Momofuku Milk Bar is ready to ship

On the heels of last week’s gift guide comes news that makes for one of the best gifts to the sweet tooth in your life: Momofuku Milk Bar is shipping their cookies and pies. As a result, a nation of food lover’s rejoice.

Momofuku Milk Bar is the dessert arm of Chef David Chang’s empire. Connected to Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village, it’s where pastry Chef Christina Tosi works her magic. And all of their treats are unique, innovative, and most of all delicious.

We were able to visit Ssam Bar and Milk Bar during a trip to NYC in October. We heard of the unusual concoctions that they make at Milk Bar, so our anticipation to try their stuff was high. They didn’t disappoint. And the cookies, oh the cookies. I’m a bit of a cookie freak and we ordered a half dozen cookies for the walk back to our hotel and to snack on for breakfast in the morning. My personal favorite was the appropriately named Compost Cookie. Made of a hodgepodge of ingredients that include potato chips, pretzels, coffee grounds, chocolate chips, graham crumbs, and butterscotch chips; this cookie is weird, tasty and interesting. Order this. And laugh gleefully when you get to enjoy it.

Now we have the ability to eat these at the ready. Thank you David Chang and Christina Tosi for opening up the Milk Bar doors to share their treats with fans across the country. Right now it’s the cookies and crack pie that they’ll be shipping. I don’t know how quickly they’ll ship before Christmas time; regardless, they will make an awesome gift for any season.

Word of warning though; shipping prices are notoriously expensive, so consider this before your order. I played around on the site and it can be very expensive. Couple this with keeping the cookies fresh, expedited service will drive the shipping cost up.

Click here to order.

Photo from Momofuku
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Ben and Jerry’s Flipped Out

Ben & Jerry’s is blowing my mind right now. Did my check up on the latest cool food news that Serious Eats drops on us, and they shared this bit of info about the latest from the good ice cream folks in Vermont. Basically, Ben & Jerry’s is starting to make some in carton sundaes as their latest product. But it’s not just the product that’s cool; their entire marketing campaign is freaking awesome. This new treat is called Flipped Out and I’m on board.

In learning more about Flipped Out, I was pointed to Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page. They had a little page dedicated to Flipped Out. On it, they talked about the new flavors that are a part of this launch; Vanilla Fudge Brownie, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. What’s funky about Flipped Out is that it’s a contained sundae. When you open the lid you’ll see a layer of brownies, then the ice cream, and then fudge! Will this contribute to America’s weight problem? Absolutely. Will that stop me? No! You can either start your ice cream attack, or follow the Flipped Out lead and push out the ice cream like suggested.

While digging even deeper, I learned of the marketing that Ben & Jerry is executing for Flipped Out. And it’s quite the plan. In fact, it’s pretty awesome. First off, they’re Facebook page has this quirky little application that flips the text upside down! In fact, check out their twitter to see some examples. It’s crazy.

Also (and this is where it gets cool), the Flipped Out truck is on a nationwide tour doing its thing and giving out ice cream! To quote them, ‘it will be unflipping believable!’ Here is the line-up of where they’ll be. In fact, RSVP via their Facebook to get in on the action.

  • 6/27-28 – Brooklyn, NY – McCarren Park (27th), Prospect Park (28th)
  • 7/2-5 – Rothbury, MI – Rothbury Music Festival
  • 7/11-13 – Seattle, WA – Victor Steinbrueck Park (11th), Seward Park (12th), Westlake Park (13th)
  • 7/15 – Portland, OR – Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • 7/18-22 – San Francisco, CA – Union Square (18th), Golden Gate Park (19th), Justin Herman Plaza (21-22)

There you have it. The perpetual greatness of Ben & Jerry’s continues this summer. I’ll be sure to be at the Seattle stops. Next up is to go to the store and load up on this stuff.

Celebrating National Doughnut Day in Seattle

When I was in high school my diet pretty much consisted of milk, cookies, and donuts. How I was able to clock in at 165 for those years is still a scientific miracle. If you were to look back at foods that you could identify with at points of your life, my teenage years would include donuts, college = teriyaki, post-college = unbelievable amounts of beer. And pizza. The last few years? Still to be determined. Donuts brought me to where I am today and they are part of my food DNA. Which is why I’m excited to find out that next Friday is National Doughnut Day.

It took the good folks at Seattlest to bring to my attention that Tangletown’s own Mighty-O will be celebrating National Doughnut Day by giving out free mini donuts. (Doughnuts and donuts are the same thing; the shorter version is pretty much colloquial; both are fine. Stop being uptight, no one likes a grammar nerd.) Of course, this is cool and free food is the best kind.

I love donuts and it’s awesome that Seattle has two of the finest purveyors of donuts around; Mighty-O and Top Pot. What’s great is that each is very different.

Mighty-O exclusively plays in the cake donut world. Dense, yet still light, and satisfying. They also are very proud at being organic, vegan, and using natural ingredients. Noble indeed. If I had a favorite Mighty-O flavor it would be the Vanilla Cake Cinnamon Sugar. Simple, delicate, and awesome.

Top Pot is different because they play in the entire world of donut goodness. Cake, fried, they do all the good stuff. With several locations around town, you won’t have to search very far for your donut fix. I like a lot of their stuff. When I feel overly ambitious, I’ll go for the Boston Cream Pie; a calorie-laden treat consisting of a chocolate-topped, custard-filled yeast donut. Delicious. But my de facto favorite is their Apple Fritter. I first had it at a Starbucks (back when I still went to SBUX, I think my last visit was in ’04), and they offered to heat it up. A warm donut? Of course! Back to the high school connection, I would always microwave my maple bars before school. About 13 seconds to heat up and soften the maple and you have a warm doughy delight. But back to the Apple Fritter – heated up a touch, it’s gooey, pliable, and delicious. Plus, it has apple, so it’s healthy.

Enjoy National Doughnut Day! It always falls on the first Friday of June, so be sure to swing by your local doughnut/donut shop. In fact, get a dozen to bring them into the office. You’ll be the hero for the day and make the workday that much more enjoyable.

Not cool Häagen-Dazs

This is messed up: Häagen-Dazs is reducing the size of their ‘pints’. Thank you to the good folks at Serious Eats to let us in on this travesty. This is another case of downsizing, while companies charge the same amount for getting less product. Don’t believe me? Take a look at a container of Breyer’s Ice Cream some time. It sure isn’t a half gallon anymore. This downsizing stinks.

On the plus side, more of my ice cream spending dollars will be going to Ben & Jerry’s. They have announced that they won’t change their sizes and will continue to serve a true pint. So goodbye tasty flavors of Häagen-Dazs and hello to the full pint goodness of Ben & Jerry’s! I’ll be indulging in their Strawberry Cheesecake (formerly called Primary Berry Graham during the ’04 election), Chubby Hubby, and Imagine Whirled Peace!

Binge ice cream eaters and heartbreakees will appreciate those extra two spoonfuls of ice cream when the going gets tough. Thank you Ben & Jerry’s. No thank you Häagen-Dazs.

Such Great Heights at Peaks Frozen Custard

Frozen custard is a treat that our friends from the Midwest know dearly. In fact, if you’re from Wisconsin chances are you pretty much grew up on the stuff. (The folks at Peaks did, they’re all from Wisconsin.) I bet the three main food groups to folks from Wisconsin would be sausage, cheese, and frozen custard. Seattle has the first two locked down, now the area finally has it’s first frozen custard joint; Peaks Frozen Custard.

February 14th was the official ‘grand opening’ of Peaks Frozen Custard. That’s a bit of a misnomer though because they’ve been open for a few months now. But with a chance to get their sea legs, they decided to party and announce their opening on Valentine’s Day – a great day to treat yourself, no matter the circumstance. Seattle has a proliferation of ice cream, gelato, and froyo places, but up until Peaks opening, we didn’t have a frozen custard spot of our own. What’s nice about all of these frozen desserts is that they are unique, and frozen custard is no exception. It’s lusciously creamy and has a ton of mouthfeel. This will be the first thing you notice when eating it. Chalk this up to the greater percentage of egg yolks and that they don’t mix in too much air. Also, because it’s made fresh daily the flavors are very pronounced.

To find Peaks think of nearby landmarks. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Greenlake. It’s across the street from the Roosevelt Whole Foods. It’s neighbors to Teddy’s (one of my favorite bars). And it’s around the corner from Roosevelt High School. Knowing this you’ll know who’ll be going to Peaks; everyone! The Greenlake neighborhood is truly an epicenter for many and with their location on 65th and Roosevelt, all walks of life will make their way into Peaks. And that’s awesome. In fact, when we went, a couple of nice ladies invited us to sit with them. How neighborly!

The vibe of Peaks is very fun; it’s dressed up similar to a lodge. And they keep playing off this theme with the ordering system. You start your order at “base camp” (cone or dish; waffles are an extra option). Then you step up to “the climb” (flavors; they have vanilla, chocolate, and a ‘flavor of the day’). Once you’re on the climb you can choose to add toppings or not. But it’s the frozen custard that you go for and it’s delicious. Frozen custard has an unctuous creaminess that is unparalleled and Peaks does not disappoint. Because it’s fresh and not served as cold as ice cream you’ll notice that the flavors are deeper and more developed. The vanilla has a well-rounded taste and a lingering finish. The chocolate is awesome, smoky with a distinct richness unlike other chocolate flavors that I’ve tasted before. I wanted to take custard home!

Enjoy Peaks and all they have to offer! They also have a ton of fresh baked treats that they make in house. From the cupcakes to the cookies to the sandwiches, all are done by the good folks there. And they get their coffee from Lighthouse Roasters! It’s always nice to acknowledge places that use local Seattle coffee. I’m starting to get annoyed when I see coffee from south of Washington. Peaks Frozen Custard is going to be a nice little place to enjoy a snack of frozen custard goodness.

Peaks Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon

Photo courtesy of jdong’s Flickr

Trophy Life

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This is more of an anticipatory heads up for those with a sweet tooth. And if you enjoy the benefits of retail therapy then it’s a perfect combination. Trophy Cupcakes is opening in U-Village.

I first learned of this in Rebekah Denn’s great devouring sEATtle blog; the much-lauded Trophy Cupcakes is slated to open in the spring. Their new location will be next to Pasta & Co. and Bryn Walker. This will be exciting for all those that enjoy a good cupcake. And for all the nannys and moms in Laurelhurst, Bryant, and Sand Point for when the kids have low blood sugar. For anyone really

Triophy Cupcakes has been in the Walllingford Center for several years now. And they have fans by the droves. In fact, Martha Stewart is a fan. Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes actually appeared on Martha’s show a few months back to celebrate cupcake week. Seattle represent.

They have a ton of flavors and my personal favorite is the Obamacake. The chocolate is rich and smoky but in balance with the creme frosting. I particularly like the cake aspect of Trophy’s cupcakes. Moist and springy like any good cupcake should be. The combination of the cupcake and frosting is also not too sweet, which shouldn’t give you sugar overload. (Well, this is what I’m telling myself.) Try a bunch of their flavors! But make sure to enjoy them! Appreciate these little works of art and let the flavors do their thing. They are about three bucks, so they’re by no means cheap. But these are treats not daily indulgences – unless that’s how you roll.

Now if only that location opened sooner…”Spring 2009″ can’t come soon enough.

Trophy Cupcakes and Party on Urbanspoon

Cream puff daddy

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Seattle’s International District’s got you covered. Bubble tea at Gossip, cocktail buns at Mon Hei, now we can add another to the mix of fun stuff to get – cream puffs from Beard Papa’s.

I must admit, I had no idea of what Beard Papa’s was until about a week ago. Now I feel late to the party. Because I didn’t have any preconceived notions as to what Beard Papa’s is ‘supposed’ to be, I just enjoyed what they were. What first started out as a Japanese treat, became a bit of a phenomenon (read up on the history, it’s really interesting!). Apparently, lines would go out the doors with people clamoring for these cream puffs. Now, they’ve started expanding stateside with locations throughout California and New York. The first Seattle location opened up at Safeco Field this summer. Which makes sense given the strong ties the Mariners have to Japan (Ichiro!). But I wasn’t aware of this because the M’s stunk up the joint and fell off the map to locals that cared. Now Beard Papa’s has a location in Waji’s, that I’ll be sure to hit up frequently. And a third is coming to Lynnwood!

Located inside of Uwajimaya in their food court, Beard Papa’s sits as the anchor. And you can watch the whole show of cream puffs being made. I love cream puffs, the combination of dough and rich cream is always a winner. But Seattleites have been living in a state of cream puff mediocrity. Most are soggy and bland, and those ones you get before your meal at local pho places? No thanks, I’ll pass. The cream puffs at Beard Papa’s are a different story.

The cream puffs are large in size, about the size of a hockey puck, not the ping pong ball most are used to. And they bake them fresh throughout the day! Order a puff and choose one of three flavors of cream (vanilla, chocolate, and green tea), they’ll fill them in front of you, and then they’ll dust them in a bit of powdered sugar. Then they are yours! I love this process because adding the cream before serving keeps the shell crisp, so this dichotomy of crisp shell with creamy filling is a bona fide winner. Biting into it is a delightful experience I look forward to doing again and again.

The cool thing about Beard Papa’s is that the cream puffs are baked fresh daily and the cream is made day of. So things are fresh and they don’t use preservatives, so be mindful that they won’t keep that long. Why would they? You’ll finish yours soon enough. The staff is really friendly too, which as always nice. Smiling faces go a long way.

Head on down to Uwajimaya and enjoy feeling like a kid that loves sweets. Plus, the Waji’s location doesn’t have the massive lines that typify the Japan locations. I will say that they are a bit expensive. $2.15! But it’s a treat, not a necessity. So treat yourself to some cream puffs at Beard Papa’s.

Beard Papa's on Urbanspoon