Posts within the 'sweets' Category


Review: Dia Doce Cupcakes

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011
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MacDougall’s Irish Victory Cakes

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

macDougalls-irish-victory-cakes

While perusing the selection one Thursday afternoon at the Great Valley Farmers Market, I was drawn towards a booth that was covered in pretty little cakes. (Somehow I leave the Farm Market with just as many baked goods as produce these days.) Not only did the cakes look tasty, they had a tasty name as well: MacDougall’s Irish Victory Cakes. The story behind these cakes is actually quite fascinating, yet I think owner Deborah Streeter Davitt does it better justice than I could (on their website):

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Market Day Canelé

Monday, August 1st, 2011

market-day-canele

I was walking through the East Goshen Farmers Market, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, when I came across a small stand selling pastries that looked a bit too serious to be displayed in such a casual setting. After ascertaining that they were canelé (ca-neuh-lay), a French pastry from Bordeaux, I recalled reading a short article in PhillyMag that gushed over the treats. At the time, I had made a note to get my hands on some, but I guess the mental post-it fell to the floor. Still, here I was, staring them in the face. Were they the same ones lauded by PhillyMag, or some imposter? I wanted my first canelé experience to be the real deal, but had no time to research. I took the plunge.

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Philadelphia Butter Cake on the Main Line

Monday, April 11th, 2011
weinrich-bakery-buttercake

Weinrich Bakery's Butter Cake

My family is not originally from this area, so although we have lived here for more than 20 years, we are often less familiar with local traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, especially those that have begun to fade away. One such specialty is Philadelphia Butter Cake (a.k.a. German Butter Cake, but not to be confused with St. Louis Butter Cake), a dessert known for its sweet, decadent, butter-based frosting. We’d actually never heard of this until recently, but once informed, I was quickly determined to find out more and seek some out in the local area.

Though butter cake is not exactly a hot topic online, quite a few posts can be found on message boards, blogs and review sites, written by people who grew up in this area (Northeast Philly especially), that reference it as something that was one of their favorite treats as a kid. It appears this pastry was quite popular through the 60’s and into the early 70s (and surely before that), but started to lose its luster in the late 70s, perhaps early 80s. While there are some bakeries that still make it today, it is a lost art, handcrafted only by those establishments that still remain from the heyday.

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Review: Laura’s Biscotti & Granola, Malvern

Monday, May 31st, 2010
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B.T. Baking: Locally-Made Organic Brownies

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

bt-brownies

B.T. Baking is a small company right here in Haverford, PA producing some of the richest, gooiest, most decadently awesome organic brownies that you’ll ever try.

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Carangi Baking Company Mainline, Paoli

Monday, November 9th, 2009
whole wheat baguette

Whole Wheat Baguette

South Philly Italian bakery Carangi Baking Company has recently opened at 1556 Lancaster Ave. in Paoli, bringing a wide variety of freshly-made breads, pizzas, stromboli and other Italian specialties to the ‘burbs.

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Finally, Real Ice Cream on the Main Line!

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

I moved to this area from the Boston suburbs in 1990; when my first experience going “out for ice cream” in the area led to Dairy Queen, I was appauled. I asked one of the people I was with if there were any real ice cream shoppes around; he could only give me a puzzled look and shrug. And while I learned to appreciate the cookie dough Blizzard, I still dreampt of childhood days at Emack & Bolios, Brigham’s and of course, Steve’s, the greatest ice cream shop ever created.

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