Jose Cuervo tequila with fresh lime. Kahl?a mixed with Baileys Irish Cream. Captain Morgan with Coke. At After Hours Cupcake Bar, you can't drink these concoctions, but you can eat them. These familiar cocktails are the ingredients for alcohol-infused gourmet cupcakes that serve as unique desserts to match with after-dinner drinks or to celebrate the anniversary of Prohibition?s repeal. To sate the sober crowd, After Hours also crafts a selection of virgin flavors that, while a shade more traditional, still surprise. Playful flavors include peanut butter and jelly and root-beer float, which comes coated in marshmallow buttercream frosting pierced with a miniscule straw.
Rachel's Bake Shop might be a small local business, but owner Rachel Broughten has built a national fan base. It's made up of folks like one Florida woman who calls Rachel's cake shooters "addictive" and a San Diegan who goes out of her way to stop by when making trips through Arizona. It's not surprising, then, that the bakery has won awards from both The Knot and WeddingWire for its custom confections, and was also voted among the Valley's best dessert spots in 2013 by ABC15 viewers. Rachel?a Le Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef?makes old-fashioned cakes as well as cupcakes, brownies, and push-up cakes, with a choice of cake flavors, frostings, and fillings. Specialty flavors include pink velvet and snickerdoodle, which can sometimes be made vegan or gluten-free.
With scrumptious baked goods and a tempting lineup of chilled beverages, Cinnabon provides a hearty snack after a long day of shopping, working, or workshopping. Munch on variety of cinnamon-infused treats, from the Cinnabon classic roll, temptingly filled with Cinnabon’s famous Makara cinnamon ($3.49), to the Caramel Pecanbon, topped with a indulgent potpourri of luscious caramel and tasty pecans ($3.99). Take home an assortment of goodies with one of the stores’ Cinnapacks, good for at least four classic rolls or nine minibons ($10.99–$11.99, combo packs add $1, Pecanbons add $2). If your parched lips yearn for a cool beverage, revitalize the taste buds with a Chillatta, a frozen drink available in chocolate mocha, strawberry, strawberry banana, and Tropical Blast ($3.69–$4.39). Caffeine connoisseurs can sip on a cup of Cinnabon’s rich coffee for a satisfying pick-me-up ($1.69–$1.99). Grab a sweet-tasting cinnamon snack to cap off a day of shopping for luxury handbags or nuclear-powered Russian submarines with today’s Groupon to Cinnabon.
The elusive baroness's baked goods, crafted with high-quality ingredients and real butter and pure vanilla, have been a shopping-mall mainstay for more than 30 years. Fuel up on chocolate-studded favorites (nuts optional) such as milk-chocolate chip and white chunk with macadamia nuts or try Debra's special oatmeal raisin enlivened with walnuts, cinnamon sugar, and peanut butter ($1.85 each) or satisfy an entire jury with a 12-count heap of regular-size cookies ($16.99). Brownies come in similarly spectacular specialty flavors, with classic fudginess at the dark, chewy heart of each ($2.59 each). Groupon customers can apply this Groupon toward a cookie cake with customizable flavoring and frosting, great for birthday parties, family gatherings, and Paul Bunyan's dessert ($28.99 for 16").
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon frosty foundations of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirl idyllically into cones, cups, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal surprise fillings of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast one-third fewer calories than regular smoothies.
Though the loaves you buy off the shelves at Wildflower Bread Company might be warm from the oven, they might not have been made fresh that day. That's not because Wildflower uses frozen dough—rather, its bakers are firm believers in slow-rising bread, letting their handcrafted dough rise for 16–24 hours before it ever sees an oven. So every morning, dough mixed and hand-shaped the previous day is worked into one of 18 styles of bread. The house specialties include classic baguettes, rye bread sprinkled with pasilla chilies, pretzels, or loaves worked through with rosemary and sea salt. These breads can be bought by the loaf or enjoyed as the anchors of a gourmet sandwich, an edible soup bowl, or a side for salad or pasta. The bakers also make room in their ovens for scones, tarts, and cakes, taking care of their customers' sweet teeth so they can stop chaining the table sugar to the coffee station.