It all starts with unbleached flour and a recipe?free from trans fats?that's distinguished Alaska Bagel Restaurant since its original founding in 1994. From there, the restaurant's bakers make more than two dozen varieties of their signature item, bagels, which come in flavors such as asiago cheese, pesto, apple cinnamon, and sun-dried tomato.
Those circles of fresh-baked dough are only the beginning, however. Alaska Bagel's team might top them in a walnut-raisin fruit shmear or use the more savory varieties to construct its signature Mt. McKinley bagel sandwich, which layers together cream cheese, avocado, tomato, onion, and sprouts. The chefs can also grill burgers and load plates high with chicken and waffles.
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The Cake Pop Goddess's lollygaggers cook up trays of their spherical sweets in a variety of flavors before coating them in smooth chocolate and vanilla shells. Customers design their dozens by choosing from four fluffy cupcake flavors: chocolate, cookies 'n' cream, Funfetti, and red velvet, the latter named for its rich texture and ability to be hung on walls. A creamy shell of chocolate or vanilla protects each delicate center, with the base colored to the client's wishes, then topped with color-coordinating sprinkles. The bakers then wrap each pop in cellophane and festive bows before setting them in a bag for safe transport, out of the elements and away from open-mouthed children lying in wait on the sidewalk.
When Jennie Carter excitedly set out to bake a cake celebrating her child's first birthday, it didn't turn out so well. The debacle inspired her to take some cake-decorating classes, and she unearthed a talent that led to the creation of Tiers from Heaven, a one-woman baking business that deals exclusively in special orders for cakes, cupcakes, and cookie cakes from inside a mobile truck. The lineup of more than 30 cupcake flavors includes the Blue Hawaiian, a pineapple-rum cake on which a cherry and a dried pineapple wedge float on a swell of Blue Curacao frosting.
Since overcoming her failed birthday-cake attempt, Jennie's successes range from opening her own food truck to wowing July 4 partygoers with cake pops draped in American-flag designs. She also baked a camouflage-frosted cake to sweeten a soldier's welcome-home festivities, much to the despair of forks that kept losing sight of their target.