Westworld Cookies and the Inward Journey

Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world, the disarray.  I choose to see the beauty.  To believe that there is an order to our days.  A purpose.  -Dolores, Westworld

I marathoned “Westworld” after my brother told me about it last month.  While robot and sci-fi movies have never really appealed to me in the past, something about this show resonated.  I think that choosing to see beauty instead of ugliness is one of the best things that we can do to improve our lives; I don’t care that the advice is coming from a robot!  I guess that you could call this recognition of beauty a form of “gratitude,” something that we can all practice a little more.  Much like Dolores in Westworld is tasked with getting to the center of a maze to find consciousness, we can all realize that our paths should look inward instead of up.

While sometimes I get frustrated that the career that makes me happiest is also one that physically challenges me the most, I know deep down that I have improved my life dramatically by doing what I love.  I like to examine my career path with this thoughtfully inward approach.  Constantly trying to move upward with achievements and job titles rather than inward with personal growth and challenges will ultimately lead to career burnout and dissatisfaction.  I believe that it’s better to take things at your own pace and let your next move be the perfect move for you.  It won’t necessarily be what others think your next perfect move should be, and that’s okay.  If you’re going to lose the beauty of the journey, why even go on the journey?

I was so excited to make these Westworld-inspired cookies and mini cake.  It’s not often that I fall in love with a show, and Westworld deserves to be memorialized in pastry form.  The cookies are decorated with royal icing with a hint of lemon flavor.  The mini cake is three (mini!) layers of chocolate espresso cake with vanilla buttercream in between.  I piped a loose representation of the maze featured in Westworld on top of the cake… are you able to find your way to the center?

Is there a tv show that you’ve really connected with in some way?  What show would you like to see represented in cookie form next?


Dessert Goals Roundup: The goodies, the fads, and the crunchy

Last weekend’s Dessert Goals festival in Williamsburg was overwhelming in the best way… I totally gave in to the siren call of almost every sugary vendor.  Here are the things I was able to taste in the short 1.5 hours that we were allotted.  Not included in my list is Butter Lane, because I work there and of course am partial to cupcakes, if you haven’t noticed!  You should definitely try them if you’re a cake lover… and even if you’re not!  Their frosting-to-cake ratio makes for the perfect balance of moist cake and just-the-right-sweetness-frosting in every bite.

  1. Taiyaki NYC – Taiyaki.  I wanted to eat an entire school of these babies.  I loved eating taiyaki for the first time in Japan years ago.  “Tai” is the word for a type of fish, red snapper, and “yaki” means “fried”.  The treat is conventionally sold as street fair food.  It’s a fish shaped pancake that is usually filled with pastry cream.  Taiyaki NYC has a different take on the classic.  They keep the fish’s mouth open and fill it with green tea soft serve, red bean, and mochi.  If the fish could cram all of that in its mouth, you can cram this delicious fish-shaped treat into yours!


2. Wowfulls – Bubble waffles.  This was the last thing I ate at Dessert Goals, and I almost didn’t get it because I already had a sugar high as tall as the Empire State Building.  But I had to…  Called “waffles with abs” on the street, these gai dan jai bubble waffles are super popular in Hong Kong.  It was so enjoyable to eat each bubble individually.  The Pocky candy added some crunch that balanced the chewy texture of the mochi.  I ended up buying a vintage shirt from Dobbin Street Vintage, who were also tabling at the event, that matched the sprinkles aesthetic perfectly.  I’ll definitely wear it the next time I tackle a bubble waffle.img_0467



3. Baba Cool – Dragonfruit bowls.  I started the day with this, thinking I would ease into the festival with something healthy first.  Dragonfruit bowls have the consistency of a smoothie.  If you haven’t had dragonfruit before, it has a mild taste that contrasts with its vibrant pink, tangy-looking color.  Toppings like chocolate shavings, pepitas, and pansy flowers added pops of color and texture to the smoothie-bowl.



4. Jae NYC Eats – Twinkies from scratch.  (Called “Cakies” to prevent any confusion) You could watch them inject and fill each pastry with a syringe.  I got the most mesmerizing, colorful flavor, jackfruit with fruity pebbles.  It blended in well with this colorful background… but don’t worry, it didn’t escape from my watchful gaze!


5. Not Your Average Cotton – Cotton candy.  Served on the rooftop garden, it was hard to prevent this lightweight sweet from blowing away toward the New York skyline.  I ordered rose flavored cotton candy topped with a hint of pepper.  They also had dreamy mint and lavender flavors.