Friday, February 24, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

The good folks at Two Peas & Their Pod offer a recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Yes, it's a dessert that combines the chewy texture of a bar cookie with chocolate and a salty-sweet flavor profile. I haven't even tried these yet, and already I'm drooling!

Hat tip: BrownEyedBaker

Update 3/4/12: Learn how they turned out when I made them!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More great Boston desserts from Yelp

Just after I posted my Five Must-Try Desserts in Greater Boston, the local Yelp newsletter shared some of Yelp users' favorite Boston desserts. Amazingly, I haven't tried any of them (yet!), but you can bet that I'll be putting the buttermilk biscuit bread pudding with caramel sauce at Highland Kitchen (Somerville) on my to-eat list. The cupcakes at Cakeology in downtown Boston sound great, too. Has anyone tried them? Any favorite varieties?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Five Must-Try Desserts in Greater Boston

Whether you're visiting Boston for the first time or you've spent your life consuming frappes and Jimmies, there are certain local desserts that you just shouldn't miss. Here are five of my top selections in and around the city:
  1. Cannoli at Modern Pastry Shop (North End or Medford Square)

    If you grew up in an Italian-American neighborhood, you're already familiar with cannoli: crisp, hollow pastry shells filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and dusted with powdered sugar. If you're in Boston's North End, skip the more touristy Mike's, which leaves pre-filled cannoli to get soggy on the shelf, and head to Modern just down the street. If you're heading north of the city, the Medford Square location has the same great pastry without the lines (except right before Italian/Catholic holidays).
  2. Molten Chocolate at Finale (Park Plaza or Harvard Square)

    Molten chocolate cake has become a classic in recent years. Who can resist the warm, gooey center? The pastry chefs at Finale take this popular favorite to an art form, applying perfect technique to high end ingredients. The result is well worth the premium price.
  3. Crème Brulée Cheesecake at Not Your Average Joe's (multiple locations)

    Sure, Joe's is a chain, but it's a consistently good one that knows how to put out a quality dessert. The cheesecake is rich and creamy, and its slightly crispy caramelized top adds just the right contrast in textures. Go for dessert, stay for dinner, and perhaps try a raspberry-lime rickey while you're there!

  4. Ricotta Pie at Arthur's Pastry Shop (Medford)

    Take a cheesecake and interbreed it with a cannoli, and you'll end up with ricotta pie. The best can be found at Arthur's Pastry Shop in Medford, just a couple miles down the road from Modern Pastry (see #1 above). As long as you're stocking up on Italian favorites in Medford, you might consider a trip to Bob's Foods, an Italian specialty store that also has great subs and pasta dishes for takeout; LaCascia's for more great subs and baked goods; and Italo Bakery for cheap but delicious fresh-baked bread.

  5. Black-and-Whites at Lyndell's (Ball Square, Somerville)

    Also not far from Medford (but more accessible by public transportation) is Ball Square's landmark bakery, Lyndell's. Everything I've had there is great, but I especially recommend the black-and-whites, which are basically flattened cupcakes with half chocolate, half vanilla frosting. They also have every other combination of chocolate or yellow cake with chocolate or vanilla frosting. My favorite is the yellow with vanilla, but the black-and-white is the classic.
Now it's your turn. What must-try Boston desserts would you add to this list?

Update 2/22/12: Correction to Italo Bakery.