When ordering a cookie at a bakery, most people would expect to receive a single, circular sweet treat made of sugar, eggs, and flour. At Xtreme Desserts, however, a cookie is actually frosting, pie filling, or some other mixture sandwiched between two cookies. This intense take on treats extends to other confections such as brownie squares topped with ribbons of raspberry frosting, peanut butter cups, and cheesecake swirls. The shop also creates specialty cakes, which range from tiered, fondant-covered towers to oversized sandwich cookies that double as flotation devices in the event of a milk flood. Xtreme versions of cupcakes, bread pudding, parfaits, and cake balls round out the menu.
When it comes to the cakes at Passions Pastries, no two bites are every quite the same. That's because owner Darlene sneaks a hint of other desserts inside her cakes and cupcakes, separating layers of Meyer lemon cake with a lemon pie filling and topping a classic vanilla cake with banana pudding and crumbled wafers. Even her classic flavors incorporate unique elements, with carrot cupcakes sweetened with chunks of pineapple and chocolate-on-chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate Italian buttercream. Her skills at baking, frosting, and keeping cakes from growing too large didn't just win her a spot on every local sweet tooth's radar; they also earned her a spot on the Food Network's popular Cupcake Wars.
Row upon row of baked, fried, and shredded dough line the glass case at Baklava Factory, tantalizing customers with a bounty of honey, walnuts, and custard cream. The factory’s pastry experts concoct more than a dozen kinds of baklava each day alongside other European and Mediterranean sweets, such as fried balls of dough dipped in honey. Customers can sip espresso or cappuccino as they peruse these confections and the bakery’s array of elaborate gift boxes and baskets filled with Belgian chocolates, cookies, and, of course, baklava. Baklava Factory also does corporate gifting and enlivens events with custom cakes embellished with edible butterflies, cartoon characters, and rhinestones capable of fooling amateur jewel thieves.
Bakers at Beard Papa Sweet Cafe fill flaky Japanese double-layer cream puff shells with rich, preservative-free custard in a variety of flavors. Choose an original vanilla cream puff ($2.19), stuffed with velvety custard flavored with imported vanilla beans as sweet as the smile of a baby robot, or stock up on regular pastry spheres by the half-dozen or dozen ($11.55–$21.59). Customers can opt to add a specialty flavor ($2.55 each) to custardy cores, such as green tea made with premium Japanese tea or chocolate crafted from a blend of two high-quality European brands. Patrons may gather specialty puffs in groups of six ($13.55) or 12 ($25.50) to share with friends or presiding judges. Or peruse additional decadent sweets, including a personal-portioned cheesecake stick or fondant au chocolate, a single-serving cake made with Belgian chocolate and filled with an equally cocoarific center.