Pie Cone: the future of à la mode

unnamed-1

For when you can’t quite decide between ice cream or pie (and for whatever excuse aren’t just solving this common dilemma by getting both): PIE CONE.

Spinning J‘s flaky, buttery, sugared pie dough rolled and baked into a cone shape, topped with your choice of Black Dog Gelato flavors including blackberry passion fruit and strawberry rhubarb sorbet (pictured above), vanilla bean, Mexican chocolate, Oreo mint, cherry chocolate chip, or chocolate sorbet.

Ingenious.

Super Spinning J, once again helping to avert dessert crises for the sweet-toothed citizens of Chicago.

(although you are still free/encouraged to order a slice or three of pie too)

unnamed

(pictured: cherry apricot, hibiscus key lime with blueberry compote, chocolate hazelnut cream. not pictured: excavator required to remove me from the booth.)

 

 

WLW: Jacques Genin pâtes de fruits

unnamed

Though kids have started going back to school and days are sliiiiightly getting shorter, I’m under no delusion that summer is nearing an end. I know I still have until approx October to continue with BBQs and AC. I’m highly aware, however, that my days of summer produce are much more limited.

And so, for today’s Wish List journey, I’ll be traveling to Paris and stopping by Jacques Genin. I mean, of course I’ll be noshing on a tarte au citron with basil AND a Paris-Brest AND a made-to-order mille-feuille AND an individual St. Honoré, and def probs be taking an assortment of chocolates and caramels and nougats to go……but why I’m really here is for the pâtes de fruits. And even more so, for the pâtes de LÉGUMES. WUT/QUOI.

unnamed-3

Yes, yes, you’ve translated correctly. In addition to sugared jewel-toned concentrated bites of cassis, lychee, raspberry, pineapple, pear, rhubarb, mango-passionfruit, blood orange, etc etc, Jacques Genin has basically made veggie candy and I want some. I’ll take a healthy sampling of each: green tomato, carrot, celery, bell pepper, beet, fennel, pumpkin, and whatever else they have growing in the garden that day.

unnamed-1

This is my kind of summer preservation, and truly some next level eating of the rainbow. Maybe instead of coaxing kids to eat their vegetables because “look! so cute! broccoli is like a little tree!!,” just give them a plate of pâte and prepare to welcome some new members to the Clean Plate Club.

unnamed-2

 

*photos by: @jacquesgenin, @dafnamechlin, @lisatreehouse

Sunday Sundae: national day history mystery edition

unnamed

As if the sweltering summer heat wasn’t a good enough excuse to drown yourself in ice cream, July is National Ice Cream Month. And if you didn’t already know that, what better day to learn than today, National Ice Cream Day!

As much as I’d like to take credit for making up this glorious holiday and basically extending it for 1/12 of the YEAR, the Nobel Prize goes to desserty prez Ronnie Reagan, who in 1984 took a break from pounding jelly beans and proclaimed July as National Ice Cream Month, further driving it home by establishing the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. #justsayyes

Which brings us to today’s mystery: what did I just eat? Unable to decide, but definitely leaning chocolate for today’s observance, I had a turtle sundae with a nice foundation scoop of dark dark chocolate topped with a scoop of Agatha Christie from the newly opened Red Bicycle Ice Cream. The Agatha Christie is an ever-changing mysterious mélange of all the flavors, so you never know quite what you’ll taste. Thankfully, I did not come across arsenic or gun powder, but rather cookies and cream, rocky road, chocolate chip, and a hint of mint. (alas, no Poirot crème de cassis)

 

pit stops: Chi > Cle >FLks > Mont > Queb > Mich > Chi

Dear Dessert Oasis,
Your recent posting about your yummy cross country road trip bakery stop in Lincoln, NE made me think I should do some advance planning for my own upcoming road trip. Any tips on wish list dessert stops between Chicago-Cleveland-Finger Lakes region, NY-Montreal-Quebec City- Toronto-and back to Chicago (via Michigan)? Whew! It’ll be a long adventure and we could use some delicious car snacks.
Thanks!
Road Trippin’ Rover


===============


Dear Road Trippin’,
Having a few known dessert stops on your map will definitely save you from an overload of gas station candy bars and hot pockets – way to think ahead!! That being said, it can be tricky to find great stop offs that don’t veer too far away from the beaten path. (like, unfortch, much of the Ohio turnpike is a bland stretch of oasis pits.)
And so, I’ve outlined a few standouts near each of your destinations, and recommend you stock up as you approach/leave each locale. Be sure to bring a cooler, some extra tupperware, and a roll of paper towels!
unnamed-8
Munster, IN: Munster Donuts (get a sour creme donut or twelve)
unnamed-4unnamed
Cleveland: Presti’s Bakery (cannoli), Jack Frost Donuts (including a donut that looks like a hot dog! GET IT.), Sweet Moses (ice cream)
unnamed-1
Finger Lakes: Seneca Farms (banana splits – have to eat your fruits and veggies while you’re on the road), Colonial Inn (ice cream with historic charm)
unnamed-5unnamed-3
Montreal: Mamie Clafoutis (bakery – tarts and croissants and cream puffs, oh my!), Wild Willy’s (ice cream), Les Givres (a lil bit of everything)
unnamed-9
Quebec CityÉrico (chocolate everything, including a chocolate museum to stretch your road-weary legs!)
unnamed-6
unnamed-2unnamed-7
and to really savor the last leg of your journey, Michigan! Sister Pie (Detroit – pie, duh), Hinkley Bakery (Jackson – for donuts), Whistle Stop Grocery (Union Pier – cakes, pastries, and maybe some provisions for your fridge back home)


Happy travels and happy eats!!
– Dessert Oasis


*photo creds to many IG travelers: @foodchristinaeats, @whistlestopgrocery, @deeedoyle, @sarhuzarski, @stephyaklin, @terrellm, @tastymorocco, @jenn_pearce, @nadiawasti


Have a dessert question?  Email me at courtneysconza@gmail.com – from funnel cakes to fondue fountains, if it has sugar, I’ve probably eaten it.

Dessert Detour: Blue’s Cafe

unnamed-3

If I described a place that made strawberry pie, strawberry silk pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, coconut cream pie, coconut meringue pie, peanut butter pie, triple berry pie, peach pie, blueberry pie, raisin pie, key lime pie, pecan pie, cherry pie, butterscotch meringue pie, custard pie, Hawaiian pie, apple pie and lemon meringue pie DAILY, you’d probably guess that I was describing a pie shop. If I told you that over half of these pies sold out by 3pm, you’d probably guess that this pie shop was located on a busy street in a major city. You probably would not guess that this is all going down in an unassuming diner on a quiet road in Kankakee. NO JOKE.

unnamed-5unnamed-4

When I called ahead to be sure they had the butterscotch meringue, I was on the phone for about 5 minutes while all pie varieties were rambled off. Who would have guessed, with all those options, that when I arrived a few hours later, the beloved butterscotch would be sold out?!? Where are all these crazy pie eaters coming from?? Do all Kankakee citizens have pie filling running through their veins?

Blue’s Cafe is about 10 min west of I-57, and has been around since maybe 1954 – or at least that’s what an old photo on the wall says. They have all the usual diner fare: good coffee, sandwiches, soups, omelets, etc., but to be honest, I didn’t even look at a regular menu. I came for the pie. I sat down, ordered a cup of coffee, and said, “I’ll be having a lot of pie.”

And when my three slices arrived on the table, they created a bit of a stir. Like everyone stared and shouted and beamed with pride and amazement.

“You go girl!”
“You should take a picture!”
“That’s my kind of meal.”
“I shoulda got that!”
“Are you a taste tester?”
“Even Trish can only do two slices (with ice cream).”
“I thought she was kidding when she said she was getting three slices.”

On the table:

blueberry – warm with a flaky, buttery crust

unnamed-1

strawberry silk – (because what is that?? it’s like what Strawberry Shortcake would bring to an afternoon tea if she made pies instead of cakes) – with a graham cracker crust and fresh strawberries

unnamed

coconut cream loaded with tons of coconut and piled high with whipped cream

unnamed-2

For the record, I didn’t not finish all of these in one sitting. I brought some samplings home with me much to the delight of my tasting assistants who – ahem –  literally drooled on the floor while they were devouring.

ps: three slices and a bottomless coffee cost $10
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WLW: Goldenrod Pastries

unnamed-1

It has recently come to my attention that Nebraska has more than just corn and cornhuskers. Gone are the days of just passing through, because about two years ago a baking blog became an actual bakery, and Goldenrod Pastries became a reason to stop in Lincoln.

unnamed-5

Basically, it looks like they have it all. Cardamom or lavender poundcake, sour cherry or honey turmeric macarons, lemon curd or rhubarb crumble buns, lime sherbet or raspberry rose or peanut butter/cashew brittle cupcakes, turtle cheesecake made with goat’s milk caramel and local pecans, cosmic brownies with fancy sprinkles. Dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, whatever dietary situation you endure, you will not be restricted here. And whatever you want to write on a custom cake, you will not be restricted either.

unnamed-4

I generally like a wandering road trip where I have the ability to stop and see the world’s largest ball of twine or pick blueberries at a roadside farm. But the next time I’m making a cross-country trip, I’ll have to be a bit more precise with my schedule. Because I either need to call ahead for my custom cake order (prob a reasonable 6″ round confetti cake with mocha frosting, fresh fruit and glitter that says HERE FOR IT) and/or stay at least a night in ol’ Nebrasky in order to maximize the quantity of pastries I’ll be able to put away. I mean, really, f a Sbarro’s oasis and canisters of Pringles. Imma need some fancy fuel to keep me awake and happy on my next car trip through the plains. And this colorful, crazy, sassy bakery has now been added to my road atlas.

unnamed-3unnamed-2

*all photos by: @goldenrodpastries

 

at Jennivee’s, I’m the girl with the most cake

unnamed-2

If you’re driving near Sheffield/Roscoe in June, you’re probably looking for Cubs parking/cursing yourself that you’re in the neighborhood on a game day. Well while you’re navigating one-ways and praying for a win, please kindly drop me off at 3301 N. Sheffield and just text me when you’ve found a spot. Because my new pre-game (preferably NOT on a game day) is eating all the cake at Jennivee’s Bakery.

Located somewhat surprisingly where it’s located, Jennivee’s is a delicious cake mecca in an ocean of Old Style and peanuts, street fests and strollers. I love these cakes so much I will fight my way past ZZ Top cover band groupies and spilly frat boys to get a slice or 3.

unnamed-8

This Filipino bakery is open latelate. They continue to bake throughout the day. The slices are BIG (and – IMO – are preferable to the cupcakes). You will be caught off-guard by how light and fresh and not dense everything is. You’ll want to faceplant, but let’s keep it classy – there are floor-to-ceiling windows in this bakery and they don’t need that kind of advertising.

After much deliberation, I, along with my hardworking assistant, got:

unnamed-1

a slice of mango cakesupermoist mango chiffon with mango mousse and a layer of fresh mango slices. Can cake be refreshing? It can. This was like a cake version of a mango lassi.

unnamed-5

a slice of blackout cake – dark chocolate cake with chocolate pudding layers. Deep cocoa-y intense but not overly rich. Like, no prob, let’s eat the whole thing.

unnamed-4unnamed-9

a slice of purple velvet – ube chiffon cake with ube mousse with fresh coconut strings mixed into the mousse layer. Like a goddamn springy cloud. If you’ve never had ube and are thinking “WTF is this, a potato loaf?,” do yourself a favor and learn about it and then get this cake for your gateway slice. There’s no going back.

unnamed-7

We also had a pistachio cupcake and a citrusy tres leches cupcake – whipped cream NOT buttercream frostings, thank the heavens, bc Jennivee knows what’s up. I will be going back for a slice of spumoni cake, a slice of red velvet, a slice of caramel cake, a slice of Nutella cake, a slice of Sansrival cashew cake, a slice of EVERYTHING.

 

 

breakfast box:

unnamed