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Hi friends! I know I've been out and under with the flu, but fear not, Dessert Darling is coming back, Bigger and BETTER! That's right, DD is undergoing some technical changes to make the site a much more USEFUL and user-FRIENDLY place to assist you in finding all the right goodies for your every need!
I am Out of commission while I battle a narly flu. This is me with nurse Charlie while I was sweating out a 103 fever.
Ugh! Poor Charlie, he was a great bed-side companion, but lousy at getting me an ice-pack for my head and some soup.
Eventually I recruited Super Mom, who drove 3 hours to take care of me. Yay Moms!
What perked me up next to my mama showing up? Um, The Bachelor Finale and Brad picking "Em"!
And how great are her new Low-Lights! Bleached Blondes- take note...
And even though they've admitted to having problems, I think that's super realistic. As long as the Brad is in it to win it (and he clearly is), I think these two will weather the storms. Ohh, such a romantic I am!
Ok, just got some fancy meds from the doc, here's to healing fast!
Heard great things about the desserts at Larchmont Bungalow. This is clearly due to their impressive display of very large and colorful dessert items!
Here's my experience in photos:
The Vanilla/Vanilla wasn't nearly as good as that dreamy Red Velvet cupcake, though
It doesn't stop there...
For good measure I had 3 slabs of this Hawaiian pizza (my fave) from Mulberry Pizzeria
Weewf! One of those nights! Hmmm, Stressed much? Maybe.. maybe I am. Alas, nothing a week of veggies and running can't counter-balance.. right!? Ug, so not as fun as cupcakes and pizza!
ANYway, Larchmont Bungalow makes impressive looking goodies, but over all these items are way too large and heavy-handed with the sugar! Great cream cheese frosting though :)
Be in Touch with You Body
Ok, this advise is much more wishy-washy than the clear-cut tips I've doled out thus far. What does it mean to be in touch with your body? Quite simply, it means to stay in tune with what's right for you, whether it's your exercise regime, diet, or happy body weight. There is no "one size fits all" routine for people to adhere to. It's your job to tune into the rhythms and patterns of your body and know what suits you best.
For example, my work-out limit is one-hour a day. Anything more than that means I'll have to peace out the next day to let my body recover. This limited work-out time varies drastically from my friend's who runs 26 mile marathons!!!
Additionally, everyone has a happy body weight that she should be in tune with. Anything 5-10 lbs more feels sluggish and, excuse me for saying so, depressing to me. Anything less feels too light and will make me hungry. My personal pendulum swings 2 pounds left and 2 pounds right of it's happy medium every week. Usually something like this... thin and great on Friday since I disciplined myself for the weekend. Gorge myself over the weekend. Feel sluggish come Sunday night. "Diet" starts again Monday to feel totally fabulous again come Friday, and on and on my cycle goes. It works for me. I know it, I get it.
Another aspect of being in touch with your body is the hunger versus boredom & stress issue. I'm a classic over-eater when I'm stressed. I know this about myself and have simply banned my kitchen from trigger foods like boxes of cereal and pints of ice-cream. Furthermore, I do everything I can to eliminate stress altogether! I surround myself with happy, positive, and supportive people, I work-out, do yoga, and if something isn't working in my life, I don't pout about it, I change it (Ok, so maybe I pout a little, but then I change it).
I really wanted to like the cupcakes from Buttercake Bakery in West Hollywood. The quaint little shop has a simple, fresh and sweet feeling with its white interior and colorfully iced cupcakes.
The first bite, however, repelled me with its saccharine icing. It was so sugary in fact, that my mouth actually grimaced. Like Magnolia's cupcakes, it tastes like they dumped a box of powered sugar onto a mound of bland butter and mashed it all around. Now don't get me wrong, there is truly no better marriage then that of butter and sugar, but proportions and flavors need to be observed when it comes to frosting, like a sprinkle of salt or a teaspoon of vanilla.
The cake part itself is very tall, another draw-back for me as I prefer manageably sized cakes to sink my teeth into.
That all said, they're reasonably priced at $2.25 a pop (75 cents for the minis, which seem popular) and they're cute enough that they'd work for festive gatherings where the focus is not on the cupcakes.
Woowee, I love me some fine Japanese cuisine! Especially from celebrity sprinkled restaurants that make trendy dishes like Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice and Yellow Tail with thin, Fried Onion rings! Mmmm. :-9 The problem with most fine restaurants though, Japanese joints in particular, is that the better the food, the worse the desserts. To my utter delight, Katsuya in Hollywood pulled through with an outstanding Molten Lava Chocolate Cake. Indeed it was one of the most delicious and desirable Chocolate Lava cakes that I've ever had, and I've had my share of these bad boys. That said, the other desserts at Katsuya were predictably average. Alas, we shall not dwell on mediocracy when we have greatness in our presence. Molten Lava Chocolate Cake= yet another reason to dine at Katsuya!
Ooh La la! The other day I came home to this delightful package of goodies from Cookie Panache! These dainty and classic treats would make a charming addition to baby and bridal showers, teas, or luncheons. My favorite items were the mini-Madeleines and the oh-so-sweet Coconut Caramel Cookies! :-9 Thank you Cookie Panache!!
Honestly. HONESTLY. This was THE. WORST Milkshake I have EVER, EVER had in all my many lifetimes put together. I kinda freaked out when I saw the lady fill up half my plastic cups with a clear syrup. Ummmm, is that for me?? I ordered a milkshake.
Then she filled the other half of the cups with a thicker white substance (one would hope.. Milk???) and attempted to blend the two fluids together. Not very well, as you can see from the "chocolate" shake I have here on the right. Anyway, I tried to put the whole process aside and open my mind to tastiness anyway. I literally spit the shakes out upon first sip. Both had aweful, bitter, artificial tastes that would make cough syrup look dreamy in comparison.
Is Wendy's for real??? Seriously, Jack needs to show Wendy's a thing or two.. as shown in this post here!
That word can evoke a range of emotions for people. Some readers might see Bliss, while others see Hades. I used to jog all the time, but had retired my running shoes for a few years when I read a Jennifer Anniston quote that attributed running to her rockin' bod. Well, that did the trick! Ok, RUNNING- Bleh. I'll try you again..
For me, running breaks down a little like this:
Time Before the run, (dreading it) = Hell
Time During the run= Purgatory
Time After the run= Heaven!!!
It takes a while to get back into the swing of things. So here are my
Today I swung by the trendy S.Cal diner, Swingers, to grab a much needed cupcake.. or two. My oh my did I see some mighty fine looking cupcakes displayed on the countertops. I opted for the vanilla vanilla as a costumer told me they were the best and she'd been dreaming about them on her whole trip in Thailand. That's some powerful cupcake. I also got the red velvet, because at a Swingers diner, a girl's gotta have more than one.
These were delicious desserts that I could sink my teeth into and I probably inhaled both in record time. They're rather large and have a generous serving of icing, which I love. That said, there was a lot of cake and I found myself dismanteling it to get the desired bites with icing. Overall, a solid 4-Cherry rating for Swinger's cupcakes!
For more info on Swingers Diner, click here
Ok, probably shouldn't be filming and driving, but hey, I'm getting a feel for this who Vlog thing. Anyway, I never get fast food and was pretty jazzed to see Rice Pudding as an option at Astro Burger. Alright- off you go! Enjoy the video. :)
If See's advertised itself as a chocolatier, I'd have to give them 3.5 cherries. But they don't, they call their treats candy, and that distinction escalates their rating to a solid 5-cherries for their chocolaty, crunchy, tasty goodness! If not for yummy-factor, than at least for nostalgia's sake. I literally can't conceive of a holiday in my home without a box of See's accompanying the festivities.
Since childhood, these mini, gourmet candy bars have made their way into every Christmas, Easter, and birthday celebration, with each family member having a favorite.
Dad's the marzipan, mom's the dark chocolate with almonds, my brother Chris likes the cherry cordials, Greg's the healthy one who'd rather eat beef jerky, and I was a "Scotch Mallow" girl (butterscotch and marshmallow covered in chocolate.. mmmm).
While I don't think these are the most delicate and say, sexy treats, for a romantic affair, I do think they're fun and hearty chocolates for a family to enjoy on special occasions.
While a gift box of macarons from La Provence Patisserie looks as promising as a box from Paulette Macarons, your mouth will surely be disappointed. Compared to Paulette Macaron's refined perfection, these almond cookies zing your mouth with their intense sweetness and artificial flavors. The orange cookie tasted just like Orange Fanta soda, and my friend couldn't even eat the "Rose" flavor, she was so horrified by the fact that it tasted just like the way her toy dolls used to smell (you know, like the perfume scent on a Strawberry Shortcake doll). The Hazelnut is one of their most popular flavors and not surprisingly so. It's one of the most natural in both taste and color. The sea-salt caramel offering was also pretty tasty.
I've certainly had worse macarons in my day (eh hem, Little Next Door). These treats do look delightful and have the right consistency. Ultimately, La Provence macarons lurk somewhere between a 2.5-3 Cherry rating. That said, the Cafe in the Brentwood Gardens is a darling and bright shop that serves wine and beer as well as other baked and savory goods. It looks like a darling lunch or date spot.
Photo by Sue Tofu.
My friend from Awake and Living sent me this wonderful little article by David Zinczenko about 7 Desserts That Fight Fat. Now that's my kinda guy! He basically states that sugar aside, ice-cream boasts calcium, an element that can actually block the absorption of fatty acids in the digestive track. Go Calcium! Furthermore, each half-cup has choline, which could aid in diminishing your risk of heart disease or stroke by lowering an amino acid called homocysteine. Wow- all I know is that ice-cream always makes me feel more calm and happier. The author goes on to list America's 7 best desserts that offer nutritional substance. The treat that I'm most excited to try from his list is Wendy's Jr. Original Chocolate Frosty!
Even without all the ooey-gooey butteriness of "real" cookies, I still find these Vegan Trail Mix Cookies by Trader Joes to be completely desirable. With nutritious additions like oats, raisins, and peanuts, they seem like a smarter cookie for you body. In fact, I think of these treats as being more like a cookie-snack than a cookie-dessert. Go go go Trader Joes for always coming through with super delicious, low-priced goodies that I can count on for fun gatherings!
photo from the internet.
Twice, Twice in the last month I have visited you late night. You've lived down the street from me for four years now and I've never even looked your way. What is this new affair?? I'm not this kind of girl!!! Ok, I admit it, I gave your Pumpkin milkshake 5-cherries last Halloween... but that's a seasonal treat.. an anomaly. However, you did it again with your Mint Oreo Cookie milkshake last night! Ugh! A perfect balance of flavors, an admirable consistency, thick but not impenetrable, and most tantalizing yet--those Oreo cookie chunks! My fiance even declared it GOLDEN CHERRY worthy!!! From a fast food joint?? Out of a machine?? It's OBSCENE. And let's not even Talk about your Sourdough Grilled Chicken Club with bacon, for that was clearly laced with all sorts of crack-like addicting tastiness. Ugh!
JACK- this relationship cannot be. It was great while it lasted and I know I'll never forget it, but quite simply, I'm not a fast food girl. Really- I'm not! My mama raised me better than that. Maybe for the holidays, I'll stop by.. you know, for an Eggnog special... but this late night shenanigans? You'll have to find someone else who'll fall for your charms. Sorry Jack, but we're Over.
WOW. I came home to two HEAVY packages from Tootie Pie Co., each containing a perfect pie. The first was this award-winning Apple Pie, which you can see is jammed packed with Apply-deliciousness. It was sweet and slightly zingy with brown sugar, cinnamon, and an amazing crust.
The second was this Buttermilk Pie that tasted just like flan with a consistency that reminded me of smooth ricotta cheese. I loved every bite of it. In fact, I was addicted to the sweet, soothing, dreaminess of this pie, and enjoyed mixing it with some bites of the Apple Pie to zing it up.
In short- I love me my Tootie Pies! Check out this list of all their different pies and flavors and try not to drool on the keyboard. These pies are No. Joke. Might have to revisit these bad boys for the Golden Cherry at the end of the year....
Thanks Tootie Pies for the delicious delivery! I'll be trying your pumpkin pie in the fall!
So last night my guy and I made it a Blockbuster night, and we got into a little stand-off when it came to our candy purchase. Before I elaborate though, I must declare- I don't like artificial candy! I always feel worse after I eat it. But last night it looked so fun and colorful and well- it was a Sat. night! We had to splurge!
Anyway, my guy wanted Reeces Pieces and I suggested that we get Peanut Butter M&Ms. This spurred a whole debate as to which candy is actually better.
So now I ask YOU, dear DD readers, which candy do you prefer??
Photo from RelaxitsWorse
Hi friends! So, I'm trying to get the hang of using my i-phone to film myself on the go. Apologies for the poor sound quality in the first half (it was loud in there), and then the sugar crash in the second half (it happens), but at least you can get a sneak-peak of what a Cupcake Challenge is all about. Congrats to Eat:Drink:Play Events for putting on a fantastic event!
Awe! Today I came home to a box of Mallow Munchies, which are essentially gourmet Rice Krispies treats. Made with homemade marshmallows, handmade caramel, and Belgium chocolate, among other fine ingredients, these extra gooey and gigantic Munchies excite adults and kids alike. My favorite bar? The Popcorn and M&M munchie- A totally addicting and genius mix of flavors!! :-9 Thanks Mallow Munchies for the delicious package!
What's that song from the '80s? Anyway, everytime I think Susina, that song comes to mind.
Susina is a super charming bakery & cafe on Beverly Blvd and La Brea that serves one of the best berry cream cakes I've had. Indeed, their Berry Blossom vanilla sponge cake layered with white chocolate mousse, fresh berries, and touches of orange liqueur, meringue, and white chocolate shavings, would make Sweet's Lady Jane's bland rendition cry.
Susina's pastries are also quite delectable.
The red velvet cake let my friend and me down a bit with it's thick and mild frosting, and the cookie, while darling, was hard, firm, and tasted liked it came from a box in a grocery store.
Overall, I highly recommend convening with friends at Susina Bakery or stopping by to try some of their many tempting treats yourself!
Well, we had a fantastic 5-cherry streak there for a while, but I'm afraid I have to break it today with this review on Edelweiss Chocolates in Beverly Hills. This small but packed confection shop has been around for 69 years, and clearly must be doing something right. However, I'm at a loss as to what that is. These chocolates are extremely sweet. I mean, powdered-sugar overload inside those truffles! I actually had to spit some bites out they so shocked my taste buds.
Edelweiss Chocolates are more like candy, in the vein of Milkyways and Reeces bars. They have a lot of marshmallow covered options, which you don't see in more refined chocolatiers. Indeed, Edelweiss Chocolates seem to be a hodge-podge, poor man's take on See's Candie's, which was founded in 1921- A true LA landmark! Hmmm, if you're on Canon, walk a few block's south to Madam Chocolat, your sophisticated palette will be glad you did.
Ha ha, How cute are these Strawberry Ladybugs that I found on Wing-It Vegan.com?!
I just want to take a moment to say THANK YOU so much for reading by blog, following me on Twitter, FB, and subscribing to my site. Every time I get a comment or new follower, it makes me grin from ear to ear. I LOVE YOU and sharing my joy and passion with you everyday.
ps: click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make those adorable bugs!
A year ago from today my fiance proposed to me in a 4 Seasons hotel room that he had decorated with seventeen dozen cupcakes, chocolates, candies and more (full story w/ photos here ). I am the luckiest DD that ever could be.
Today I encourage you to think of something extra special to surprise a loved one on Valentine's day tomorrow. Whether it be a friend, parent, mentor, or sibling, you can never say or hear "I love you" enough. When you smile, the world smiles back. So have fun, get creative, clever, sweet, or simple- just find a new way to say- You're loved.
ps: to see my top treats for any Valentine, check out my Redbook article here! :)
I was delighted to not only enter a luxurious chocolate shop, but also to see the bright and cheerful kitchen where the chocolatiers make magic happen!
I then noted, that alongside the Madame Chocolat truffles, a whole side of the case was dedicated to Jaque Torres chocolates. Furthermore, the chocolate chip cookies looked just like the Jacques Torres cookies that I reviewed in New York.
Hmm...I asked the Madame herself if she preferred her chocolates to Jacques', and she waxed poetic about how he is the master, and that both chocolates are great- just different. Well, we'll see about that- I thought.
A few bites into Madame's exquisite chocolates and I was an instant devotee. The delicate offerings were feminine and bite sized, with a steady shell that allows for some lively crunch. Oh Madame! I prefer these sultry morsels any day to those of Monsieur Torres'!
As I was leaving the store, I overheard her share to the next costumer, that Jacques Torres, the "master", is indeed her Husband!! Aw-Hah!
Well Madame, if he is Fred Astaire, then You are Ginger Rogers.
This Thinny Thursday, instead of eating, how 'bout some shopping?! Cruise through my gift shop here to find some darling Valentine's inspiration for your mom, friends, or special loved one. From my favorite fragrance to adorable cupcake books, you're sure to find something great to treat your sweetie to this Feb. 14th!
Click the thumbnails to see just a few highlights from my shop!
Since I'm an affiliate with Amazon, you can use whatever free credits or shipping that you have with them here. :) Enjoy!
ps: Don't forget about our awesome deal with Platine Cookies!! Click here!
Oh Wow- I just got back from the Cupcake Challenge that's put on by Drink:Eat:Play Events and I am in sugar Shock! There were 35 entries and all the bakeries worked hard to put out their best traditional and original selections for hundreds of avid cupcake eaters to enjoy. The two bakeries that really stood out for me were The Cake Shop and My Delight (from Ontario). I shot some i-phone footage, but need to figure out how to edit it! So hang tight for that.. ;) In the meantime, here's a peak of the all the cupcakes that I sampled!
Btw, one trend that I saw was glitter on the cupcakes. Yes, actual, sparkly glitter. Thoughts??!
Valentine's Day is around the corner and I'm so excited to share with you these absurdly delicious Swizzle Cakes! Swizzle Cakes are alcoholic cupcakes that come in large "highballs" or mini "shot-cakes" and were inspired by your favorite cocktails. Seriously guys, you can't tell from this footage, but I ate 7 of them on our shoot. The frosting was phenomenal, which always get me, but pair great frosting with original flavors and a dynamic kick of alcohol, and I'll be your Valentine any day.
For Shizzle my Swizzle, these cupcakes are da bomb!
Hi everyone! You know how I just posted this GOLDEN Cherry Review for Platine Cookies? Well the good bakers at Platine's are giving my readers, yes, YOU, 30% off of their goodies! All you have to do is follow them on their Twitter of FB and tell them that "DD sent me," when you go make your order in their Culver City store.
This is an AWESOME deal guys!! Just in time for Valentine's Day and Oscar parties! I promise you, Platine Cookies will make you Swooon!
You're welcome ;-)
How cute is this Football Cake made of mini cupcakes that I bought at Whole Foods!? I hope it's tasty!
I wish you all Safe and Wonderful Superbowl Sundays and may your favorite team Win!! :)
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to announce that I wrote a spread on the best Los Angeles bakeries for blushing brides. It took a lot of cake-eating, but in the end, I found five fabulous bakeries to suit five different types of brides. My article is on Pg. 99 of 944's Wedding Issue. You can click here for the electronic issue and zoom in to read, or you can find a magazine on stands now. Whether you're engaged or not, it's always great to know from where to get the best cakes!
We've all been there before, a day, a night, maybe even a week of feasting and letting ourselves go silly. I, for one, went completely nuts over my birthday weekend. Did the scale tip in an unpleasant direction the next Monday? Yes. What did I do about it? Not a whole lot.
Some people scold themselves for over-eating and then make lofty plans to Diet (4-letter word!) the next day or week. Food is not meant to make you feel guilty. We all over-do it sometimes, that's Life. What I recommend doing, instead hating yourself, is saying "That's ok! Everyone does it now and then. It's going to take a few days to get back on track. But those days will come and go in no time!"
Instead of dieting, stay on track with your normal eating patterns, but make healthier substitutions for an allotted 1-3, maybe 5 day period (depending on the "damage"). I always have oatmeal, no matter what, but instead of a turkey sandwich for lunch, I might have a salad. Instead of a full dinner entree, I might have steamed veggies and soup. Instead of a cupcake, I might have a lollipop. With some substitutions and your normal work-out routine, you'll be back on track before you know it. The key is Discipline, not Dieting.
HOLY SUGAR COOKIE SANDWICH! I about died, DIED, when I bit into the amazingness that is the vanilla, vanilla "Oreo" with buttercream frosting inside. I must award it the Golden Cherry now for best Sugar Cookie-Vanilla Buttercream sandwich, for I'm sure nothing in that category will compare. ;)
Imagine baking Pillsbury sugar cookies and then spreading on some Betty Crocker frosting: now imagine that combination tasting a hundred times better with real, natural, and fresh ingredients, and Voila- you've got yourself my favorite cookie from Platine Cookies in Culver City.
Platine Cookies makes small delights that look and taste like the best batch from a friend's homemade recipe. Butter plays a prominent role in each baked good that Platine makes. It's amazing how something as simple as real, great butter, and it's ratio to salt, can dictate the wow-factor in a cookie. But it does!
Above is an image of my box of treats that I bought and devoured today. My star cookie is in the far left, upper corner. That Disco Ho Ho on the far right wasn't kidding around either.
Ooh la la! I feel energized... and Flushed! Like I've been sipping an after-dinner drink sprinkled with pixie dust. And yet, this sensation comes not from alcohol, but rather, chocolate: Kee's Choclates, to be exact.
Every night Kee hand-makes her chocolates with the freshest ingredients and secret recipes that she, alone, knows. The extraordinary results are small globes with delicate shells that crack to expose silky, exotic fillings like rose & black tea, sesame seed, cognac, and creme brulee.
These intoxicating truffles would make the perfect gift for that special someone (including yourself ;).
For more info on Kee's Chocolates, click here.
Image from blog.ratestogo.com
I was recently craving cookies when quite instantly, the most delicious cookies came my way. Call it the Law of Attraction.. or don't, but the very next day I received a darling box of glorious cookies. The treats came from Baking Betty's and stood out to me for three reasons. 1) the fun name 2) the darling packaging, and 3) the scrumdiliuptious cookies. I received one bag of large cookies and one bag of mini-mes. Both sizes were soft and chewy chocolate chip dreams with the surprise addition of little marshmallows on top. These marshmallows made traditionally substantial treats seem airy, light, and heavenly! I'm swooning just thinking about them and shall hereby throw them into the ring, nominating them for the 2011 Golden Cherry for Best Cookie! Woa, competition is getting fierce this year! Stay tuned in November for the Golden Cherry Awards to see who wins in each category!
In book club last night, my friend Laura insisted that I start posting more photos and videos of myself. Evidently this is entertaining versus narcissistic. Ha. And supposedly you guys won't care if I have no make-up on... DearLord Laura- what have you gotten me into?
Oh- and Laura has forbidden me from ever turning the camera around on her again. I mean, really?!
I once said that Frozen Yogurt falls into one of two categories: Good frozen yogurt and Bad frozen yogurt. Studio Frozen Yogurt in Studio City, though, remains an exception, falling somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. This old school yogurt joint came before the days of self-serve machines and fancy flavors like Red Velvet Cake and Tart Goji Berry Bonanza. They have limited flavors in a range of sweetener options like fructose, artificial sweetener, and actual sugar. The frozen yogurt itself is only OK and can make you feel a little ill to your tummy (depending on sweetener choice), but they serve you gargantuan sizes for your money, and even give you a whole cup full of goodies when you order toppings on the side. Finally, Studio Yogurt is known for some celeb encounters, and well- what's not fun about that? Three cherries for average yogurt with great prices and decent extras.
I told my guy that I needed to try Sweet Arleen's Cupcakes since they won an episode of Cupcake Wars and her bakery is nearby his work. My sweetheart proceeded to come home with two large boxes with every flavor and more!! Awwwe. How can I not award 5-cherries to that!?
Alas, I must share my honest opinion and frankly, these are not my favorite cupcakes. Firstly, I'm not a fan of silky whipped frosting that has a mild, greasy, butter taste. Secondly, the size is simply not conducive to cupcake eating. These treats are awkwardly large with such a high top of frosting, you can't eat them without getting a dollop on your nose. Proof that these cupcakes are not visually inviting with their clunky stature? I had a party the following night, prominently displayed the cupcakes, and no one ate them!
That all said, you can tell these treats are made with fine, fresh, and natural ingredients, and the cake part itself is quite delicious. I met a man who doesn't like sweet frosting and he thought that these were the best cupcakes.. so there you go. Overall, 3 cherries for Sweet Arleen's cupcakes in Westlake Village, CA!
ps: the cream cheese frosting is much sweeter than the buttercream, but dare I say- too sweet? just fyi
Uhhhahh! Sometimes you bite into a dessert so sumptuous that time freezes around you. Your mouth relishes the sweet, buttery, and chunky goodness in slow-mo as your head tilts back in quiet elation. This, my friends, is the result of eating Cookies By Joey. The shape and texture of these deep pocket cookies remind me of the famous ones from Levain Bakery in NY (review here). However, Joey's cookies are far superior in flavor and even size, as Joey's are not quite as monstrous.
My Cookie-fiend friend insisted that these were the best cookies he had ever tried, and now I see why. While Cookies by Joey are based in IL, they ship nation wide. I'm officially nominating Cookies by Joey for the 2011 Golden Cherry Awards! Stay tuned. ;-)
Sweet Arleens, Hansen's Cupcakes, Wonderland Bakery, Johnny Rockets, Joey's Cookies, Baking Betty's, Cake & Art- Oh My!
I had a lot of delectable goodies this weekend! I guess when you're the Dessert Darling, you've gotta expect that your friends will bring you all sorts of sugary sweetness. :)
The best of all? My dear fiancé planned an incredible day and night with my friends, starting at Knotts Berry Farm in the morning and ending with pizza, champagne, and a rowdy game of "Celebrity" into the wee hours of the night. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world- I mean, how cute is this DD cake that he got me from Cake and Art?! (minus the melted wax everywhere!)
While the 24th is my actual birthday, many many thanks for all the heart-warming birthday wishes that I'm already getting!! If I had one birthday wish, it would be to spread the DD love. So please, share Dessert Darling.com with a friend today, or Follow me on Twitter if you're not already!
Stay tuned this week for upcoming reviews on all those b-day goodies!
In Beverly Hills I stumbled upon a fabulous Frozen Yogurt chain called Froyo Life. With around 12 different flavors and over 25 different toppings available, this self-serve frozen yogurt place ranks up there with the likes of Menchies and Yogurt Stop. One thing that differentiated Froyo Life though, was that they offered more low-fat options than you normally see at yogurt joints. Since my fave flavors were low-fat (versus fat-free) the yogurt was more reminiscent of eating soft-served ice-cream: that slight amount of fat made for a noticeably richer experience. Also, I didn't see healthy ingredients like live yogurt cultures and acidophilus advertised the way I do at other places, like my all-time fave, Yogurtland. Overall, a delicious 5-cherry experience, but if I'm going to do Fro-Yo, I want my live, active yogurt cultures!
This Thinny Thursday I'm sharing a tip that I rarely employ myself, but it does work. When a restaurant serves you a plate with enough food to feed an army, ask your waiter for a Doggy-Bag before you even start. Split half to go, and half for now. This way you leave room for dessert and get a free lunch the next day. ;)
photo from metropoleparis.com
I really wanted to like the cupcakes from Big Sugar Bakeshop in Studio City. Indeed, I always want to like the treats that I try. Alas, these cupcakes never reached the climatic crescendo that one craves from an indulgent dessert. I was first weary of the thin layer of frosting on top, and then further put off by it's mild, buttery flavor and slippery, greasy touch. The cake itself, though, is perfectly tasty. If you're not a frosting person, these cupcakes might be for you. Otherwise, there're far better cakes in the bakes out there..~
Today I dropped into Starbucks and sampled the 130 cal, mini-doughnuts. They never looked that appealing to me, but thought it my duty to at least try them and report back. Verdict is: they taste just like they look.. dry and uneventful. That said, the glaze on top is still nice and sweet if you want a quick, low-cal fix, and eat just the top off like I ended up doing.
If you're looking for true French pastries, Maison Richard Cafe and French Bakery offers a great selection of exquisite delectables. I purchased an eclair, chocolate mousse, and custard & apricot pastry, thinking that I'd enjoy little bites from each. Not a chance: I inhaled all three goodies on the spot. The eclair was smooth and subtle with rich chocolate ganache on top. The pastry was mild and lovely with its cool custard and sweet apricots, and the chocolate mousse... My Gawd. The chocolate mousse! The chocolate mousse was insanely delicious with a slightly salty tinge and a heavenly whipped consistency that, for some reason, made me think of eating freshly made cookie dough. In a word, Divine. Cinq cherries for you Maison Richard!
I've had a lot of bad Vegan desserts, so when I found a good one, let alone a delicious one, it nearly shocked me silly. Naturally, this vanilla goodness came from one of my favorite cupcakeries in S. Cal, Yummy Cupcakes. This Vegan vanilla/vanilla cupcake was so delicious I almost think they're lying. Ha. For this crafty work of tastiness, I must award Yummy Cupcakes yet another Golden Cherry for the BEST VEGAN CUPCAKE! Voila!
I've always been known for my appetite and people often ask me, "How do you do it?!" I could never fully answer this question until I just watched an episode of Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." Nearly every item presented was deep-fried and/or super cheesy. What were these alien foods???
You see, growing up in California, there're only three foods that I knew came fried:
Chips, French Fries, and Doughnuts
Chips I knew because I got a small bag of Dorritos in my lunch bag. Fries I'd eat.. oh, maybe once every four years? And really, they were more of a vehicle for ketchup than a chance to eat the bland and greasy fries themselves. Doughnuts, well yes, Doughnuts I knew because I'm the Dessert Darling, and I love all things sugary. Still though, doughnuts were a super special treat, reserved for extraordinary occasions.