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Archive for April, 2012

S'amore made-to-order almond salted dark chocolate s'more

The Hester Street Market opened their season to huge crowds on Saturday and the food stalls seemed to be the biggest draw. There were plenty of all-new savory and sweet vendors in attendance so I brought a civilian accomplice in order try as much as possible.  Here are a few of the vendors I visited.

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Snack updates: Sara Snacker Cookies from Zabar’s

Posted by Niko on April 27th, 2012

The classic chipn'etzel is still the best (maybe chocolate dipped)

I can’t believe how this company has grown over the last few years from their humble beginnings with one excellent product to a rapidly expanding cookie empire. Gone are the “mom and pop” plastic clamshell containers with stickers to seal them up. Sara Snacker’s glossy new bags have nice offset printing with a photo of the cookies plus an additional interior bag to preserve freshness.

Despite the new packaging and increased retail locations–nothing has really changed in terms of how good these cookies are.  I can still swing by Zabar’s and pick up a bag whenever I want the combined tastes of pretzels, chips and cookies.  They have added a new s’mores flavor to the lineup.  The s’more cookie is much sweeter than either the chipen’etzel or the vanilla milkshake.  It features marshmallow, chocolate and crushed graham crackers.

My recommendations still stands with one small update (since the T.W. cookie has been discontinued): (more…)

Neuhaus Chocolate opens flagship on Madison Ave

Posted by Niko on April 23rd, 2012

Raspberry ganache

Last week I became a fan of Neuhaus chocolate.  And it wasn’t just because they plied me with enough free ganache, pralines and truffles to fill a knapsack.  This sounds a little cheesy but I was simply impressed with the overall classiness of their operation.   Every one of the front-line staff I spoke to were long time Neuhaus employees who knew every detail about each chocolate.  The two employees behind the counter serving individual pieces had 4 and 7 years with the company respectively.  Add this to the fact that Neuhaus itself is a 150 year old company that is credited with inventing praline-style individual chocolates. Clearly, these guys know chocolate. (more…)

Bacon cheddar croissant

Two weeks ago, the popular chelsea restaurant Cookshop started a morning coffebar and bakery service featuring sweet and savory items created by their celebrated, in-house pastry chef Amanda Cook.  Cookshop is already a wildly popular dinner and brunch destination–on one Saturday afternoon visit I could barely get through the sea of people waiting for a table.  With such a huge following I wonder if a full-blown bakery is in the cards down the road. Maybe this coffeebar is way to test the waters? (more…)

The Levain chocolate chip cookie: The choice of top pastry chefs

Over the years I have found that New Yorkers have strong opinions about their favorite chocolate chip cookie.  I think this is because our personal cookie style and texture preference is solidified during childhood.  As we age, the emotional connection remains.  And the easiest way to reconnect with your childhood is to experience your favorite cookie.  Or, it could just be people like butter, sugar and chocolate chips!

Recently, I asked some of the best pasty chefs (who aren’t listed on my restraining order), who bakes their favorite chocolate chip cookie?  I expected to get 20 diplomatic  answers of “well–it’s hard to say, ther’re all so good…”  But to my surprise, many  were willing to share their their opinions.  All of these chefs spent some time working in New York kitchens. (more…)

Doughnuts from Brooklyn's "Dough"

I was on my way to visit Cookshop in Chelsea when I noticed a new food market on the corner of 22nd Street and 8th Ave.  I could tell as soon as I walked inside this wasn’t just any market.  It looked like it was set up by people who really knew what they were doing–serious food people.  The contents of  the bakery counter confirmed this. (more…)

10 year old doughnut expert continued: Doughnut Plant

Posted by Niko on April 4th, 2012

If the doughnut isn't as big as your face it's not big enough

DessertBuzz’s 10-year-old doughnut expert and guest reviewer was back on the streets of New York again yesterday in search of more doughnuts!  Luckily, he was able to find some at the Chelsea location of the Doughnut Plant.   You may recall the Doughnut Plant from the 2011 New York Food and Wine Show where they won best dessert with their creme brulee doughnut. (more…)