Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Van Leeuwen's Ice Cream Opens this Saturday

Original photo can be found here.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream
632 Manhattan Avenue
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

From their humble beginnings as one of New Yorks lovable dessert trucks, Van Leeuwen's is now opening up their flagship store tomorrow, February 27th! They carry flavors like ginger, giandujia (chocolate & hazelnut), red currant, as well as the standards like vanilla and pistachio. They also have a coffee menu to help balance out the chilliness of eating ice cream during a snow storm.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best Cupcakes in the US

The readers at Luxist, a "luxury" website, have nominated their picks for who makes the best cupcakes in the country. Their taste isn't very luxurious. Crumbs and Magnolias? Really guys?

The Latest Insanity: New York Bans Bake Sales

No more bake sales, they're being replaced by Doritos and Poptarts.

I have no words for this...

Okay, maybe I have a lot of words.

Fuck stupidity. Fuck deals with corporations masquerading as concern for the well being of city children.

Public school lunches are still packed with meat fast food giants wouldn't use, as well as meals comprised of processed foods chock full of preservatives. But that is not a pressing issue- promoting the sale of MORE processed foods is. If they really cared, they would ban the use of the foods they themselves are using, instead of saying things like the following: "We have meals served in the cafeteria that meet those standards, and we want our children to eat there.”- Kathleen Grimm, deputy chancellor for infrastructure and portfolio planning, who oversees the regulation.

Everyone knows that obesity is not caused simply by consuming high calorie foods. Its a combination of OVER-eating and lack of physical activity, so moderation and exercise is key, just like its always been.

The ban doesn't apply to just baked goods, but anything home made. So that international lunch I had the privilege of being a part of in my high school is no more.

Homemade baked goods were around long before high fructose corn syrup, and they will be here after. Don't think for one moment the people who made this decision don't know that these approved additive filled foods are not good for your kids. They simply don't care. And that should piss you off very, very much.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vere Chocolate is Closing- Blowout Sale Tomorrow

Original photo can be found here.

Via The City Sweet Tooth.

Vere Chocolate
12 W. 27th St 2nd Floor

The vegan and diabetic friendly chocolatier is closing, but they are having a blowout sale tomorrow February 25th. Get in on deals like 20 bars of chocolate for $5! Cash only, from 11AM-7PM.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Today's Groupon Deal

Pay $20 for $45 worth of cookies and sweets from Feed Your Soul. Get the coupon here.

Les Desirs Patisserie will Close this Friday

Les Desirs Patisserie
236 9th Ave

Via Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.

Sad news: Friday, February 26th will be the last day of operation for the 48 year old bakery. Its a big loss for the community, and I wish them and the bakery owners all the best.

Secret Sweets

Via NY Post.

Here are a couple sweets you won't find listed on the menu.

Where: Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St.
What: The Egg- milk chocolate pot de crème served inside eggshell and topped with caramel foam, maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt.

Where: Quality Meats
57 W. 58th St.
What: Milkshake made with homemade ice cream.
Cost: $8

Demel May Close, Files Lawsuit Against the Plaza

Original photo can be found here.

Via Eater, Via The Post.

The Viennese patisserie Demel may break the 10 year lease it signed with the Plaza Hotel in 2008, citing the failure of the hotel to lure in customers and promised high end businesses to the underground shopping mall area.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Magnolia Bakery Opens Grand Central Location

Via Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Magnolia's opened their Grand Central lower level dining concourse location today, and along with their usual famous goodies they will also be serving Magnolia Blend coffees.

Ivy Bakery Lockdown V

What: Bakery Lockdown: All the sweets you can eat (plus pizza & board games!) for a very reasonable price!

When: Saturday, February 27th, 8PM-Midnight

Where: Ivy Bakery
278 87th St (Off 3rd)
Brooklyn, NY

Cost: $25 Bring a friend and get $5 off admission!

RSVP on Facebook. BYOB/Wine/Soda/Milk

Review: Cinnabon Cupcakes

Review: Cinnabon Cupcakes

Cost: 4 cupcakes are $8.99 (just one costs about $2.59)

Overall rating out of 5:

My roommate got these for me at the last minute when he was in Penn Station- at 11PM. So fresh these babies were not. I kept this in mind while eating them, and to get the freshest parts I mostly ate from the inside out, cutting each cupcake in half and taking fork fulls from the middle of the cake and the bottom middle of the frosting. I did the best I could, but I'll have to give them a proper review another time.

Another thing to keep in mind, these cupcakes are regular sized- they could have been baked with the cupcake tins in your kitchen.

Cinnacake Classic: Rating out of 5:

This is the only cupcake that gets its own rating, because I felt it was better than any of the others, and it should also be really satisfying when fresh.
This is a cinnabon in cupcake form. The cake has a strong cinnamon flavor, but doesn't have any of that yummy cinnamon goo running through it- instead that cinnamon caramel ribbon has been moved to the frosting. I think moving that extra cinnamon to the frosting was the perfect idea, because the cinnamon flavor with the cake isn't overpowering. The frosting itself tastes very similar to what's used on a cinnabon, but the texture has been changed to suit the cupcake. Its not at all gooey. So far, Cinnabon makes the only cream cheese frosting I like, because you don't really taste the cream cheese, you just get a serious sweetness.

Vanilla Bliss:
This was okay, but I got tired of the flavor pretty fast. There does seem to be an actual vanilla flavor to it, but its not very strong. The frosting here is some kind of buttercream, which is stiffer than the cream cheese frosting, but still very sweet, it just doesn't do it for me though. Its topped with a piece of candy.

24-Carrot Cake
This is spiced carrot cake with hints of coconut and pineapple, and cream cheese frosting. I don't like carrot cake, and I'm not such a fan of pineapple, so I wasn't expecting to like this, but I wasn't expecting to dislike as much as I did; I can usually still eat carrot cake.

It was the freshest one of the bunch with a very moist center, but for my taste buds, it was still pretty bad.

My biggest issue was with the hard shredded strips of coconut and (possibly) carrot that were embedded in the cake (pictured to the left). If your someone who is sensitive to texture in foods, this may bother you too. If you like multiple flavors co-mingling, this might be the cupcake for you.

Chocolate Passion:

All around "meh". Mild chocolate flavor, in both the buttercream frosting and the cake. This is also topped with a piece of candy.

Cut in half.

In related news, check out Cupcakes Take the Cake's Sweet Retreat in Seattle, where they flew to meet Jerilyn Brusseau, the creator of the Cinnabon recipe made 25 years ago. She also developed the new cupcake recipes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Deal at Taste Cookies

When you make any purchase on their website, use the coupon code "free6pack" at checkout to get six FREE cookies.

My Cupcake Day: A New Site About Cupcakes

Original photo can be found here.

Via Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Owner of Buttercup Bakeshop and co-founder of Magnolia's Jennifer Appel has launched a new site dedicated to cupcakes, called My Cupcake Day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sweet Things to do This Weekend

Rita's Water Ice NYC: Get a FREE regular ice till February 20th.

The Village Tart: Come in an get free squares of Valrhona’s Grand Cru, "origin specific" chocolate till February 21st.

Valentine's Cupcake Tea at the Ritz Carlton: Enjoy 5 mini cupcakes with your choice of beverages, continuing till the end of February.

City Bakery: Check out their on-going hot chocolate festival, a new flavor every day for the month of February!

Coffee and Tea Festival: There will be sweets! February 20th-21st.

Deal at Pinkberry

Today is the last day to get in on this deal! Buy one yogurt at Pinkberry and get another free.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Review: Yoplait Light Red Velvet Cake Yogurt

Yoplait Light Fat Free Red Velvet Cake Yogurt

Cost: $1.09

Found at: Waldbaum's at Bay Terrace Shopping Center, Bayside Queens

Rating out of 5:

So here's the thing: I don't like yogurt. But when I found out that red velvet cake yogurt existed, I had to track it down and try it. So I decided to try my luck at the same place that my friend had found Cupcake Pebbles, and after digging through a bunch of boring regular flavors, I reached towards the very back of the shelf and pulled out my prize. This Waldbaum's is now my go to place for specialty mass produced food products, by the way.

I pull back the seal to get my first peek and...Oh boy, Pepto Bismol pink!

I guess even with all the red 40 they couldn't get the color to actually be red.

Stirring it about doesn't change the color either.

No matter, I move on to my first spoonful. Its not good, but its not terrible either. My roommate (who likes yogurt) also tried it, and he said he tasted cream cheese more than anything else, like the traditional frosting that would go on a red velvet cake. I do not like cream cheese icing, so I was trying very hard to pinpoint other flavors, but cream cheese mostly dominates.

I think the problem is that red velvet cake has a distinct flavor, and the ingredients that define red velvet seem to be apple cider vinegar (or just vinegar depending on who you talk to- but those people would be wrong), cocoa powder, buttermilk, and red coloring. There is no cocoa flavor, and obviously no buttermilk flavor. There is however a hint of vinegar. Like the Cupcake Pebbles, this also tastes more like the batter of the cake than the finished product. Its more tart and acidic than red velvet batter though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: Christmas Goodies

Christmas?! I know, I'm all kinds of late. But I've got a few holiday themed baked goods I meant to get to, and it seems silly to wait till next year, when I'll have completely forgotten what they taste like.

First, the processed disappointment: Friendly's Peppermint Stick Roll.
Rating out of 5:

This is how the peppermint roll is depicted on the box:

From the box: "Delicious green and white peppermint ice cream decorated with a white mint ice cream ribbon, marshmallow topping and refreshing peppermint candy pieces"

Looks good doesn't it?

This is what it really looks like:
It tastes like it looks. And those candy pieces? They are actually peppermint flavored goo, not a solid piece to be found. I'm also not sure how the fake "marshmallow" topping got to be freezer burned so fast since it was in a sealed box. The texture of the other parts could be best described as slimy. This thing was fucking nauseating, after a few bites and a quick photo, it went in the trash.

Next up are Demel's gingerbread cookies.
Located at The Plaza Hotel, One West 58th Street
Rating out of 5:

Again, an item that tastes how it looks. Perhaps your thinking, "But those look wonderful!". But think about this for a moment: do you really want rock hard icing coating your entire gingerbread cookie? Maybe you do, maybe lots of people do, but I call this a waste of a perfectly good cookie. From what I could tell, the gingerbread itself was decent, nothing to write home about, but the icing makes the whole thing disgusting. I threw out the one I bit into and gave the other away. I have a fond memory of Demel as a child, so I look forward to trying some of their delicious fresh pastries in the future.

We end with processed surprise: Entenmann's Holiday Crescents
Rating out of 5:

These were offered to me by a friend, and I was not expecting such a good cookie, especially since I don't really like Entenmann's. Sure, their nothing like homemade crescents, but they still have a sweet taste. The perfect amount of powdered sugar was applied. Its an all around solid snack, I'd buy them if I saw them in a supermarket.

Au Bon Pain Opens in Rockefeller Center

Original photo can be found here.

Via The Skinny Pig.

Au Bon Pain
47-50 St.
Rockefeller Center Subway Concourse

Now open.

Treats Truck Contest

Original photo can be found here.

For the rest of February, The Treats Truck is having a Coconut Contest. They are asking their fans to come up with the next treat to feature coconut as the main ingredient. Drop off your suggestions to the truck in person and your idea could be sold during the first week of March. The winner will also get a $25 gift certificate and 1/2 dozen of the new coconut special.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blue Marble Opens New Location Today

Via Brownstoner.

Blue Marble

196 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY

Blue Marble serves ice cream made in Hudson Valley, NY, with organic grass-fed dairy and organic sugar. According to their site, they don't use any artificial coloring or flavoring. They also have coffee, tea, hot chocolate made from NuNu Chocolates, bagels, and baked goods from Blue Sky Bakery and Baked.

You can also visit them at their two other locations in Brooklyn:

420 Atlantic Ave.
186 Underhill Ave.

Rita's Water Ice NYC Opens Today with Free Ices

Rita's Water Ice NYC
2486 Broadway

To celebrate the opening of their upper west side location, the chain is offering a FREE icee between today and February 20th. Nice way to greet the neighborhood!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sweet Things to do on Valentine's Day in New York City

Original photo can be found here.

Market Cafe: Get a piece of chocolate cake for just 8cents with this coupon. Deal ends February 14th.

Chocolate & I: The last day of a week long chocolate experience. Today's events include an art exhibit, the Chocolounge, a tango class, and dinner. Some events are free.

Valentine's Chocolate Tour: Visit 4 of NY's chocolate shops, including Mariebelle Chocolates, Kee's, Vosages, and another secret location. $5 to fight hunger, chocolate purchased separately.

Kumquat & Liddabit Sweets Pop-up Store: Today is the last day to get these goodies at their pop-up location in Brooklyn.

Domino's Pizza
: If you choose to stay in (and who can blame you), they are offering a free molten chocolate cake when you place an order online, all day today.

Pinkberry: Continuing till February 19th, buy one yogurt and get another free.

Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar: When you buy one hot chocolate you get the other free today, between the hours of 8:30AM-9PM.

The Village Tart: From now till February 21st, come in an get free squares of Valrhona’s Grand Cru, "origin specific" chocolate.

Rita's Water Ice NYC: To celebrate the opening of their new upper west side location, their giving out a FREE ice between today and February 20th.

Valentine's Cupcake Tea at the Ritz Carlton: Enjoy 5 mini cupcakes with your choice of beverages, continuing till the end of February.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Free Chocolate at Village Tart

Via The Feed.

Village Tart
86 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226-4980

Between February 14th and February 21st, come in and get free squares of Valrhona’s Grand Cru, "origin specific" chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Deal at Chocolate Bar

Via The Feed.

Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar
19 Eighth Ave (between Jane and W 12th Sts)
West Village

This Valentine's Day (this Sunday for those of you that don't know/care), go to Chocolate Bar between the hours of 8:30AM-9PM. When you buy one hot chocolate you get the other FREE.

Deal at Pinkberry

From now until February 19th, buy one yogurt at Pinkberry and get another with toppings free.

Today is the Day for (free!) Gelato

Original photo can be found here.

Despite the signals winter is sending your body, today really is the best day to get some gelato.

All day today, February 12th, buy one small cup of gelato at L’Arte del Gelato and get another free! The offer is good at both locations.

~75 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014
212 924 0803
~Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
212 366 0570

Then at Golosi, get a FREE scoop of strawberry gelato from noon-2PM.

~125 Park Ave (between 41st and 42nd Sts)
Midtown East

Free Cake from Domino's on Valentine's Day

To celebrate passing their $1billion threshold for online orders, Domino's is giving away two-piece orders of their molten chocolate cake on all orders placed online this Valentine's Day. Enter the promo code "HUG" to get your free cake.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Forget: Kumquat & Liddabit Sweets Pop Up

Till February 14th Kumquat and Liddabit Sweets will be at their pop up location:
Kill Devil Hill
170 Franklin St
Greenpoint Brooklyn

Greenpoint Food Market: A Food Affair

What: A Food Affair

When: February 13th, noon-5PM

Where: Church of Messiah
129 Russel St. btwn Nassau & Driggs

Cost: FREE to attend

From the blog: "Red tinted EVERYTHING". There will be music, a kissing booth, and food related artwork, among other things.

Whose bringing the sweetness: Token Confections (caramels), A Park (baked goods), Afternoon Delights (scones, cupcakes, & tea), Anarchy in a Jar (jam), Coquette Catering (baked goods & sweets), Wee Bites (mini baked goods), La Tia Faby (empanadas and baked goods), Sweetie Pies Brooklyn (sweet & savory pies), Taza Chocolate, Molly’s Chocolates, Bean & Apple (sweet sauces & baked goods), Mill Hollow Maple (honey), Cakes Confidential (cake and decorating kits), Janet's Rum Cakes (Jamaican rum cakes), Sugarbuilt (decorative cookies), MilkMade Ice Cream.

This sounds amazing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review: Cupcake Pebbles

NEW Post Cupcake Pebbles.

Found at: The Waldbaum's in Bay Terrace Shopping Mall, Bayside Queens.

Rating out of 5:

Maybe some of you are thinking, Four out of five? Really? But all I ask is that you keep in mind that this is a cereal, not a dessert or a pastry (though I've taken to calling it a dessert cereal). It is not meant to have a complex layering of flavors, or an interesting texture. Its cereal! And damn good cereal.

My awesome friend saw the Cupcake Pebbles in the supermarket and remembered my exited post on Facebook about how I must find and consume the cereal after seeing them on Cupcakes Take The Cake. She surprised me with them last night just as the snow started to fall! So perfect, and so sweet (thanks hun!).

As other reports have stated, as soon as you open the bag the smell of cupcake batter hits you, but its not overpowering. The pebbles have these jolly little rainbow spots.

So how do they taste? Like slightly crunchy vanilla cupcake batter. In my opinion, they taste nothing like a baked batch of cupcakes. I usually prefer my cereal dry, if I prefer it at all. But the cereals I do like are super sugary, and in this case the milk makes them even sweeter. It also doesn't get soggy in an unreasonably short about of time.

Sooooo good. I'm almost done with the box, so I'll be scanning all supermarket cereal aisles for em.

I'm not sure if it was waking up to mountains of snow that made me extra giddy, but I swear the cupcakey goodness was even better today.

Happy snow day guys!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chocolate Events this Week

The first and last are via The City Sweet Tooth.

What: Global Cocoa Project, Chocolate and wine-tasting gala to benefit the people of Haiti and cocoa farmers worldwide.
When: February 11th from 6-9PM
Where: Hudson Terrace
621 W. 46th St.(between 11th &12th Ave)
Cost: Tickets start at $40

What: Chocolate, Desserts & Wine Tour of NY's UWS
When: Friday February 12th, at 2:30PM
Where: West 72nd Street & Broadway
(Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
Cost: $54

What: Decadent Chocolate & Sinful Cheese with Pastry Chef Colleen Riley
When: February 13th from 3-5pm
Where: Artisanal Premium Cheese Center 483 10th Ave., (by 37th St.) 2nd Floor
Cost: $85

Deal at L’Arte del Gelato

Original photo can be found here.

L’Arte del Gelato
75 Seventh Avenue South, New York, NY 10014
212 924 0803

Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
212 366 0570

All day on Friday, February 12th buy one small cup of gelato and get another free! The offer is good at both locations.

Cinnabon Has Cupcakes!

Original photo can be found here.

Via Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Cinnabon has cupcakes.

Must. Find.

Valentine's Chocolate Tour

What: Valentine's Chocolate Tour

When: Sunday, February 14, 2010 11:00 AM

Where: MarieBelle Chocolates
484 Broome Street
bet. West Broadway & Wooster

Cost: They ask for a $5 donation which goes to the Food Bank For New York City, purchase of chocolates not included.

The group will visit MarieBelle Chocolates, Kee's, Vosages, & the last stop will be to a secret location with no sign (on the street or the store front). Mysterious.

Tully's Gluten Free Bakery Opens

Tully's Gluten Free Bakery
338 E 11th St between First and Second Aves

This brand new gluten free bakery is now open for business!

Dorie Greenspan Opens Popup Cookiebar

Dorie Greenspan, the author of the cookbooks Baking with Julia, and Baking: From My Home to Yours, is serving her well known sweets at a pop-up store in the hair salon Mizo. Her son is also part of the project, which is the first step towards a future brick and mortar location. The popup store opened yesterday and will close February 13th, so get these cookies while you can!

Park Avenue between 59th and 60th Streets.

Magnolia's Sidewalk Cafe Permit Trouble

Original photo can be found here.

Magnolia Bakery
200 Columbus Ave.
at W. 69th St.

Community Board 7 voted against renewing the bakery's license for their sidewalk cafe. They said the issue has to do with the absence of chairs and tables in the addition. Instead the bakery has been using the space to house their famously long lines of people (not the worst idea ever, in my opinion, since people will just have to line up outside anyway). The Community Board says it makes the sidewalk too narrow and that it violates "every reasonable spatial requirement for a cafe (despite being attractively designed and well managed)"

But all this doesn't mean the sidewalk cafe will be gone- at least not yet. Check out Westside Independent's article, it has a link at the bottom that explains the "long and convoluted process".

Monday, February 8, 2010

Event: Chocolate & I

Original photo can be found here.

This is pretty exiting.

What: Chocolate & I. A week long chocolate discovery and experience event.

When: February 8th-14th

Where: 511 W. 25 Street
between 10th and 11th ave.

Cost: Varies, but many events in the early afternoon are FREE. Check the website for specific events going on all week long!