Cake pops, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes—if working with fresh, from-scratch batter is an art, then the bakers at Kookies Sweet Treats are grand masters. Along with tempting cakes, the sweet-makers also craft desserts such as pies, cookies, and brownies. The indecisive or incredibly hungry can select an assortment of treats to be bundled into gift baskets, which can be shipped to inspire smiles anywhere in the United States.
At Candyland Crafts, candy makers and cake decorators choose from more than 10,000 products, sifting through collections of candy molds, fondants, cake toppers, and themed-party packages to create the toothsome displays in their heads. Candyland Crafts' site itself serves as a resource, bursting with 4,000 sqnumerous candy- and cake-crafting guides designed specifically for first-time artists or super-intelligent M&Ms seeking to build their own city.
An extensive selection of icings includes edible glitter, airbrushable icing, and gels. Unicorn and frog molds give lollipops a creative look, while letter and number molds let customers eat a balanced diet filled with a variety of fonts.
Bagel Garden's dough slingers bake 18 to 20 types of bagels daily for a menu of sandwiches smeared with cream cheese or stuffed with meats, cheeses, and veggies. With more than a dozen spreads, patrons can blanket bagels in freshly blended flavors or pay homage to van Gogh’s masterpiece, Scalliony Morning, by daubing a blank bagel canvas with smudges of bacon, scallion, and herb cream cheese ($0.90 for a bagel; $2.10–$2.76 for a bagel and cream cheese).
A flaky danish enfolds prunes and almond paste. A banana-cream pie sports tufts of fresh-whipped cream. There’s a certain nostalgic quality to the baked goods at La Bonbonniere Bake Shoppe, which is fitting for a place whose origins date back to 1952, the year nostalgia was discovered. Each morning, seasoned bakers whip up cupcakes, batches of real buttercream frosting, and sugar-laced pastries. They also knead dough for nearly a dozen varieties of bread including french, rye, and pumpernickel.
Though sweets are the shop’s focus, they have a full-catering menu with soups, sandwiches, and hot meals. In addition, they offer a wide variety of canned jams and salsa, plus organic dog treats.
The bakers at CocoLuxe Fine Pastries may not use blocks of marble or chisels, but no one can deny that their culinary creations are works of art. Crafted from components ranging from classic chocolate ganache and raspberry buttercream to orange poppy seed sponge cake, their custom cakes add the crowning touch to weddings, birthdays, or séances to contact Marie Antoinette. Inside the bakery, spacious glass cases brim with morning treats such as croissants and scones. Next to them perch cupcakes capped by Italian meringue and chocolate mice with sliced almond ears, which customers can take home to give lethargic housecats some exercise. At midday, CocoLuxe Fine Pastries switches from sweet to savory as it unveils an array of artisanal sandwiches. The bakery’s fresh baguettes and rosemary focaccia become vessels for smoked gouda and cranberry apple compotes, fortifying diners for afternoons filled feeding, watering, and walking their computers.
Rockn' Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro fills diners' mouths with fresh-brewed coffee and deli fare, ears with classic rock, and eyes with walls covered in rock 'n' roll memorabilia, including electric guitars, vintage posters, and framed albums. Bellies can be treated to treats such as the oven-roasted turkey, brie, and tomato sandwich ($7.95), smoked-salmon-and-goat-cheese salad ($9.95), or the croissant french toast ($5.95). Rockn' Joe also has a coffee bar stocked with top-shelf lattes, hot teas, and coffee.
Located within Rutgers University’s Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Café Z’s chef and American Culinary Federation member Bruno Pascale crafts, stirs, and presses paninis, soups, and sandwiches for students and culinary connoisseurs alike. The restaurateur constantly crafts new paninis from recipes devised within the easy-bake oven of his mind, blending fresh ingredients such as ham and brie, or portobello, pepper, and mozzarella with thinly sliced bread for pleasing midday meals. Or embark on an epicurean expedition through Café Z’s menu of ever-changing entrees.