Jessica Dixon is big on using fruit. The Baker's Delights maestro bakes bananas and strawberries into miniature loaves of sweet bread. Peaches and apples are the main ingredients in pies, caramelizing as they cook beneath buttery crusts. Many of her treats, such as pumpkin bread or sweet-potato pie, are particularly well-suited for autumn weather or food fights that don't allow sharpened asparagus. Though many of her recipes are rich in traditional ingredients, Dixon also accommodates special diets with dairy- or egg-free baked goods.
Mother and Daughter Cindy and Harley Merrill have been baking together since Harley was old enough to sit on the countertop and help her mother. At C & H Sweet Shop they continue their tradition by baking brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and pies.
Reaching for fresh fruits and high-quality ingredients, the pastry chefs at Moonlight Cakes create sweet, moist morsels in a variety of forms for all occasions. Beautiful wedding cakes tower skyward, dressed in decorative layers of smooth fondant, while bite-size cake balls make a tasteful addition to any sweets table or ping-pong game. Dressed in a variety of flavors, cakes appear in combos such as peanut-butter fudge, milk and cookies, and Almond Joy, though the bakery is always happy to try and meet special requests.
Don't be fooled by Hot Chocolates' name—the bakery focuses on more than one flavor. In fact, even the handcrafted chocolate candies come in more than 40 varieties, such as dipped Oreos, peanut-butter creams, and 12 types of truffles made from imported ingredients. The staff also bakes custom cakes in 35 flavors, including piña colada and devil's food. To personalize these desserts for special occasions such as parties, weddings, or breakfast, bakers top them with assorted icings and buttercreams. These creations once caused a customer to describe the patisserie as a place “where everything tastes as good as it looks,” which the business uses as its motivation to create new eye-catching delicacies. Hot Chocolates' bakers also teach the secrets behind many of their treats in group classes, during which students learn to decorate cookies and bake desserts.
Roots Coffeehouse serves up coffee, teas, and a broad array of espresso-based drinks and complements its potable pleasures with friendly service and a variety of edible options. The shop's menu draws upon three different types of espresso—a single-origin, a blended, and a decaf—to provide savvy sippers with an extra degree of customization to their order. Organic and fair-trade coffee and teas are also available to help keep consciences light and fluffy. Order up a honey vanilla latte ($3.85 for a medium) for a sweet kiss of bee syrup without the danger and mess of personally milking the bees, then pair your vanilla-fueled brainpower with Roots' free WiFi. Frozen drinks such as raspberry mocha or vanilla bean frappes ($4 for a medium) help the overheated mock the impotent sun. A food menu featuring fresh-baked pastries and muffins, as well as a quartet of sandwiches ($7.00), is also available to help customers practice one-handed hunger-avoidance maneuvers.