Thursday, August 19, 2010

Magnolia Bakery - NYC

GPS is a wonderful invention. Especially now that with a decent smart phone (and a good cell signal), you can make your way around any city with ease. That is how we managed on our recent trip to New York City. One benefit of this technology, as we discovered, is that it can help you discover places that you did not know were there. That is how we stumbled across one of the Magnolia Bakery storefronts while meandering on Bleecker Street.

Over the past 14 years, the Magnolia Bakery has become a New York institution. Some credit the cupcake's recent rise in popularity to this bakery. Walking into the store, they have a "self-serve" section just for their cupcakes.

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

You can find all sorts of varieties including, but not limited to, chocolate, vanilla, red velvet, and lemon. The frostings appear in a range of colors with the very interesting decoration style that almost makes the cupcakes appear like they have nests on top. Some festive white sugar orbs finish off the cakes to give them a sophisticated but playful look.

Magic Cookie Bar

We, however, opted to buy some goodies out of the huge display cases. We ordered a refreshing, unsweetened, raspberry iced tea to sip on while we perused the dozens of cakes, cookies and other goodies. The banana pudding and hummingbird cake looked incredible, but I wanted something smaller. The first item I chose was the magic cookie bar. On top of a graham cracker crust sits a dense combination of coconut, nuts and chocolate chips. The cookie bar was definitely sweet, but not cloyingly so, which is often a flaw in this type of treat. It was very delicious and I made short work of it.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

By far, my favorite dessert was the most surprising - red velvet cheesecake. Somehow, the bakers have infused a light, creamy (likely no-bake) cheesecake base with the earthy chocolate flavor and ruby red of the Southern classic. This cheesecake tasted just like the original cake and it did not feel immensely heavy. It sat atop a thick Oreo cookie crust to give it some extra chocolate crunch. A dollop of whipped cream and some chocolate shavings on top made the cheesecake look especially appealing.

Not only did my phone help me find this incredible bakery by total happenstance, but I was able to see that they are great at more than just cupcakes. You can see evidence of this in the park across the street where patrons sit beneath the trees to enjoy their various sugary treats. Though if I lived in the city, I'm sure a dozen cupcakes would follow me home whenever I stopped by.

No comments: