Treat Yo’self (And Your Friends): Pastry Gift Guide

The best way to legitimize the those great expanses of time you spend online shopping during the holiday season?  Writing a blog post about it!  Indulge yourself in my shopping guide that captures some of the internet’s cutest pastry related gifting options.  Treat the sweeties who love sweets in your life, especially if that person happens to be you.

Step in the Right Confection Journal

ice-cream-journal

This journal from Modcloth is perfect for documenting all of those sweet moments!  Use it as a journal or use it for recipe notes.  I go through piles of journals… I try to write down one positive thing that happened to me every day, and I’ve been doing this since 2010.  There were a few lost days during my hectic academic flurry at the University of Chicago, but other than that, I have a pretty good record of my life and its upward trends.  It’s comforting to look back and see that no matter how I’m feeling in a given moment, positive energy and outcomes can be gleaned from just about any situation.  (But for the record, I do have a separate journal for ranting, and I never reread that!)

Taiyaki Pancake Mold

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Are you a fan of Taiyaki NYC?  I’ve been obsessed with these fish-shaped pancake treats since I first sampled them in Tokyo five years ago.  Instead of buying a plain old waffle or bubble waffle maker, why don’t you get a taiyaki maker so that you can indulge in these bug-eyed cuties?  Taiyaki are traditionally filled with custard, but who says you can’t go wild with your own ice cream, fruit, or chocolate filling?

Pie Earrings

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“I’m attracted to pie.  It doesn’t mean I feel the need to date pie.”  -Lorelai Gilmore

While I’m actually down to date the right lemon meringue pie if it comes along, I’m pretty sure that wearing little slices of pie on my ears is a good substitute.  These dangly handmade pecan pie earrings look so good that you’ll be tempted to take a little nibble.

Sugar Monster Socks

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If you work in pastry, sometimes you have to abide by a very strict dress code.  In pastry school, we wore matching pants, jackets, hats, shoes, and aprons.  The only way we could express ourselves was with our socks.  Not a huge canvas, right?  We worked with what we got, and tried to infuse our otherwise bland uniform with as much “kick” as possible.  These pink and orange socks let you flaunt your pastry obsession loud and clear.

Japanese Tea Towels

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What could be cuter than pandas ice skating?  I use tenugui, or Japanese tea towels, frequently for my pastry photo shoots.  Short of going to Japan and hitting their spectacular traditional markets, you can find tenugui with modern twists at places like Kinokuniya and Mitsuwa.  Etsy also has quite a few to choose from!

Confection Cutie Nail Art

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One of the bummers about working in pastry is that you can’t wear nail polish for health code reasons.  Live vicariously through a friend and get them this ultra-cute pastry inspired nail wrap set.  The design is inspired by Ann Reardon of How to Cook That, one of the sweetest new blogs I’ve discovered!

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!

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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

 

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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.

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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!

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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.

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