Like a cookie godmother, Missy Hintze transforms humble ingredients into taste bud-pleasing royalty with original recipes and a wave of her bakery wand. More than two-dozen cookie ($10 a dozen in-store), cupcake, and brownie varieties ($1+) line the shelves, with favorites such as snickerdoodles and frosted sugar cookies mingling with newcomers such as the toffee-and-chocolate-filled Original Ugly Cookie and crispy treat tucked under a peanut butter and chocolate blanket. Sugar-seekers can also opt to fill large orders with an assortment of cakes ($30) and cookie gift boxes ($15+).
Glancing inside Made With Love Not Gluten, any unsuspecting visitor would think it looks like any bakery: rows of cupcakes topped in colorful frosting line the display cases and the expert bakers diligently paint scenes atop customized cakes. But all the delicious baked goods are gluten free and crafted by a baker with Celiac disease, meaning that all the treats can be enjoyed by those with a gluten intolerance.
For Darmayne Robinson, an off-the-wall cake-design request is nothing more than a chance to flex her creativity. With a cake as her canvas and icing as her palette, the owner of Sweet Confections Cakes can transform any item––including sports cars, high heels, and scuba divers––into a three-dimensional dessert. When it comes to the 3-D cake’s taste, however, clients take the creativity into their own hands, selecting from a list of more than 100 options that include white-almond cake and Italian wedding cake, and fillings such as french apple and peanut-butter mousse.
Each cake is made from scratch incorporating such high-quality ingredients as imported white chocolate, pure vanilla, real cream, and butter, and the staff can also bake gluten-free and vegan options upon request. Those without a design idea of their own can peruse Sweet Confections’ display room, where artsy cakes are showcased alongside a delectable selection of cupcakes, which can be sold solo, by the dozen, or sewn together as a giant cupcake cape.
The Soup Spot comforts Harrisburg tummies and tongues with toasted sandwiches, fresh salads, and a rotating selection of soups inspired by Dutch and Creole flavors. Typical bowl-fillers include dirty rice, a deceivingly fresh concoction of chicken, sausage, ground beef, and vegetables ($3.95 for medium), or stromboli soup, a creamy tomato-based soup once used by the Italians to quench the throats of erupting volcanoes ($4.65 for medium). Champagne salad forgoes corks for feta, almonds, craisins, and mandarin orange slices ($6.50), while lebanon bologna and swiss cheese wrestle to win the sweet affections of honey mustard in a Frying Dutchman sandwich ($4.95). Check the updated online menu or call ahead to learn soup specials or alternate uses for croutons.
While adults sip gourmet brews from Seattle’s Best and bolster blood cells with fuel from the colorful and healthy menu, children can chow down on grilled Cheesasaurus sandwiches or dash off to one of the three sunny adjoining playrooms. One space entertains kids ages 2–6, encouraging theatrical, creative play, while the s'mores-soft Tot Spot amuses kids under 2, and older kids improve hand-eye-coordination playing a variety of video games. Adults can choose to observe the anthropological doings within, or check kids in with a qualified playroom sitter and return to the calm land of rooibos, biscotti, and the art of adult conversation.