Friday, November 30, 2012

A Bakery Black Friday

New York is the greatest city in the world. As a boy growing up in the suburbs of Seattle, visiting NYC terrified me. Back then, I was very concerned with cleanliness, and that subway forced me to experience my definition of dirty. Tons of sweaty people crammed together, the force of the train constantly pushing them far closer than any strangers should be…it wasn’t for me.

Now that I am older and I laugh in the face of hypothetical subway germs, I see New York for what it truly is: a paradise for anyone interested in anything, as long as they are willing to travel for it. For me, New York is a food paradise. And what food do I crave while on vacation?....and at all other times in my life? Baked goods! Well, also cheesecake, chocolate, and tons of non-dessert things, but still. I traveled around Brooklyn and Manhattan for five hours with 40 pounds of luggage on my back and in my hands searching for cookies, cakes, and whatever else I could get my hungry hands on. When I finally made it to my cousins’ home in Pelham Manor, my shoulders and arms were about to give out on me and all I had eaten for hours was a giant chocolate chip cookie. I saved the other stuff so I could document everything I bought. At least, the stuff that wasn’t crushed during my journey.

The first place I went was Jacques Torres in DUMBO. I got myself a nice bag of his chocolate disks and one of his famous giant chocolate chip cookies. Warm and gooey, the cookie was pretty great. But the homemade version of the same cookie that I wrote about a few weeks ago is much better.

Next I walked down the street to another bakery called One Girl Cookies. I got my first whoopie pie ever and an assortment of little cookies. Pure deliciousness. I am now a fan of whoopie pies for their delicious frosting and their soft, cakey consistency. The little cookies were each pretty great as well, but none really stood out.

I next stopped in lower Manhattan at Financier Patisserie. Regrettably, I failed to take a picture of the cookie/chocolate/pecan thing that I bought and have no idea what it was. Still, it was excellent and I have a strong desire to return to this bakery for more.

The last stop on my trip was La Maison Du Chocolat, which was by far the most expensive of the places I visited. I bought three dark chocolates, each considered a praline for the nuts inside, a piece of their chocolate almond cake “Pleyel,” and a piece of their “Bresilien Pastry.” The Anastasia and Figaro chocolates were good, but may not have been worth the $2.25 they each cost. They do give out a free chocolate when you buy enough stuff, so that very slightly softens the blow. The Jolika, however, was awesome. If you like pistachio, you will absolutely adore this.

The pleyel had an excellent, extremely light and cakey texture, but was less chocolatey than the last time I had it. The Bresilien Pastry was only okay, possibly due in part to it being a little smooshed when I finally got to it, but I wouldn’t buy it again. It was more cream and less pastry than I expected and the mocha flavor overpowered all the others. All in all though, this awesomely decadent Black Friday perfectly complimented the best Thanksgiving ever.

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