Wednesday, January 4, 2017

NYC: Bakery Review - Baked NY

Baked NYC - visited on November 17, 2016

After we visited Dominique Ansel Bakery, the other bakery on my NYC bucket list to visit was Baked New York. I have all three of their baking books, I've even made recipes from them (that doesn't always happen, ha) and I wanted to try the famous Baked salty-sweet brownie.

Fortunately, there was a Baked location not too far from Dominique Ansel's and within walking distance. I'm sure at this point my friend Shawn would like me to mention that my definition of "walking distance" might be a bit farther than normal people's. After all, the day before, on my subway ride from JFK to Manhattan, I misread some directions I had prepared beforehand and got off at the wrong subway station. I ended up walking from Queens to Manhattan, crossing over the Ed Koch Bridge to make it to our hotel near Grand Central Station. See? Walking distance. Normal people might've just gotten back on the subway and tried again. Piffle. As long as I had my phone's GPS turned on and two good feet, I don't see why I can't walk it, even if it did mean dragging my carry-on with me. Good thing it had wheels.

In any case, I digress. Baked NY was maybe a mile - or so - from Dominique Ansel Bakery so we did walk there. It was a nice little bakery cafe with some tempting display cases of baked goods for sale. Unfortunately, both of us were still full from the cronut and couldn't eat anything more while we were at Baked. Sad panda!

But there was no law against buying stuff "to go" and planning to eat them later back at the hotel so that's what we did. The hardest part was narrowing it down to a few choices. So many delicious options! But I knew there were other bakeries I wanted to try and I reluctantly accepted I really couldn't eat whole display cases at each bakery. Shawn and I settled on the apple crumble bar, the brookster, and the famous sweet-salty Baked brownie.

My review of each:
The apple crumble bar was amazing. Seriously. Perfect shortbread crust, perfect flavor and texture apples, perfect topping. Did I mention perfect? It was moist but not soggy. Apples are in season in the fall so it's always a good time to get an apple dessert. This was delicious.

The Brookster
Sadly, I wasn't quite as impressed with the brookster. It's a brownie "pie" shell with a chocolate chip cookie filling. Sounds good, right? I think this would have been great when it was just out of the oven and cooled to lukewarm. That's how spoiled I am when I bake my own desserts. When we ate this one, while it wasn't dry exactly, it wasn't as fudgy and moist as I would have expected. Personally I think I like my own version as a chocolate chip cookie tart a bit better.
The Baked Salty-Sweet Brownie
Happily, the third of our purchase, the Baked brownie made up for everything. This brownie IS everything. The funny part is, during our time in New York, we I was visiting so many different bakeries and buying so many things "to try" that I couldn't even get to my half of the brownie until after the trip. Shawn managed to eat her half right before we left. I put my half in my backpack with the intent of eating it on the plane ride home. But I forgot all about it until a few days after I had gotten back from the trip. By then, my snobby palate would've said "forget it" and chucked the brownie because who wants a week-old baked good? Not this girl. Except it seemed a shame not to at least have a bite, even if it was just to say I did try it and see if it met my it-must-be-dry-by-now expectations. Color me sheepish because I couldn't have been more wrong. Astonishingly, not only was it still moist and fudgy but it was another amazing (half)piece of deliciousness. And you know I know my brownies. So that's saying something. Plus I liked the large sugar crystals they sprinkled on top to give the brownie a bit of sweet crunch. If you ever get a chance to try a Baked brownie, run, don't walk, to get one. It was freaking delicious and worth every calorie.

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