Category Archives: Sweets & Treats

Chocolate-covered bananas from “Forbidden Fruit NYC”

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We have looked at some pretty sweet sweet’s in the past dessert reviews here, be it a homemade Ring-Ding or homemade Oreo-style sandwich cookie, but what about when you want something that is a little less prone to causing diabetes? “Forbidden Fruit NYC” offers up a lighter alternative, taking fresh fruit and simply bathing them in chocolate.

Hiding away on MacDougal street, this tiny little eatery offers a variety of nature’s delights drenched in chocolate, all while maintaining a green eco-friendly store. The simple-looking menu is deeper than it looks, with combinations of coatings and toppings that turn your dessert into something tasty while still being relatively guilt-free.
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Let’s get donuts from “Doughnut Plant”!

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“Doughnut Plant” is the creation of Mark Israel, son of a baker from North Carolina. His father taught him their unique recipe for making doughnuts, starting Mark at a young age by glazing the circular treats. Mark took the family recipe and began to add his own personal flair to it, which included using fresh fruit jams and seasonal nuts for the toppings. Originally delivering his baked goods to larger stores in Manhattan, Mark opened his first store in 2000, and the rest is history. Today, we take a peek into the store on 23rd street.

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This is a haven for donut-lovers, as everything in here is shaped like one. Willy Wonka would be jealous of these decorations, mostly because they remain tasteful in spite of the fact that the decorations are based on a dessert. The tables, chairs, wall-paper, anything that you can furnish an eatery with has been given the doughnut treatment.
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Boston Cream Pie Cupcake from “Molly’s Cupcakes”

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I remember birthday parties in elementary school, where the kids parents would send their children with cupcakes or cookies or rice krispie treats. Simpler times, before the weight of the world crushed our dreams and smashed our motivation and esteem. The love of cupcakes was embedded in our minds at a young age, so when I came upon the big, bright storefront for “Molly’s Cupcakes”, it stopped me cold in my tracks.

The “Molly” in the title is actually not the name of the owner (who is John Nicolaides), but was the owner’s third-grade teacher that used to bake cupcakes for the children’s birthdays. Not just the Betty Crocker mix, but her own special recipes that influenced John’s love of cupcakes and inspired him not only to open this place, but donate a portion of the profits to local schools. They offer a wide variety of colorful gourmet cupcakes in different sizes, including vegan flavors, traditional frosted ones, and an assortment of filled items, which we will examine one of today.
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Crispy Carrot Bar from “Vosges Haut-Chocolat”

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Originating out of Chicago, “Vosges Haut-Chocolate” has been selling their “chocolate experience” since 1998. Founded by Katrina Markoff, a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute in France, hers is a story of success that can teach all entrepreneurs a lesson. Starting off with $15,000 and making chocolates in her home, she has since expanded to a national business that brings in millions a year, making unique flavor combinations that few other chocolatiers were daring enough to make. The big idea – travel the world through chocolate.

But this site is not about business, we are about two things – crushing pretentiousness in food, and eating. Lots of eating. Checking out the Vosges website, it was quick to see that I could accomplish both of those things in one post. Seriously, the “About” page makes my brain numb. But pretentiousness aside, I absolutely appreciate Katrina’s concept, and I was curious to taste what this 15 year-old business could offer. Today, we are looking at what is easily one of the tamer flavor concoctions from the company, the Crispy Carrot Bar.
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Homemade Oreo from “Westville”

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Oreo cookies are not just for hungry kids looking for an after-school snack or nostalgic adults wishing they were back in school. It’s safe to say that the Oreo cookie is a perfect food, from its pleasing shape to balance of chocolate cookie and cream filling.

“Westville”, which initially opened in 2003 and has since expanded to multiple spots in NYC, has been offering its own take on the Oreo for some time now, and as much as I did my best to practice self-restraint, I was forced to give into deliciousness.
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Sweets ‘n’ Treats: Ring Ding from “Murray’s Cheese Shop”

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“Murray’s Cheese Shop” in SoHo is known mainly for one thing, and if you do not know what that is please read the name of the store until you do. Aside from it’s namesake, they have plenty of meats both cured and fresh, wine, an amazing olive bar, fresh pasta and sauces, and other goodies hiding in their nooks and crannies.

It’s easy to miss something in the store since there is so much around, but if you get lucky, sometimes something will stand out at you. Right next to some packages of Salami, I found a few sweets, including the one we are reviewing today.

Originally created by the Drake’s company, a subsidiary of Hostess, the Ring Ding ceased to exist in November 2012 when its parent company was forced to close its doors. This left a huge gap in the world of commercial desserts, along with the extinction of Twinkies, Devil Dogs, Yodels, and Funny Bones. Thankfully, there are some baking geniuses who figured out how to make these items themselves, and Murray’s just happens to have one. How does this version hold up against the real deal? Let’s find out!
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