Trigger your fondest food memories with flavors you never remembered in our favorite picks for revisited retro and nostalgic desserts. Indulge in caramel corn in San Francisco, a Meyer Lemon Shaker Pie, the creamiest of cheesecakes to have all to yourself, or a slice of birthday cake unlike any mother ever made.
If you think the folks in Los Angeles eat only health food, think again. Especially when it comes to breakfast! We visit some L.A. Hotspots that are the sweetest places to start the day. From artisanal doughnuts fried fresh all day long, to the most decadent stuffed French toast, to the best buns in Koreatown -- these are breakfasts worth setting your alarm for.
These are the best unique sweets in the San Francisco Bay area. Head over the Bay Bridge to Oakland, and you'll find out why people are raving about the pies at Pietisserie. You'll fall in love with the the ruby red Beet Pie or the eye-popping Chantilly Chocolate Cream Layered Pie. Then, find out why people line up at the crack of dawn just to get their fix of Cruffins at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. It's a mash-up of a croissant and a muffin, and it's stuffed with decadent creamy fillings. Finally, Donut Savant, where they're frying up fresh mini doughnuts all day long. Try the Chocolate Frosted with Hole which is a two-for-one favorite: thick chocolate glaze on a vanilla yeast doughnut, complete with a vanilla-glazed doughnut hole placed back in the middle.
It's a tour of the sweetest spots in Los Angeles. At Republique, French pastries are expertly crafted, and totally addictive. The Pistachio Raspberry Kouign Amann is like California summer wrapped in a buttery and flaky dough. And you'll love unwrapping the Cherry Pistachio Braid layer by sugary layer. At Churro Borough, their version of an ice cream sandwich pairs artisanal ice cream with two warm, flaky deep fried pastry disks. Then we check out the unique cloud cakes at Bo Nuage.
We're coasting through Southern California to cool down with the hottest frozen treats. At Snow Monster in Long Beach, they offer sophisticated ice cream creations, like macaron ice cream sandwiches and drinks topped with clouds of cotton candy. In Santa Ana, Cauldron Ice Cream specializes in small batches made with liquid nitrogen served in one-of-a-kind waffle cones. And Front Porch Pops in Santa Ana has 63 rotating hand-crafted ice pop flavors that can be dipped and decked out with toppings.
Classic desserts get deliciously updated at three sweet shops across the country. Skull and Cakebones rocks vegan cupcakes in Austin, Texas, with flavors like basil berry, dirty chai and just beet it, you'll be singing a new tune about dairy free desserts. Valerie Confections in Los Angeles is resurrecting vintage cake recipes with mouthwatering results: Head here for a slice of coffee crunch cake or banana shortcake. And in Brooklyn, Hay Rosie uses unusual ingredients like champagne and hops to flavor super creamy scoops of ice cream.
If you are looking for some Low Country Love, look no further than Charleston, S.C. At Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, they are baking up over the top, warm, doughy rounds like the Cinnamon Biscuit and the Blueberry Biscuit. At Brown's Court Bakery, they push the boundaries of baked goods with items like their Peanut Butter and Sriracha Croissant and their Caramelita Bar. And good things come in small packages at Sweet Lulu's Bakery on Wheels, where you can order Coconut Cake in a Jar or even Wonder Chick.
Sometimes good things come in small packages, and we visit three locations that pack big-time flavors in small servings. First stop is Cake Monkey Bakery in Los Angeles, where their mini layer cakes allow you to have your favorite cake -- and eat the whole thing! And the fluffy, coconut-coated Mogul takes a cute childhood favorite and makes it even better than you remember. Next stop is Tiny Pies in Austin, Texas, where a mother-daughter duo are making some of the best pies you've ever tasted, like the brownie-pecan combo Texas Two Step and the juicy Peach and Blueberry, and sizing them to fit in the palm of your hand. Finally, it's a twist on some classic French pastries at Canele by Celine, where delectable canele -- crispy on the outside, custard-like inside -- come not just in a rainbow of flavors, but bite-sized as well so you can try them all!
Bang Candy Company in Nashville gives the mellow marshmallow a glamorous makeover. Semi Sweet Bakery reinvents familiar homebaked goods into delicious decadence. Wooden Spoon stirs up American classics. Donna Bell's Bake Shop channels the South in their menu, including pie bars and decadent layered cakes.
Need a nibble of something sweet? Take a bite of sticky, stacked baklava and creative candies from Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., or a tiny taste of decadence with twisted French classics in Chicago or upscale Farmer's Market fare in San Francisco. These treats may be tiny, but are huge on flavor.
We're in New York City, discovering the places that are serving up the most unique sweet treats from around the world. In Red Hook, Brooklyn, check out La Newyorkina. This Mexican sweet shop specializes in paletas, ice pops made with fresh fruit. Try the milk-based Fresa Fields Forever or slurp the Chamoyada: a surprisingly addictive answer to the snow cone. On the Lower East Side we sample Thai street sweets at Juicy Spot Cafe. Here, they make ice cream to order and finish it with a variety of unique toppings. Try flavors like green tea, and toppings including grass jelly and dragon fruit. At Mocu-Mocu in Hell's Kitchen, they make a Japanese stuffed pancake called Obanyaki.The Apple Compote and Custard Cream Obanyaki tastes like a warm slice of apple pie a la mode.
We step off the island and head deep into the heart of Brooklyn to find the best sweets this New York City borough has to offer. Inspired by her Mexican heritage, Chef Fany Gerson pushes flavor combinations with hibiscus, passion fruit and even horchata in her doughnuts at Dough. Ample Hills Creamery whips up small batch artisanal ice cream in flavors like caramel, honey and breakfast cereal. Ovenly is combining salty and sweet with a touch of spice to craft cookies and cakes. At Robicelli's, familiar desserts like cheese platters, and root beer floats are packaged into cute cupcakes.
We venture out of Manhattan to the incredibly diverse borough of Queens and find one-of-a-kind baked treats. Rudy's Bakery and Cafe has been putting their own spin on classics like German Chocolate Cake since 1934. La Nueva bakery brings a taste of Latin America to the neighborhood with its signature Uruguayan sandwich cookies and at Norma's they're coming up with delicious creations like the Frankencrispie: part brownie, part cookie and part cereal bar. Now this is definitely worth a ride on the subway.
We're going on an ocean-hopping journey from Hawaii to the mainland for some magnificent morning munchies. We start with sweet unique ways to add fruits and veggies to your morning meal with a tropical Breakfast Bruschetta, Blue Corn Zucchini Bread, and a Strawberry Mint Hand Pie that will have you practically jumping out of bed. Next, a dizzying array of donuts from Glazed, Chocolate Malasadas, Apple Fritters, and a Donut Cake! If you're wanting something a little lighter, cozy up to some Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crisps or a multigrain Muesli Toast with nuts, berries, honey and green-tea custard.
We travel the country finding the sweetest way to start your day! At Holy Donut in Portland, Maine, the dough for their Maine Blueberry Donuts and Sweet Potato Ginger Glazed Donuts includes mashed potatoes. At Kolache in Brooklyn, they take on the Texan kolache pastry with a Berry Sweet Cheese version filled with three kinds of berries, and Orange Rolls. Finally, there's a decadent breakfast of Carrot Cake Pancakes and Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches at the Dixie Supply Bakery and Cafe in Charleston, S.C.
Glazed, sprinkled, filled or even plain, there's nothing so delectable as a freshly fried doughnut. So when you add some unique twists on this all American treat, they are quite simply, irresistible.
Anyway you fry it, America loves donuts, and these three shops are a cut above the rest. There are vegan delights at Donut Friend in Los Angeles, with everything from berries and mint to donut sandwiches; at Underwest Donuts in New York, they prove you can have your Halva Tahini donut and eat it too; In Honolulu, Champion Malasadas serve up Portuguese-style donuts fried to order and covered in sugar.
We meet some of America's most imaginative food crafters churning out sweet treats. Nashville's Olive & Sinclair makes artisanal chocolates and brittles with a Southern twist. Suck it Sweets & Treats creates cool popsicles and frozen desserts on a stick. It's all about having choices at Coolhaus where customers get to create their own ice cream sandwich combinations. At Culture, fresh and frozen yogurt desserts step into the spotlight.
Visit three of New York's game changers, putting a new spin on old favorites. At Dominique Ansel Kitchen, time is the secret ingredient: desserts are made to order instead of ahead of time. At Good Batch, a passion for cookies has evolved into groundbreaking ice cream sandwiches, like the deconstructed candy bar called the Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich. And the frozen desserts at Snow Days make childhood dreams come true: feathery shavings of flavored frozen creams in inventive flavor combinations.
We're heading to the Arizona desert to find some of the coolest desserts. At Fluff It Marshmallows in Gilbert, they're all about - you guessed it - the magnificent marshmallow and all its cloud-like flavor possibilities. Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream in Phoenix sells sundaes that will simply shock you, so loosen your belt for handcrafted ice creams, homemade toppings and a huge cookie at the bottom! Finally, Paletas Betty in Chandler offers dozens of Mexican ice pops to choose from every day, including a mix of sweet and spice and everything ice.
When it comes to sweets, chocolate is king. And it inspires chefs to reach new heights with amazingly chocolatey dishes. At Petsi Pies in Somerville, Mass., the indulgences begin with pie crusts made from ground chocolate cookies, and goes on to include Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Pie and an incomparable Mississippi Mud Pie.Bean-to-bar chocolatiers French Broad Chocolates in Ashville, N.C., create the addictive Chocolate Mocha Stout cake, then ups the ante with the thick and creamy Maple and Smoked Sea Salt Liquid Truffle. And Roni-Sue's Chocolate's on New York City's Lower East Side started a movement with its Pig Candy: crispy slices of fried bacon dipped in chocolate.
There's no better way to start your day than with one of New York's most unique breakfast treats. At the legendary Doughnut Plant, Mark Isreal makes his signature square doughnuts and his sophisticated alternative to the doughnut hole. At Lafayette, one bite of their luscious creations transports you into a classic French bistro. Then it's off to Wafels & Dinges where they're taking wafels to a whole new level of deliciousness.
These are the places that everyone flocks to for desserts they can't get anywhere else. Homemade pies that fly off the shelves, ice creams that people stand in line for late at night and unique spiced cakes that tickle the taste buds. These are neighborhood gems that sparkle.
There are those who order a savory brunch and there are those that go for gusto with something decadent and sweet. We're catering to the sweet tooth by visiting hotspots that take a sweet brunch very seriously and turn it into something utterly unique.
Nothing beats waking up in the morning to the scent of hot buttery sweet pastries. And these breakfast pastries from Oregon, California, New York and Connecticut are unlike anything you've had before. Once that morning coffee kicks in, you'll need to dig in.
If a love for chocolate can be described as a religion, we have found the ultimate places of worship that claim devotion to little else. Atop the shrine to this beloved ingredient sits a collection of playful chocolate confections, a chocolate-doused brownie sundae, a molten chocolate tart unlike any you've ever seen and a chocolate cake that's known as the best in the world.
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