It was a fateful night in January 1999 when the bellies of college sophomores Leon and Tiffany started to rumble. The two UT Austin students convened at Leon's apartment, where they whipped up a batch of chocolate-chip cookies in his oven. As they chewed on the warm, gooey fruits of their labor, the pair was struck by the idea to sell these freshly baked cookies to their fellow students. They began delivering treats to their peers during evening study breaks before expanding their customer base to include parents and Austin residents, all the while renting the back kitchen of a local restaurant to accommodate the growing demand.
Fifteen years later, the indulgent lure of Tiff's Treats has helped Leon and Tiffany open 13 locations throughout Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Within these bakeries, kitchen crews sculpt fresh dough into 10 types of cookies, supplementing the gooey morsels with decadent brownies and signature Tiffwiches?vanilla Blue Bell ice cream sandwiched between two warm cookies. Bakers hand-deliver batches every day, pulling them fresh from the oven instead of the overheated engine block of the delivery car.
When patrons pop into Berri Swirl, they don't just come for the tasty frozen treats; they come for the chance to take control of their own dessert destinies. As they march confidently to the self-service dispensers stocked with 12 flavors of frozen yogurt, they're already calculating which bits of Butterfinger chunks, blackberries, and gummy bears they're going to pluck from the do-it-yourself toppings bar packed with more than 40 toppings. Swirls of delicious low-fat yogurt infused with tastes ranging from snickerdoodle-cookie-dough to triple chocolate descend into holders including cups, cones, wafer bowls, and 55-gallon drums made of marzipan. Along with this variety of toppings and flavors, the fro-yo gurus maintain their healthy standards by concocting their creamy creations from genuine dairy, milk, and fruit pur?es and handpicking their ingredients from a variety of sources. After patrons take one last look at their creamy creations, they can browse magazines or surf free WiFi while wolfing down their sweet achievements.
Supreme Kakes' Chef Veronica spent 19 years in the kitchen mastering the sugary, floury basics of baking cakes great and small, an effort that earned her customizable-cake business enough traction to risk moving from her home kitchen to a 6,000-square-foot bakery in 2009. There, the chef and her equally adventurous staff craft statuesque sweets from a rich palette of 50 flavors and fillings such as almond amaretto cream and chocolate raspberry truffle. Veronica's artful baked-to-order cakes become the centerpiece at weddings and birthdays, channeling the honorees' personality and passions through vivid likenesses of cartoon characters, architectural marvels, or favorite sports broadcasters. The bake masters supplement their repertoire of towering sweets with their diminutive cousins, buttercream- and fondant-based cupcakes, and can often accommodate dietary and allergy restrictions with wheat- and gluten-free goods or cakes shaped into enormous antihistamine capsules.
The Orange Leaf frozen-yogurt franchise boasts nearly 200 locations, cooling tongues everywhere from Mississippi to Australia. At each colorful shop, customers have total control over their cups, first selecting a combination of yogurt flavors from dozens of low-calorie options and then swinging by the toppings bar to pile on pieces of mango, sprinkles of granola, crumbles of brownie, or an entire family of gummy bears. Yogurt flavors range from fresh-tasting banana, honeydew, and peach to more complex blends such as strawberry cheesecake and english toffee.
Helmed by highly acclaimed chef Scott Tycer, Kraftsmen Cafe lulls hungry diners with a savory song of artisan breads, sandwiches, pastries, and more, all within the confines of a relaxed, yet upscale atmosphere. Cafe-goers can kick back with Kraftsmen Cafe’s menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, basking in orders of breakfast tacos ($2.85), Linzer tortes ($1.95+), zucchini bread slices ($1.95+), or a traditionally dressed breakfast of eggs, potatoes, toast, and sausage or bacon ($7.75). Sandwiches such as the turkey and brie, littered with avocado and bacon and resting comfortably on handcrafted slices of grilled baguette ($8.25 with chips), sate the demands of midday hunger unions, while creamy tomato-basil or potato-leek soups ($4) let diners sip and slurp to their tongue’s content. Kraftsmen Cafe also serves up a variety of sweets, including carrot cake, chocolate-pecan brownies, and almond créme brûlèe.
At Tasti D-Lite, patrons can sample a bevy of tasty treats that serve as a healthier alternative to ice cream. Serving health-conscious customers since 1987, Tasti D-Lite offers creamy concoctions that are lower in fat, calories, sugar, carbs, and voodoo spells than ice cream; treats also contain fewer calories than most brands of frozen yogurt while remaining much lower in sugar and burnt curly-fries content. Tasti is crafted from natural ingredients that include real dairy and no artificial sweeteners. Visitors will be able to enjoy over 100 delectable flavors, such as brownie batter, green tea, rice pudding, peanut butter 'n' jelly, and strawberry cheesecake, as well as a variety of smoothies, shakes, sundaes, and cones. Most flavors contain 80 calories or less per 4-fluid-ounce serving, allowing customers to shape up and finally fit into old space suits from the Starfleet Academy. Cups begin at $3.25 for a small, $3.75 for a medium, and $4.55 for a large, depending on location.