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Archive for the 'Best bakeries' Category

Paris New York

Today we continue to go through the sweet side of the menu of Dominique Ansel Bakery.  Go here for part I.

Paris-New York: Mr Ansel’s take on Paris-Brest features a split ring of choux pastry filled with chocolate ganache, peanut butter ganache, peanut butter cream, and caramel.  If the Mini-Me cake is a chocolate lover’s dream, then the Paris-New York is for peanut butter lovers.  The pastry is light and is used primarily as a (GDS) -that’s a ganache delivery system.  Why order it? If you like peanut butter and dark chocolate it’s a no brainer.  Ansel on the Paris-New York “a twist on the Paris-Brest, a pate a choux pastry usually filled with hazelnut cream. I call mine the Paris-New York and used chocolate, caramel, and peanuts as my flavors. Can you tell where I got my inspiration from? It’s the ingredients you’ll find inside a Snicker’s bar, my favorite candy bar.” (more…)

World class canneles from Dominique Ansel Bakery

The recent trend in New York City restaurants and bakeries is to offer one thing and (hopefully) do it really well.  See Puddin’ on St. Marks.  But what if a bakery opens up and kills it in multiple categories?  Well, after my third visit I have even more conviction that Dominique Ansel Bakery is the best new bakery in Manhattan in a long time.  They have a number of best-in-class pastry from the canneles to the kouign amann (dubbed the next big thing by pastry chef and instructor Francisco Migoya) to special eclairs.  Let’s take a walk through the sweet side of the menu.

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Peanut chocolate chip cookie from two little red hens bakery

Here’s the thing with cookies:  Even the not-so-special ones are pretty damn good.  If a bakery has high turnover even pedestrian cookies are often really good.  After all, the main ingredients are butter, sugar, flour and perhaps some type of chocolate, peanut butter or other type of candy chip.  Ben and Jerry’s already proved with their cookie dough flavors that you don’t even need to bake these ingredients for them to taste good.

So how does a bakery distinguish itself from all the others and deliver a cookie that stands above the crowd?  Truthfully, I don’t know, but I do know that Two Little Red Hens has some of the best cookies in New York.  They might not be as talked about as  Levain or Jacques Torres but that’s only because their tiny bakery is all the way up on 2nd Ave and 86 St.

The peanut chocolate chip cookie is slightly crisp around the outside and softer and cake-like on the inside with an awesome peanut flavor and nice big square chunks of chocolate.  For peanut and peanut butter lovers, this cookie is a “must eat” right behind the Bouchon Bakery nutter butter.

Pumpkin spice scone from two little red hens bakery in NYC

Next up was the seasonal pumpkin spice scone.  I was mentally prepared for a letdown after the cookies but the scone was every bit as good as the cookie.

Don’t be turned off by the scone’s huge size.  Instead, just think of it as a good value. The first thing you’ll notice is all the great spice flavors inside.  Then, you taste the bits of Cranberry and pumpkin.  The texture reminded me of banana bread.   It’s also very moist.  And this moistness is all the more amazing given that it was 2:00 p.m.  when I purchased my scone.  That means if you get there early in the morning you’ll have an even fresher product than I did.  Look for more Two Little Red Hens reviews soon.

Recommended: Any of the cookies but especially the Peanut Chocolate Chip and the Pumpkin Spice Scone.

Two Little Red Hens bakery  is located at 1652 2nd Ave (86th St.)

Their website is here.

Could these be the best croissants and pain au chocolats in New York? Who the hell knows. In my opinion, yes.

The pictures really say more about how good they are than my clunky descriptions ever could. I’ll just add that in comparison to Zabars they more than hold their own.

Zabar’s has two different croissant offerings: One that’s flown in from France every day which has just as good flavor but not the texture of the Bouley Bakery product. The other, which is house made, is also very good but is too soggy with butter for my liking. Only City Bakery comes close with a great texture in a less buttery croissant.

Bouley Bakery is here.  Tomorrow, we talk scones. Blue Ribbon and Bouley scones.