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Sea-FAT-tle Eatenings

OH SNAPPPPPP So when Kat and I travel, our meals go like so:

If you don’t have a seasoned sweet-tooth, I can’t exactly recommend a diet that consists primarily of sugary goods. It was almost too much for us, but the pastries were just DEMANDING that we eat them. So, thanks to the magic of Yelp and Cakespy’s ‘Seattle’ tag, we managed to hit up…

Twede’s Cafe–CONSUMED: Cherry Pie, Coffee

Kendra: As a Twin Peak’s fan, I couldn’t pass this up; the diner (and it’s ubiquitous coffee and pie) feature prominently in the series. The original place burned down, and the remodeled interior looked quite different (no more wood paneling, the red booths were now blue) but the central serving area remains. The woman who originally made the pie while the show was shooting (about oh, around twenty years ago) is also gone, but hey, when in Rome…

Kat: Worth it for the beautiful North Bend countryside. A rewarding stop after our hiking. Quite upfront about being a tourist trap.

 

Mon Hei Chinese Bakery–CONSUMED: Egg Custard, Coconut Bun

Kendra: Yelper’s liked it, we tried it–the egg custard was too eggy, but the coconut bun was sweet and satisfying.

Kat: The coconut bun was a meal unto itself, although not really my thing. Egg custard was definitely on the hearty side rather than the sweet side.

Fuji Bakery–CONSUMED: Orange Chocolate Brioche, Twinings Brioche, Pear Tart

Kendra: I initially mourned the passing of Unicorn Crepes (mochi in a crepe? yes!), but at least Fuji Bakery is a worthy replacement. A French-style Japanese bakery with immaculate presentation–everything just looks PERFECT. It tasted good too–everything was great, but the pear tart was flaky, creamy, and delectable.

Kat: Everything was presented impeccably, and the designs were sometimes quite unexpected. I was quite taken with the perfect cylinders of whole wheat bread. They have mainly dough-based offerings, covering savory through sweet. The Twinings Brioche, with quite detectable bergamot flavor, straddled the line between the two. With the cream cheese, although this pastry is lightly-sweet, it almost seems like an appropriate lunch item. Chunks of candied orange peel embedded in the dough of the chocolate brioche elevated it to above-ordinary. And the pear tart was outstanding, definitely A-plus material. I should also mention that the staff behind the counter were quite friendly.

 

 

 

The Confectional–CONSUMED: White Chocolate Lemon Mini-Cheesecake

Kendra: Usually cheesecake is too much for me, but these mini-cakes (almost like cupcakes, in a way) were the perfect size and ratio of cheesecake to topping. This lemon-based flavor was pretty refreshing!

Kat: Really, really good, and the individually-formed and garnished presentation was quite appealing.

 

Piroshky Piroshky!–CONSUMED: Oscar’s Star

Kendra: The line was so  long, and I was so caught up in wanting to get a marzipan piroshky that when I was informed they were out, I stupidly ordered something that WASN’T a piroshky. Whatever fried-dough pastry I got wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t worth finishing (!!!). Kat: Not quite as exciting as it appeared from a distance. Messy.

 

 

Cupcake Royale–CONSUMED! mini vanilla/vanilla, white chocolate blackberry chocolate chip, triple threat (chocolate^3)

Kendra: Pretty solid cupcakes here! The mini vanilla/vanilla turned out to be the dark horse, and I was kicking myself that we didn’t get a normal sized version. The chocolate blackberry and triple threat were still pretty tasty; I can see why this is Seattle’s  #1 cupcakery. NO FILLED CUPCAKES THOUGH ;_;

Kat: Dense, spongy cakes with airy frosting. I agree, the vanilla was the most satisfying.

 

strawberrrrry

Honoré Artisan Bakery–CONSUMED: Strawberry Danish

Kendra: This was quite off the beaten path, and doesn’t even have much signage to help you out–but the danish we split proved why it’s fun to explore.

Kat: The flaky crust of the danish was top notch. A good pick-me-up on the way between the Ballard Farmer’s Market and Larsen’s Bakery.

Larsen’s Danish Bakery–CONSUMED: Smorkage, Mazzarine, “Potato”

Kendra: SMORKAGE. Just say it out loud. SMORKAGE. An amazing name for what amounted to a breakfast sweet roll that was stuffed with almond paste. DELICIOUS. I have to say, this place was by far my favorite sweet-spot on the trip. This is due in part to the fact that ‘Swedish’ is shorthand for ‘stuff/cover everything with almond paste or marzipan. I LOVE MARZIPAN. The ‘potato’ was amazing–it’s basically an eclair that also has apricot jam, which is then wrapped in marzipan, coated in cocoa powder, and decorated to look like a potato. We ate it for breakfast, paired with ‘cupcake-flavored coffee’ from Caffe Lieto. The mazzarine was almond paste, chocolate, raspberry jam, pastry….need I say more?

Kat: So many baked goods. Cases after cases. And nothing has name cards, which makes for extra adventure. Toss-up between whether I miss this or Fuji Bakery more. The raspberry mazzarine thing was everything I want in a pastry, and extra-satisfying after 6 mile walk around Ballard. Definitely an A+. Smorkage is a big, ring-shaped coffee/breakfast-like thing. Tasty, but more snacky than satisfying. The Potato was a behemoth of a dessert. Quite nice, in that ‘will this kill me’ way. A heavy-hitter of the pastry league. Potatoes from Larsen's

The Crumpet Shop–CONSUMED: Crumpet with Maple Butter

Kendra: After three previous attempts to buy a crumpet from here ended in failure, we had a SUCCESS. Was it worth all the trips? Hey, cross an english muffin with a pancake, cover it in maple butter, and try to resist it! YOU CAN’T. It was delicious.

Kat: Quite nice, but not necessarily worth going early for.

Yellow Leaf Cupcakery–CONSUMED: Lavender cupcake, what was the other one…Dulce de Leche?

Kendra: This place reminded me of Lavender Moon back home; creative flavors, light cake base, cream cheese-esque frosting, tiny shop. Pleasant.

Kat: I actually can’t remember these cupcakes at all, but I did appreciate the range of flavors available.

 

In CONCLUSION… Miles walked: Many Calories consumed: countless Seattle: Only partially conquered!

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Adventures at H-Mart

It’s Friday. I’m just going to let the packaging speak for itself.

SURE!

hell no

love it.

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Specu-wha?

So, Speculoos spread. Also called ‘spekuloos’, ‘speculaas’, and ‘spekulatius’.

like a million cookies

I’ve been kinda obsessing over it ever since Kat shared an article about the controversy surrounding said spread. Mostly because it seems like the perfect accompaniment to Nutella–I mean, it’s GROUND-UP COOKIES that you can spread like peanut butter. HOW IS THIS NOT A GREAT IDEA? I do take a little bit of issue with the fact this: “As [the Speculoos] company sets its sights on the United States, it faces entrenched competition from peanut butter. Peanut butter may have more nutrients, but [the chief executive] said, “this is something new, with no nuts in it, at a time when more and more people have nut allergies.”

Yeahhh, uh, I don’t know if I’d put peanut butter and cookie paste on the same page–maybe once I start replacing my pasta with Twizzlers.

Anyway, my curiosity would not be sated by merely reading about this amazing product, so I placed an order with the only US distributor, Biscoff. Sure, it came to 7 bucks per jar, but it’s all in the name of SCIENCE.

Kat and I (along with roomie Marymary) all took to it like deranged groupies. I figured that since it was similar to Nutella, I could probably consume it in a similar fashion–which for me involves crepes.

the spread spread

But first, we each took an unadulterated spoonful in order to get the full effect. Then we took a few apple slices and dunked them in. Having figured out the general flavor, we went a little cray-zay and slathered it on the crepes–along with Nutella, marshmallow Fluff, and strawberries. OH YES. OHHHH, YES.

a perfectly healthy  lunch

We had some of these Korean DYNAMIC DUO cookie/cracker snacks lying around, so we also dunked those in–because what pairs better with cookie than cookie?

like batman and robin cookies!

IN CONCLUSION…

Kendra: It’s similar to creamy peanut butter, but seems less greasy for whatever reason, and tastes similar to a mild ginger snap–which in creamy spread format is QUITE addictive. I’ve been using it in place of maple syrup on my breakfast goodies–which speaks volumes if you know about my undying love for maple syrup. Worth $7? Probably not, but I definitely have no regrets.

Kat: Surprisingly light and mild for something that seems so decadent. Quite tasty, with a smooth texture. I’ve never had a speculoos cookie, but it tastes rather like Anna’s Ginger Thins to me. Maybe a little less gingery, actually. Recommended, but certainly not a must-have. It was a great topping for crepes and apple slices. A

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! DING DONG DING

Halloween. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Not one of these holidays can compare to Easter in terms of candy.

I don't consider 4th of July to be a Candy holiday

Sure, you GET more candy around Halloween, but are there Cadbury Creme Eggs around? NO. Are there Robin Eggs? NEGATIVE. Are there Peeps? Okay, I’ll give you that, but there’s so many better candy options for Easter compared to any other holiday!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs–it’s a proven fact* that the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is more pleasing to the palate in these than in your normal, run-of-the-mill Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. And Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are one ‘junk-food candy’ that I still indulge in, so these Peanut Butter Eggs are like manna from heaven.

Peeps–while there’s now Peeps available during all major (US) holidays, Easter Peeps are still the best. You know why? Because nothing beats being able to hold the fate of a Peep in your hands. Heads or tails first? Sure, I suppose you can do that with Peep Ghosts or Peep Christmas Trees (…) but I like to imagine myself as Godzilla when I’m chowing down on their sugary brains. Or you can pull a Mr. Burns like my sister, depicted below.

HUNTING TIME

Which brings me to…

Chocolate Bunnies–Sure, the lesser-brand bunnies are nothing more than mockolate nowadays, but you can still buy decent-to-high quality rabbits from a variety of suppliers, and much like the Peeps, YOU HOLD THEIR FATE IN YOUR HANDS. Mmm, so many years, so many headless chocolate rabbits around. Don’t even get me started on Easter S’mores, made with melted chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps! Or do what my coworker does, and make Easter fondue (melt chocolate bunnies, dip Peeps in). Godzilla noises optional, but WHY NOT?

Cadbury Creme Eggs–I kinda go crazy over Cadbury Creme Eggs, as you can see from what I’ve accumulated thus far this year. In fact, I ended up getting a bit too overzealous last year, and still have leftovers. THIS IS A FIRST-WORLD DILEMMA, HERE. Cadbury Creme Eggs are the quintessential Easter Candy. I know over the years they’ve upped the price and decreased the size, but it’s probably for the best–Cadbury Creme Eggs are diabetes bombs.

please throw my body to the wolves

Kat: Why is Easter the best candy holiday? Eggs. Eggs get you oversized goo- and fluff-filled chocolates. If I’m not going to eat quality chocolate, I want to go all out with a disgusting, delicious, viscous pools of fondant. Mmmm. I also could not resist picking up Reeses eggs after Sunday’s tempting post over at Anger Burger. They are indeed much closer to the peanut/chocolate ideal ratio than a Reeses cup.

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Legend of Buttercream Truffles

Kat: One night while I was nestled snug in my bed, visions of chocolate-dipped frosting danced in my head.

I mentioned my dream to Kendra, and she said let’s do it!

Kendra: First, you need some buttercream. The recipe I used was tweaked from Allrecipes (use shortening? Blech! We’re going full-Paula Deen here!).

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING TRUFFLES

  • 1 cup slightly softened butter (2 sticks–I microwave ’em for about twenty seconds, if taken from the fridge)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz cream
  • optional: peppermint extract, almond extract, lemon extract (for different flavors)
  • 20 oz chocolate to melt (chocolate chips are acceptable)
  1. Beat together butter and sugar until creamed.
  2. Mix in salt, vanilla, cream.
  3. Add optional extracts; you can divvy  up the frosting and add a teaspoon or two  of the different extracts until you reach a flavor intensity that you want.
  4. Bust out baking sheets or pans lined with wax  or parchment paper; spoon a cookie-dough sized dollop onto sheet until you have what will resemble a bunch of mashed potato blobs.way better than mashed potatoes
  5. Let buttercream solidify in freezer for at least thirty minutes.
  6. Chop chocolate if necessary, melt in double boiler (or if you feel like continuously microwaving it, be my guest)CHOCOCHOCOCHOCO
  7. Use a toothpick or a sharp thin pointy object to spear the buttercream blobs. Dip/cover in chocolate. Lather, rinse, repeat until everything is magically covered in chocolate. action shot!
  8. Freeze for another thirty minutes until chocolate has solidified. already cooling in the background
  9. EAT AND ENJOY! this was a mint one mmm
  10. …if you have any leftover chocolate, now’s the time to see what else you can dip! We had some Peeps lying around, and graham crackers are always a safe bet.sprinkle'd!

SUCCESS! These truffles are DELICIOUS. You do have to keep them refrigerated, but that’s a small price to pay for something so delicious. I’ve loved cold cake frosting ever since my parents started throwing birthday parties where they’d pick up those Baskin-Robbins’ ice cream clowns:

These truffles are like my childhood, except BETTER because it’s chocolate-coated. :3

There’s something so indulgent about eating straight-up cake frosting in truffle form–hopefully Kat has more dreams like this!

Kat: These…these are so good. So much better than I even imagined.  I like em best straight out of the freezer.

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Cookies^4 (or, Time-Traveling Cookies)

A few months ago, Kat and I took a trip to San Francisco. It was amazing! I definitely fell in  love with the city, between the liberal,  laid-back atmosphere and the huge food scene. People take their food SERIOUSLY, but in a good way!

Anyway, we especially took to the Mission District–lots of hipsters, the 826 Valencia Pirate store, and tasty tasty food. We kept going to Tartine Bakery and Anthony’s Cookies during our looooooong walks of the city (gotta fortify ourselves!). According to one Yelper, Anthony’s Cookies and Cream cookie was ‘…a cookie that tastes like cookie’ so of course with a review that nonsensical we had to try it.

And after trying it, we knew we had to replicate it on our own. After some Google-Fu, I tracked down a nigh identical-tasting recipe.

It begins.

Of course, we aren’t the types to just bake cookies–no, we’re kinda crazy adventurers. How could we make cookies baked with cookies in them even better?

Shit just got real.

If you answered ‘by sandwiching chocolate-chip cookie dough in between’, you’d be absolutely correct! But we weren’t done, no sir.

OH MY GOD THE HUMANITY

We definitely dunked these suckers in chocolate, and then finished them off with a layer of crushed Oreos. So that’s like, four dimensions of cookies! Cookies sprinkled on cookies with cookies in them sandwiching cookie dough. COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE.

 

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