Archive for the ‘Baked good’ Category

Given the chance, what would you name as Vermont’s state treat?  We’ve got a pie (it’s apple) but seem to lack a true state dessert.  It seems that most folks don’t realize that pie is not dessert, but a course onto itself.  Our neighbors to the South have an official donut (Boston Crème), New Hampshirites are too cranky to have anything but a state vegetable (Pumpkin) and the folks to the west have copied our state fruit (Apple) and have a totally lame state muffin (Again, apple).  Only our friends over in Maine seem to really get it, and have dubbed the Whoopie Pie as the state treat.

If the Vermont legislature thinks that it should spend time establishing Skiing and Snowboarding Vermont’s official outdoor sports and adding Walleye as another official fish, it is past high time that we get a state treat.  Therefore the Sapbucket officially calls on the Legislature in its next biennium to formalize an official treat for the state of Vermont.  Since it seems that election season has already started, we further declare that this will be the litmus test by which the Sapbucket judges every candidate for office.  Will you take a strong position in favor of an official dessert for all Vermonters?  (We’ll be taking suggestions for what that treat should be during the rest of the year.)

In the meantime, we’re discus Maine’s official treat the Whoopie Pie.  I’m not vested enough in the history of the dessert to take a side in whether Mainers or the Pennsylvania Amish invented it.  Heck, I had never even had a Whoopie Pie before trying the Nomadic Oven’s devilish creation last year.  It recently caught my eye in the City Market dessert case and I figured the time was right for a Sapbucket review.  The pie is a large size, comparable to a hamburger from Al’s French Fries with a second patty between the bun, and comes wrapped in plastic.  That seems to help the outer chocolate cakes stay fresh and moist.  The cakes are soft (bordering on sticky) and fantastically chocolately.  Not a crazy rich brownie chocolate, just simple chocolate cake goodness.  The icing is sweet and marshmallow like in texture and flavor while binding the two cakes together so you consistently have both chocolate and icing bites.  As noted, I’m a Whoopie Pie novice, but I thought this was an excellent treat and a great dessert.

Verdict: Maine’s official treat will always be welcome here in Vermont. 

Baked in Burlington, we picked up a Nomadic Oven Whoopie Pie from City Market.  A few years ago Seven Days did a small piece on the story behind the Nomadic Oven’s creator, Jen Smith.  After reading that, like the Nomadic Oven on Facebook and follow them on twitter @TheNomadicOven.


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A cookie in bar form is really the utility-player of the cookie world.  It steps up when all other forms of cookie seem a little less enticing than usual.  It typically satisfies a number of cravings and can be substantial in size, lending itself to being a good snack for a road trip.  Red Door Bakery’s bars are some of the more prevalent options in Northern Vermont, gracing the shelves of a number of co-ops and natural food stores.  And for good reason, they offer a hearty delicious snack, that in my case has me feeling less guilty than eating a traditional cookie (even if I know deep down it is every bit as bad for me).

The Red Door Bakery Date Bar is comparable to other bar-cookies offered from the bakery in size and style.  A generous brown sugar, oat topping gives the bar its heft without being too sweet.  The center is a thick, practically fudgey, date paste that has a terrific flavor that is pure date.  There is a good crunch throughout the bar, though in warmer weather it can be prone to crumbling a bit.  Don’t forget to grab a napkin!

Verdict: When a regular cookie just won’t do, reach for a Red Door Bakery bar.  

Baked in Marshfield, we picked this bar up at Hunger Moutain Co-Op for $1.99.  

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La Panciata makes some of the best cookies in Vermont.  You might have a local bakery you’re fond of that has a special cookie.  But I’d put La Panciatas array of traditional Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal cookies up against any others sold in local grocery stores.  The cookies are large, fresh tasting (they’re double bagged) with great flavor.  In this case a smooth peanut butter is the basis of a dense delicious cookie.  Some of our tasters expressed a preference for perhaps a slightly moister peanut butter cookie, but all agreed that these were darn tasty.

Verdict: La Panciata’s cookie lineup is one of the best around.  These peanut butter cookies hold their own. 

I’ve expressed my frustration in the past with Vermont products with terrible web presence.  It just isn’t that hard or take that long to get something set up.  La Panciata is a great example, here’s their website which is pretty useless.  http://www.lapanciata.com/ 


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Our week reviewing indulgent breakfast items continues as we wolf down a few croissants from La Strada.  These medium sized treats had a nice crust with some give, definitely not too dry.  The texture is light and chewy, the wheat flour comes through but is complementary to the buttery flavor.  We heated these in the oven for a few minutes which made them a little softer, but they were great straight out of the bag too.  These are a croissant you can have for breakfast and not feel like you just ate a stick of butter and need to immediately go exercise.

Verdict: There is a lot to love in these flaky, buttery treats.

Baked in Waterbury, we grabbed this bag of croissants off the shelf at City Market for $4.39.  

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If the gingersnap is an underappreciated cookie, than the scone is a completely undervalued breakfast treat.  Muffins and bagels get all the glory while the scone is relegated to minor league status.  I’m sure that’s not why Butterfly Bakery underwent a rebranding effort, but they certainly have come outside the other end of that process with a beautiful, eye catching logo.  A bag of these scones really are eye catching on the shelf.

Open the bag and you are treated to a waft of sweet orange and chocolate, which is accentuated if you pop these in the toaster oven for a minute or two to warm them up.  The texture is rather crumbly, and doesn’t come across as what I typically think of when I think scone.  The Cabot sour cream really comes through in the flavor profile, but not much else.  The orange scent and chocolate which are so prevalent at the outset are lost a bit as you snack on the scone.  These weren’t bad, but based on the attractive packaging and the tantalizing scent I was expecting a bit more.

Verdict: An under-apreciated breakfast treat that came up just a bit short in this instance.

Baked in Montpelier we treated ourselves to these scones while down the street at Hunger Mountain Co-Op for $4.99.  Read Claire Fits story of how she got into baking at their website and like them on Facebook.  

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Where does the ginger snap rank on the scale of underrated cookies?  My guess is pretty high.  While not my number one, chocolate chip is probably at the top of the favorite cookie list for most folks.  Add in a peanut butter, a oatmeal raisin, a chocolate/chocolate chunk and a sugar or snickerdoodle (or some variation of these) and you’ve probably got the makings of most peoples top five lists.  Which is a shame, because whether it has a good snap or a soft break, the gingersnap is a damn good cookie.

These gingersnaps were a tasty version of the crispy, snappy cookie.  A good size round cookie they were lightly sugared on both sides and had a satisfying firmness.  After biting into the cookie you’ll experience a sandy, drier texture with a good ginger flavor that is upfront but not overpowering.  All in all this is a delicious ginger snap that should have everything you’re looking for in this style of cookie.

Verdict: A good, safe ginger snap that will please fans of this underrated cookie.

Baked in Waterbury we grabbed these LaStrada cookies at Hunger Mountain Co-Op for $5.69.  

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Girl Scout cookie season is coming to a close.  Boxes of cookies have been delivered, table sales in the community are starting to wind down.  It just happens that we bought these cookies, which come in a similarly sized box, at the same time.  Which made me wonder, if the Boy Scouts made and sold cookie what would they look like?

This Orton Brothers Lemon Cookie Buttons might be a candidate for such a role.  These are tasty, basic cookies, with almost sort of a utilitarian feel.  Buying these cookies you aren’t expecting a Samoa, or a Tagalong.  But you’ll be pleased at how tasty they are as well as by their pop-ability.  A zesty flavor bursts forward the instant the cookie touches your tongue and continues as you snack on the little crunchy cookie.  The finish is slightly powdery (in a good way) as if it was a lemon cooler.

Verdict: A tasty small cookie that is great when you want just a small cookie.

Made in North Clarendon, we earned our cookie buying badge at Hunger Mountain Co-Op where we purchased these.  Check out The Orton Family’s full line of products made under the Vermont Common Foods label. 

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