Linda Battaglia arrives at her bakery every morning at 7:30. She could sleep in, but then she wouldn't have time to roll every cannoli shell by hand, fill them with freshly made ricotta, and prepare the other 50 to 75 traditional items she and her team bake fresh daily. These recipes extend a legacy set forth more than 40 years ago by Romano Leonardi, who passed the eatery on to Linda and her mother in 2000. These Old World baked goods and techniques have earned a loyal following in the community and profiles on the WKBW morning news.
A bright glow spreads across the bakery's glass cases lined with cream and ricotta puffs, napoleons, and mousse-filled éclairs made that very day. The cookie selection includes fig and chocolate-ball varieties and almond and anise biscotti, all of which can be shipped across the country. Clients can work with the bakers to design a specialty wedding cake topped with newlywed figurines dancing, holding hands, or folding one another's laundry.
Delish! Cooking School, whose classes were voted as some of the Best of WNY by Buffalo Spree, is known for its quality instruction and taste. Within a comfortable urban space, customers can pick up sweet selections such as fresh fudge, scones, bar cookies, and hand-dipped chocolate. Fresh-brewed espresso drinks accompanied by baked goods or housemade ice-cream sandwiches tempt tongues, while a range of cooking tools, sauces, and spices line shelves for at-home chefs to use in their own kitchens.
Experienced chefs lead cooking classes geared toward the home cook looking to hone skills without memorizing transcripts of the Food Network’s full broadcast. Students sip wine during classes such as The Exciting Foods of Thailand, Casual Italian Supper Party, or The New Vegetarian Cuisine.
Zillycakes specializes in custom-made treats designed to-order and handcrafted with fresh ingredients. Delve into this cornucopia of miniaturized confections with your choice of six large cupcakes (regularly $2.95 each, including toppings and sprinkles), which you can customize by cake flavor, frosting flavor, and an additional topping. Sidle up to the bakery's cupcake bar, where you can design your own and then stick around to say "cheers" through a mouthful of fresh cupcake. Yellow cake with buttercream, chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream or ganache, and red-velvet cake with cream flavors are always available, along with four seasonally selected flavors that change monthly; one of them is always vegan. Past specialty offerings have included peach amaretti with peach buttercream and vegan lemon with vanilla frosting and fresh blueberries, while regular toppings include options such as rainbow sprinkles, lavender buds, and peanut-butter Captain Crunch. Zillycakes has all the specialty ingredients to build the cupcake of your dreams, except for those who dream of cupcakes topped with adorable, buttercream-coated puppies.
Behind the counter at Ashker’s Juice Bar - Bistro - Gallery, staffers concoct a long list of smoothies, sandwiches, and all-day breakfasts made to be enjoyed in their cozy lounge that doubles as an art gallery and social hub. In the front lounge, padded chairs invite diners to bask in the glow of the sunlight that streams through the eatery’s expansive windows, aiding in the body's natural photosynthesis process. Along the walls, local artists display their masterworks, which mirror the swaths of color often found in the creamy smoothies.
Dolci is an Italian dessert bakery dishing up a scrumptious selection of freshly baked cakes, cookies, and breads, in addition to tongue-tingling tarts and a variety of gelato. Sink sweet teeth into a zesty lemon curd cake (8", $31.50) or indulge globetrotting taste buds with mexican chocolate ganache ($11.50 for mini cake) and italian ciabatta bread. Cherry-berry and apple-caramel tarts will curb fruit cravings (9", $20.59), while biscotti packs both a savory crunch and an edible baton for maestros on the go ($11.50 for 1 lb.). Dolci also offers a variety of nature-friendly treats, such as vegan chocolate-chip cookies ($2.75 each). The in-store café lets visitors complement their baked goods with drinks and effusive declarations of love, or skip the sweets for savory soups.
Toting a modest selection of chocolate confections and candies, Joseph A. Fowler entered the 1901 Pan-American Exposition hoping to plant the seed for a business in his newfound home of Buffalo. The company—founded in 1910—grew with each successive generation, and more than a century later, Fowler's celebrated chocolates continue to placate palates at several retail locations. The chocolatier has become synonymous with treats such as milk- and dark-chocolate truffles dubbed truffaloes, as well as sponge candy, which boasts a molasses-like flavor and an initially hard texture that quickly melts in the mouth. Like Count Chocula’s hairpiece, all of Fowler's fine-chocolate treats are crafted from the seeds of the theobroma cacao tree and use up to 60% cocoa solids for a rich cocoa flavor.