When I found out that I was going to a wedding in New York, I was very excited! (Of course for the beautiful couple, but also for the bakeries!) I decided to take a day or two to run around eating baked goods, this is exactly what I have done the passed two days. I started out Thursday morning at Baked in Brooklyn. I met up with one of my friends who lives nearby, we shared a chocolate chip cookie, some banana bread, and a fig pinwheel. I think it is safe to say that the pinwheel was my favorite at that stop and one of my highlights from the day. The pinwheel had a flaky crust, but not too crumbly, and the fig filling had just a hint of orange in it. It was perfect for a morning treat, not too sweet.
Next on my stop was a cookbook store in Tribeca called Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks. I walked up to the window, peered in at all of the beautiful old books, and realized it was closed. I forgot to call to make sure she was open before I went. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to go back in the afternoon, next time though I will definitely schedule that stop better. After that, I walked a bit further to Once Upon a Tart in Soho for some lunch. I had a zucchini and tomato tart. I loved the way they arranged the slices, usually I place them with the cut side down, but they had them on end which allows the steam to escape (so I wasn’t soggy) with lots of veggies.
After lunch, I continued on to Francois Payard Bakery. Francois Payard is the author of one of my favorite, out of print, baking books from which I have made many things including lemon tarts, chocolate chestnut cake, and black and white sugar cookies. I walked in and stood in front of the case for several minutes gazing at my choices.
With the help of the server, I decided on a slice of an apricot pistachio tart. The base was a slightly sweet and flaky crust with a layer of pistachio mousse – that had wedges of fleshy apricot in it, and then a layer of apricot chiboust – pastry cream lightened with whipped cream or stiffly beaten egg whites (in this case I think the latter.)
Next on the list was Balthazar Bakery. I got a chocolate madeleine there and snacked on it on the way to the next stop. It was a nice treat but it didn’t blow me away.
At babycakes in the lower east side, I got a couple of cookies and was approaching the cash register when I impulsively ordered a tiny brownie. The brownie turned out to be my favorite at babycakes. It was moist and chocolaty with crispy edges. I really would have liked to get some more bite-size brownies to take with me but I didn’t know how I would be able to eat them all.
I took a small break from walking and eating followed by dinner and yet another bakery, Billy’s in Chelsea. Having shared my first bakery experience of the day with a friend, I enjoyed sharing my last of the day as well. My friend got a chocolate chip cookie and I a slice of lemon pound cake. The lemon cake had a great texture, dense but still soft and super moist. All too often lemon cakes don’t taste like lemons but more like eggs. This one actually tasted and smelled like real lemons, so refreshing.