The staff at Orange Leaf 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.
The eponymous owner of Jenny’s Bakery has been crafting carefully sugared confections for more than 20 years. Thumbprint cookies ($7/dozen) offer evidence of who stole the cookies from the cookie jar, though sugary scones ($2 each) and muffins ($1.50 each) crumble when quizzed over the case. Alternately, gather a litter of cake's spherical offspring with a dozen poppable cake balls ($10), or get a forceful sugar-kick from feisty petits fours ($2.50 each) and shortbread cookies ($2.75 each) whose sizeable flavor belies their unassuming names.
Husband and wife Angel and James are Partners in Cake. Angel takes care of the baking, while James takes care of the decorating and crafting scenes with fondant and gum paste. Completely self-taught, Angel accumulated a wealth of skills while studying under her mother in the kitchen. James, the master sculptor, draws inspiration from his days as a childhood Play-Doh aficionado. Friends encouraged the two to practice their pastry hobby fulltime, and when their creative forces meet, the two craft custom cakes for all occasions, including weddings and graduations. Their creations include edible 3D renditions of intergalactic robot R2D2, the Statue of Liberty, and Michael Jordan's shoe from Space Jam, which was easier to recreate than his heart of gold. At the heart of each creation are pillowy layers of cake in flavors such as red velvet, banana, and lemon zest, with fillings such as cream cheese, coconut cream, and lemon curd.
The Cake Lady's bakers have been baking and frosting fresh confections daily since 1979. Batches of cake balls roll from the oven and somersault into sweet coatings before launching themselves into mouths via edible trebuchet. White-cake cupcakes induce barely audible taste-bud cheers with simple, delectable flavor, and chocolate-frosted confections sate tonsils’ cocoa cravings. Patrons can pick and choose their 6 or 12 sweet morsels to create a custom snack for holiday parties or to fuel the post-game celebrations of winning foosball teams. Customers can upgrade to specialty flavors such as strawberry shortcake or coconut for an additional $0.50 apiece; please note that specialty-flavor orders must be placed at least three days in advance.
At their core, Aly's Apples are just like any other. In this case, it's what's on the outside that really counts. Their self-professed "over the top" gourmet caramel apples put boring old caramel apples to shame. Each day, they're hand dipped in smooth homemade caramel before receiving drizzles of chocolate and toppings that range from dark chocolate and pecans to marshmallows, M&Ms, and english toffee molded into a kitchen sink.
Touting more than 50 flavors of low-calorie, flavor-packed frozen yogurt, Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt earned a feature on CNBC and has continued to expand since opening its first shop in 2007. Inside each store, self-service yogurt machines unleash velvety-soft yogurt into accommodating cups or empty purses. The constantly rotating menu may include flavors such as royal red velvet, refreshing melon, and chocolate peanut butter. Most flavors fall within the range of 30?40 calories per ounce, with dairy-free options and no-sugar-added concoctions also available.
A toppings bar allows eaters to further customize yogurt creations with a spoonful of fresh fruits or a sprinkling of nuts. The flavors contain ample amounts of probiotics, known for potential health benefits that may include strengthening immune systems and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.