A family-owned online business, Bakery 129 bakes small-batch goodies to order. Chew on the classics with an order of chocolate chip cookies studded with decadent dark-chocolate chunks, with the option of adding pecans, walnuts, or roasted peanuts for further toothsome embellishment. Snag the head baker's favorite cookie variety, chocolate chip peanut butter, a meeting of nutty and sweet minds brainstorming flavor breakthroughs with an advisory panel of peanut butter batter, chocolate nuggets, and roasted peanuts. Adventure-seeking palates will be pleased with a nibble of molasses cookies, a feather-light update of a sugary standby tickled with accents of applesauce, ground ginger, and cloves.
The staff at Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt rejects the oft-touted claim that Americans don?t care about nutrition. The problem, they say, has more to do with selection than anything else; most low-calorie sweets don?t hold a candle to a fudge brownie or a warm slice of apple pie. They kept this in mind when crafting their frozen-yogurt recipes, working tireless to develop a healthy?and equally delicious?alternative to the dessert status quo by turning to decadent confections and just-picked fruits for inspiration.
Their experiments thus far have yielded more than 60 frozen yogurt flavors, which take turns pumping through the self-serve machines that line their colorful shop?s wall. Before taking a seat in a bright orange chair, guests fill their dishes with cool, low-fat swirls of chocolate cheesecake, strawberry banana, and a classic tart that bites as pleasantly as a teething kitten. Juicy pears, crunchy granola, and gooey chocolate sauce headline a smorgasbord of at least 30 toppings ready to scooped or poured into cups before their final weigh-in.
Chocolate bliss and vanilla divine might not seem like the most exciting flavors on a menu filled with all manner of decadent treats, but Cupcake Heaven and Caf? might make you rethink that assumption. The chocolate cupcake delivers unexpected richness with Ghirardelli dark chocolate and homemade buttercream icing, and the vanilla brings the ruckus with Madagascar bourbon vanilla bean. Along with these gourmet classics, the shop bakes vanilla almond and red velvet cupcakes, and a rotating selection of specials, such as butterscotch, maple bacon, or raspberry cocoa kiss. Cafe guests can pair sweet treats?that branch out from cupcakes in the form of muffins, cookies, brownies, and more?with iced and hot coffee drinks. For those who prefer a savory treat, lunches like quiche or sandwiches are also served.
Cheesecake Heaven Richmond’s head chef Jane Eckels first began baking her cheesecakes for local restaurants in 1994, and has since enticed the palates of such prestigious clients as Samuel L. Jackson. Today, she hands out selections by the slice or whole cake from an ever-changing menu with flavors ranging from traditional New York–style cheesecake to innovative espresso chocolate chip or raspberry lemonade. To satisfy as many patrons as possible, the pastry chef can create gluten-free alternatives of her creations upon request. In addition to the main bakery location, two brick drive-thrus allow customers to enjoy cheesecake without leaving the comforts of their car or Pope-mobile.
From behind a frozen granite slab, the staff of Cold Stone Creamery uses twin spatulas to blend custom servings of ice cream and creative mix-ins to fit customers? exact specifications. Founded by Donald and Susan Sutherland in 1988, Cold Stone began under the hot Arizona sun, eventually spreading its frosty fingers to encompass more than 1,400 locations worldwide. Despite the size of the company, each location?s staff keeps up the handcrafted quality, making ice cream onsite every day and using those signature spatulas to create delicious pointillist art against the freezer wall.
Nestled amid the rustic buildings and specialty shops of the historic town of Fredericksburg, Tea Tyme & What Nots’ classic tea parlor fits right in. Soft lanterns illuminate deep red walls and couples chat over trays of cucumber sandwiches and ornamental cups of tea. Old-fashioned pots simmer with brews from the parlor’s more than 100 different black, green, and herbal varieties, sending the aroma of fragrant spices, tangy fruits, and crisp mint into the air. Teas pair with multi-tiered platters of housemade pastries, savory sandwiches, and wholesome salads upon antique wooden tabletops.
Within the parlor’s onsite shop, shelves glimmer with elegant costume jewelry and jars of loose-leaf teas. Throughout the year, the tearoom plays host to special events, from children’s tea parties to the lumberjacks’ bimonthly book club.