Oak Park Bakery’s kolacky

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THE BEST.
THE END.

JK, JK.
Do I only love these because they were my first childhood kolacky and they remain nostalgically delicious? No. I can admit when a childhood fave is best left in the past (I’m looking at you, live-action Alice in Wonderland starring Sammy Davis Jr. as the Caterpillar. Shame.) These are, in fact, the best kolacky I have ever had. Please consider that I have eaten more than my fair share, and these remain gold medal.

Why are OP Bakery’s kolacky so good? I’ll tell you:

  1. They are made with flaky, light pasty, not hard shortbread.
  2. The jam/filling is fresh and the jam/pastry ratio is on point (it’s not some old gummy red or orange decorative blip).
  3. They are made fresh each morning, and since they basically fly off the front window display shelf, they’re not sitting around getting stale like those poser kolacky bowties oft found at the refreshment table in a funeral home basement (if I knew how to insert the SARS face mask emoji, you’d see it here).

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The bakery offers 12 flavors of kolacky and my faves are apricot, raspberry and cheese. I’ll usually throw in a cherry or almond or prune for good measure, and I have to don serious blinders not to also add an all butter coffee cake or a few butter cookies…..

 

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dessert parade at The Park

The Park Restaurant has a burger night every Wednesday. The burgers are delicious. But burgers schmurgers, I go for the desserts. Walk in the door and canisters of freshly baked treats, concocted by the delicious mind of pastry wizard Dakota Bertrand, are waiting to greet you!!!

Though the burgers are customizable with gruyere, aioli, bacon, fried eggs, avocado, crispy onions (oh man oh man!), don’t be a fool and stuff yourself. Be a pro and keep a space for dessert! As decadent and rich as these appear (and are), they are surprisingly light and (not surprisingly) sharable, so just do it and thank me later.

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* Chocolate tart with oatmeal cookie crust, apricot sauce and a roasted, candied hazelnut – the apricot sauce ties this tart to the summer season and a hidden layer of milk custard cuts through the smooth, dense ganache. I will lick the plate/I did lick the plate clean.

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* Peanut butter sandwich cookie – these are the lightest, butteriest peanut butter cookies ever to cross your path, and they are held together with the whippiest, creamiest peanut butter. You can fit a few bites into your full stomach, I promise. I tested this theory. And you can get another for the road.

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* A little baby tres leches cake with fresh strawberries – this one is a no-brainer. It is the perfect size, it is the perfect sweetness, there are the perfect amount of strawberries to go with each bite, and then it’s over and you’ll probably want another.

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* Butterscotch budino with a molasses ginger cookie and a side of salt caramel – Budino is the cousin of pudding and pot de creme, and this one is rich and creamy with a slightly burnt, not-too-sweet butterscotch flavor making it easy to go back for another and another spoonful. Add to that the chewy, spicy, sugared ginger molasses cookie and a twist of the caramel that you saw when you first walked in the door (I know you saw them) and have hence been thinking about for the past 2 hours (I know how your brain works), and you’re all set. Forget about the unforgiving wax paper and just dive in. Extra napkins will be provided.

The Park Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

LA: GET THIS NOW!!!!

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If you’re in Los Angeles, RUN, DON’T WALK, to your nearest Sweet Rose and get yourself a scoop (or a pint! or 10 pints!!) of the creme de noyaux ice cream. (if you’re not in/near Los Angeles, sorrrrrry)

Creme de noyaux is an almond-flavored creamy liqueur dream-come-true made from apricot kernels (like crack open an apricot pit and take what’s inside and make something magical with it), and this ice cream uses liqueur from hand-cracked kernels along with pureed farmers’ market apricots and it’s amazing and special and only happens in July. Get it before it’s gone, but maybe make sure to save me at least one more scoop too!!

Malva Pudding Cake

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Behold the Malva Pudding Cake from Sqirl.

When a place is known for its jams, jam is a frequent ingredient. This sticky, spongy, caramelized delight is concocted with housemade apricot jam. Imagine if the outside part of the best caramel corn was made into a tea cake hinting at a secret ingredient. This is it. It is great. I think you’ll have to go to South Africa to find anything similar. Ask for it to be warmed up, and get a coffee too.

(also, if so inclined, get anything else that has any kind of jam on it – they are all the best. like whatever magic was in the fruit was pulled out and put into a jar.)

SQIRL Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato