Warm sugar fills the air at Derby Donut, where freshly baked donuts, iced sugar, cookies, and decorated cupcakes draw in customers from miles around. Pair a melty, sweet cinnamon roll with one of 100 varieties of cane-sugar soda in glass bottles, or engage a frosted snowman cookie in a conversation about the dreadful weather.
Named Best Bakery in 2013, for the fourth consecutive year, by The Best of Wichita, W.O.W. Cakes' expert baker and decorator, Pam Pletcher, concocts artful gourmet confections slathered in copious quantities of house-made toppings and homemade buttercream. Bakers craft more than 50 flavors of cakes and cupcakes–including 12 gourmet cupcakes–easily accommodating requests for coconut wedding cake topped with chocolate fondant or red velvet birthday cake filled with bavarian cream. Alternative recipes turn treats into gluten-free and sugar-free of time-tested favorites to accommodate special diets or throw dessert-sniffing detectives off track. Imaginative bakers transform cakes into pieces of art with hand-piped chocolate, sculpted frosting, and strategic props, and have used their skills to transform a simple sheet cake into everything from a ski boat to a flame-licked barbecue grill.
Having traveled to teahouses the world over, the owner of Chelmsford Tea and Gifts wanted to open a shop that represented the full spectrum of tea-brewing possibilities. With more than 180 types of loose-leaf and bagged teas from around the globe, his establishment unlocks a barrage of delicate flavors in prepared hot or iced drinks with expert steeping know-how. For the home brewer, the shop stocks french presses, stainless-steel infusers, and Brown Betty teapots from England, where tea-leaf reading is a televised sport. Naturally flavored black teas, herbal teas, and mild, caffeine-free rooibos teas also pair well the shop's stock of scone mixes and jams.
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the frozen granite stone into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $4 and $6, depending on size.
Dairy Queen's iconic Blizzard treat—a concoction of soft-serve ice cream blended with special ingredients such as candy, fruit or cookies—turns 25 years old this year. In honor of the creamy delight's silver anniversary, Dairy Queen is highlighting 25 fetching flavors for Blizzard lovers. Unleash Maui in your mouth with the pineapple and banana slices of the Hawaiian Blizzard, or satisfy a thirst for theobromine with the Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard. Other flavors in the spotlight include Oreo, Raspberry Truffle, Cappuccino Heath, and French Silk Pie.
Selecting a dozen doughy delights from LaMar's menu of more than 75 varieties requires careful consideration and intense soul-searching. Ray's Original Glazed, by tradition, should be included among cake donuts such as pumpkin, devil's food glazed, maple iced with sprinkles, and banana. Otherwise, pit a raised cinnamon-sugar donut's airy sweetness against the density of a chocolate-iced cake donut with M&M's. Whichever flavors you favor, they'll arrive warm, golden, and slightly crisp on the outside with an artful glaze that leaves fingertips sticky enough to do a decent Spider-Man impression on the nearest wall.