Every so often (more often than I’d like as of late), I’m reminded that my life is, in sad fact, not dominated by food. That being the case, this week’s offering is a scrapbook of New York sweets that wouldn’t quite fit into another story. Not coincidentally, most of these desserts are also my contributions to 3 Buck Bites, the cheap eats photomat that is my favorite way to rationalize cookie cravings.
Pennylicks in Williamsburg sells a more than fair share of ice cream for $1.00. Order in the key of coffee, and you’ve got the perfect dessert… or appetizer. Snack. Okay, I eat these for breakfast; so what? Go get your own self-esteem.
The much gushed over Levain Bakery seems to operate in hopes that someday one of the following epic figures will walk through its doorway for a cookie: John Henry, Cookie Jarvis, Galactus. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a planet eating god to enjoy this cookie, which is so mountainous that it deserves to be its own geographic land form.
Cheaper and slghtly less daunting than its counterpart at Levain, City Bakery‘s chocolate chip cookie is crustier on the outside and gooier on the inside. Some measure of nuance is lost in translation, but the hyper sugary, conspicuously fat tinged flavor of this cookie is charm enough to justify a return visit – especially if you have it with hot, black coffee.
Hiding in the corner of the Housing Works Cafe and bookshop is the kitchen sink, a $1.50 gem that comes closest to matching the type of cookie I bake at home. It’s thin, crispy, chewy and filled with just about anything that fits, including chocolate, nuts, raisins and marshmallow.
The folks at D’aiuto seem to have put an end to the unceremony of stuffing your cheesecake slice in the bottom of a brown paper bag before handing it over the counter. This is a bit of a disappointment for me, since the entire act of treating the signature item of your bake shop like an elementary school lunch underscores what a bad ass New York cheesecake really deserves to be. It’s crustless, dense and multilayered, forsaking exaggerated flavors and delivering a payload of texture in the guise of simplicity.
I’ve written plenty on Peter Pan bakery, but would be ashamed to not spotlight its apple crumb doughnut in any conversation about desserts. Ninety cents is an absurdly glorious price to pay for a grade A raised doughnut, dusted with cinammon and sugar, endowed with sweet apple filling and topped with the crumbled carcasses of cake doughnuts. Throw in a white cream with chocolate sprinkles and you’ve got yourself one decadent Sunday afternoon.
Dangerously placed on my route to work in the West Village, Rocco’s Pastry Shop has successfully defined the cannolo as far as my palate is concerned – and, having just tried Rocco’s cannoli for the first time, I must say, I’m downright anxious. They’re the perfect combination of sweet, creamy, flaky and n, where n = your choice of peanut or chocolate. As long as I’m on a math tip, I might as well conclude that if f(x) is a function of joy, then I wish I knew more about calculus to make a more respectable joke about the limits of f(x) with Rocco’s chocolate chip cannolo as the input.
10:16 p.m. Time for dessert!
158 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
167 W. 74th St.
New York, NY 10023
3 W. 18th St.
New York, NY 10011
|Housing Works Cafe
126 Crosby St
New York, NY 10012
405 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10001
|Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop
727 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
|Rocco’s Pastry Shop
243 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014