Damon Bufford??the self-proclaimed brilliant baker behind Sweet Genius Treats??has a good reason to be so confident in his sweets, which have been featured on Spike TV. He tests them all with near and dear family members first, only baking for the public those sweets which pass his relative's taste test. Luckily, they have complex palates, craving inventive and savory flavors as well. They've greenlit everything from chocolate chip candied bacon cookies to cream cheese-filled snickerdoodles. The most popular treat on the menu is the strawberry lemonade cookie, an original invention designed to bring smiles to faces, which Damon says his wife created in memory of their son.
Cuisine Type: Sweet Intelligent addicting cookies
Reservations: Not necessary
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Most popular offering: Strawberry-Lemonade Cookie
Delivery / Take-out: Free parking
Outdoor Seating: No
At PJ's Popcorn, wall-to-wall shelves of popcorn tubs complement wooden racks filled with general-store candy and crates and barrels filled with gumballs, gift boxes, and confections. Visitors sniff the delicious scents of freshly popped corn, dusted in peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, and sprinkles. The popcorn flavors run the gamut from savory to sweet, with varieties as diverse as loaded potato, salt and vinegar, Oreo, and watermelon. A diverse selection of pro-football and collegiate popcorn tins allow snackers to show off their team pride without the need for eating with cumbersome foam #1 fingers.
Mabuhay, mahal, kumain is the motto of owners Chonnie Richey and Czarina Hounsel at Zen Bistro & Dessert Bar—Tagalog for “live, love, eat.” It’s an appropriate mantra for a bakery shaped by the sisters’ Filipino heritage with flavors collected from across Asia and comforting, homey treats such as cake balls. The latter have been raved about on the Cooking Channel's Food Crafters and in D Magazine. Each day, the kitchen rolls them from fresh-baked cake, frosting, and add-ins such as dark-chocolate cookie dough and fruit to create more than 10 classic and seasonal flavors including Filipino-inspired creations such as a purple ube yam variety. The spheres are then dipped in melted chocolate and decorated with more chocolate, colored crystal sugar, and sprinkles. At the dessert bar, customers can also reach for piles of stuffed cookies, gourmet cupcakes, and cakesicles—a fluffier, chewier version of icicles.
Asian flavors come into the forefront in a bistro menu of traditional Filipino dishes, Asian tapas, and bubble teas brimming with black tapioca pearls. The savory side of Zen’s mini-empire has attracted nearly as much attention as the sweets for dishes as bracingly authentic as the spicy beef caldereta—a tomato-based stew of potatoes, beef, and liver—and as American-influenced as the egg-topped Tocino burger, which made CraveDfw’s Comprehensive Dallas Burger Guide.
It was a fateful night in January 1999 when the bellies of college sophomores Leon and Tiffany started to rumble. The two UT Austin students convened at Leon's apartment, where they whipped up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in his oven. As they chewed on the warm, gooey fruits of their labor, the pair was struck by the idea to sell these freshly baked cookies to their fellow students. They began delivering treats to their peers during evening study breaks before expanding their customer base to include parents and Austin residents, all the while renting the back kitchen of a local restaurant to accommodate the growing demand. Fifteen years later, the indulgent lure of Tiff's Treats has helped Leon and Tiffany open 13 locations throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Within these bakeries, kitchen crews sculpt fresh dough into 10 types of cookies, supplementing the gooey morsels with decadent brownies and signature Tiffwiches?vanilla Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies. Bakers hand-deliver batches every day, pulling them fresh from the oven instead of the overheated engine block of the delivery car.
When Roshi Muns opens her bakery’s ovens, she doesn’t just see cookies, brownies, and whoopie pies. She sees a chance to give back to the Dallas community. Society Bakery gets its name from the native Texan’s desire to change the world around her, be it through petit fours and miniature pecan pies or donations to more than 100 local charities. In addition to old-fashioned pastries, Society whips up vegan cupcakes, specialty whoopie pies made with bread pudding, and empanadas stuffed with fig and pumpkin. It’s hardly a surprise that the bakery’s creations have appeared on the Food Network, the Style Network, and the closed-circuit networks of its customers’ dreams.
Owner Pam’s passion for authentic baking explains why each of Great One Cookie Company’s confections comes from only high-quality ingredients. Semisweet chocolate, macadamia nuts, oatmeal, and dried cranberries pour into batters that bakers blend fresh daily. The triple-chocolate cherry chunk overwhelms tongues with a blend of rich flavors, which can be balanced out by munching on lighter lemon-drop disks or by guzzling flavored water that’s had the flavor chemically extracted. Customers can choose from eight standard flavors as well as seasonal specials that, like a plate spinner’s gravy boat, rotate regularly.