It seems like just recently I blogged about the last little cafe to occupy this random spot in Portage Bay (RIP Canal Market). The grocery store/coffee shop/pizzeria/bakery that took over the location is called Little Lago, the sister to Cafe Lago of nearby Montlake. There isn’t a ton of seating, but you can grab a spot at the bar and watch them work the wood-fired pizza oven. I got there just as the bakery items were being put out for display…

Just one look and I knew the chocolate chip cookies were top-notch. Carla, the Nonna, knows what she’s doing! Cookies were soft but not squishy with plentiful chocolate chips and a thick, doughy texture. These are my favorite types of chocolate chip cookies – I think it means they are made with a little more flour, and the correct temperature of butter. I also got a slice of the pistachio cake cake pictured. It had a lovely lime glaze and a buttery, nutty texture. And it stayed fresh as I snacked on it over the course of several days. Highly recommend this adorable and delish spot.

Pike Place Bakery

February 5, 2017

This old-school bakery has staying power – it’s been at The Market since the 80s and draws in the tourists thanks to a solid location close to the fish-throwing action.  They get mixed reviews on Yelp, and the sign could probably use an update, but I can’t deny the attraction of their “Texas Donuts” – literally a donut the size of a small child.

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I doubted my ability to eat a Texas Donut, so I asked the saleslady for her recommendations (okay, I WAS confident in my ability, which is why I didn’t get one). I was told to try the buttermilk bar, a sort of donut/pastry with a sweet buttermilk-flavored filling:

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It turned out to be quite tasty. A little too sweet, but it was fresh, buttermilky, and decadent. I ate half and dunked the other half in my coffee the next day – both experiences were highly enjoyable. I also got the Chinese Almond Cookie at the saleslady’s recommendation:

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Now, I don’t love almond flavor so I wasn’t sure I’d like these. And truthfully, they were a little “almondy” for my taste, but I recognized that the buttery texture was on point, the chocolate filling was a nice counterpoint to the sugary almond cookie, and that the cookies were fresh and made with care. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised  – this bakery is not the tourist trap I was expecting.

Sweet and Savory

January 17, 2017

The only way to get through Seattle’s winter is to get out. I made myself do just that last Saturday – it was sunny, so I decided to visit the U-District Farmer’s Market where I found the delightful new stand Sweet and Savory Catering by Cynthia Brock. Huddled in the freezing temperatures, she was selling her homemade cookies and pastries along with more savory fare like her “winter jam” – a sort of chutney with nuts, quince, and spices that is amazing on sandwiches or paired with Stilton cheese. I chose an assortment of treats, including an apple-fig galette, lemon bar, and apricot bar:

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The lemon and apricot bars were spot-on with a lovely shortbread crust and flavorful topping. The galette was a bit heavily spiced for my taste, although the crust was solid. This woman knows her way around a stick of butter.  Just as amazing were her Christmas cookies:

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I didn’t share. I ate them all myself and didn’t feel bad about it at all – they were that good. Plenty of butter, sweet but not overly so, and tasting so incredibly fresh. This catering company is worth checking out while Cynthia is still at the U-District market!

Market Treats… Again!

August 3, 2016

It’s market season in Seattle and once again, my goal is to visit each and every one. It’s a great way to explore small, artisan bakers and dessert makers, and on my recent trip to the West Seattle market I found tiny Shambala Bakery, specializing in vegan and gluten-free desserts. Now, I’m not a huge fan of either category, but I have friends who are so I bought a few items for them:

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That’s a banana muffin and a lemon sugar cookie – both vegan and gluten-free. I missed the wheat more than the dairy – both seemed on the gritty side to me. But my vegan and gluten-free friends said both were really good.  Next up was the South Lake Union Saturday Market, where I found Macadons – Macarons by Donna. The fun part of this macaron stand was that they sell ice cream sandwiches (macaron style, naturally). I got the lychee:

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Mild and sweet, it was an interesting twist on the typical macaron – but I got some of those too:

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Let me take a minute to talk about the durian flavor – the yellow cookie on the left. As most folks know, the durian is a foul-smelling tropical fruit – not your typical macaron flavor (they are packaged separately to avoid contaminating the flavors of the other macarons). Honestly, I took a bite and threw the rest out – I was happy to try it but it wasn’t for me. Much friendlier to the palate was the tutti fruity (red) flavor, the nutella (brown) flavor, and the oreo (grey) flavor. But all (minus the durian) were excellent and recommended.

Amandine

May 2, 2016

I probably didn’t need another French bakery in walking distance, but after tasting the macarons at Amandine Bakeshop in Chophouse Row (Cap Hill) I decided it didn’t hurt to have options. And Amandine is an excellent option. Macarons are definitely the reason to come here, although the pastries are also good (I enjoyed my fresh, perfectly crackly danish). Let me say, first of all, that I don’t especially LIKE macarons because I don’t especially LIKE almond flavored desserts.  But I got a black currant macaron to be nice, along with my Danish and madeline.

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All were enjoyable, but the macaron was MUCH more enjoyable than what I was expecting. There was no taste of almond paste, and the texture was not air, and the flavor was not sugar. There was more of a cookie element than I was expecting. And I love cookies. So naturally I had to return to the counter and get a few more to-go:

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On the left is lime mimosa, on the right is grapefruit sage (most of their flavors are equally creative). Both were phenomenal and again, intensely flavored and not too delicately textured. If you need more reason to go to Amandine, they serve Empire Espresso and have free wifi… and they’re near an ice cream shop. What more does one need?

Two Tartes

April 22, 2016

This Georgetown lunch cafe and bakery is only open on weekdays, which meant I had to have pretty much one of everything during my one visit. This included a VERY LARGE cinnamon bun, which I meant to only have a portion of.

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Easier said than done – once I started munching, I couldn’t stop. The soft, doughy insides were caramely, gooey, and buttery. I did eat the whole thing and didn’t regret it – not for an instant. But it did keep me from going too crazy with the other goods for sale. I only ate a small part of the blackberry scone and mojo cookie (oatmeal, coconut, and chocolate chip).

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That doesn’t mean they weren’t amazing – especially the mojo cookie, with it’s oaty flavor and chewy texture.  Two Tartes has to be one of the top breakfast bakeries in Seattle – I just wish they were open on the weekends…

SLAB Sandwiches and Pie

April 14, 2016

The hours at SLAB make it difficult for a working girl such as myself to visit (they’re only open 10-3 weekdays) but I finally managed it and found it well-worth the effort. First of all, the sandwiches are creative, fresh, and carefully crafted. I quickly fell in love with he 12-hour brisket. The desserts were similarly gourmet, with the house special being the slab pies (thick, rectangular pie). I started with the salted chocolate chip cookie, which had a generous amount of chocolate and a proper salt-to-cookie ratio.

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The slab pie of the day was a creamy concoction involving bacon, and while it was unique, it was not as good as the cookie:

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However, their “s’mores” slab pie (offered daily) looked worth trying, as did the fruit slabs. Schedule permitting, I’ll be back!

Vif Cafe and Wine Bar

February 20, 2016

When I moved to Seattle from Virginia, one of the things I missed most was my local coffee shop, which was also a wine bar, wifi hotspot, bakery, lunch counter – in short, everything you’d need from morning to early evening. In Vif in Fremont I finally found a similar spot – good for working but also for catching up with a friend, delicious espresso if you want a buzz, nice wines by the class if you want a different kind of buzz, and both sweet and savory menu items. My old spot had antique pianos and couches, Vif has minimalist lines and a terrarium.

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I started out with a pastry that seemed to be a cross between a hot cross bun and a cinnamon roll, with a soft, bread-like interior and currants sprinkled throughout. They warmed it up for me and although I meant to save half for my friend, I quickly inhaled the entire roll. Delicate, not too sweet, and very fresh, it made the perfect breakfast.

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Next up was the peanut butter cookie, which I chose after careful consideration because I’m terribly picky about cookies. A peanut butter cookie should be short and crumbly but not overly crunchy, and it should be somewhat soft but never chewy. The peanut flavor should be pronounced. This one was on-point:

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My friend thought it should have been a touch saltier but I liked it just as it was. I also took home some of the pecan toffee candy they make and found it to be extremely addictive (the person at the counter warned me it was her version of crack). I’m glad I found Vif – now if they only had comfy couches and an antique piano…

 

Queen Bee Cafe

October 10, 2015

The Queen Bee Cafe is one of Seattle’s hidden gems – friendly, good for working or catching up with a friend, and bursting with baked goods and crumpet concoctions. They’re located right where Cap Hill, the CD, and Madison Valley all start to merge, and they just opened a second location in Queen Anne. The crumpets are the real deal – they make their own, and create all kinds of savory and sweet options, ranging from “The Roast Beast” to “Banana Cream Pie.” I ordered the seasonal special – Pumpkin Spice with a merengue topping and dug right in.

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The merengue was light, the pumpkin spice mousse-like, but the highlight was the crumpet itself. Fresh, dense but not hard, and very sweet – a perfect vehicle for sugary toppings. Sweet enough to be dessert, but I counted it as breakfast so I could justify getting a few cookies for the road…

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That’s a peanut butter cookie on the left, chocolate chip on the right, and both got the nod of approval. And just to round out the experience (and come full circle back to breakfast), I took a home a blueberry muffin to eat the next day – and it was still delicious. As if all that wasn’t sweet enough, Queen Bee donates all profits to a rotating local charity.