|A banana cupcake next to a chocolate cupcake at Buttercup Bake|
|A red velvet cupcake next to a carrot cupcake at Buttercup Bake|
|The window display at Buttercup Bake|
|The chocolate peanut butter cookie at Levain Bakery|
|Behind the window front at the tiny Levain Bakery|
|The window front of Levain Bakery|
|A carrot cupcake next to a red velvet cupcake at Billy's Bakery|
|Billy's Bakery's cute interior (plus a cute boy who is about to sit next to me with a pecan pie which, he'll soon tell me, is the best he's ever had).|
I had discovered the list of bakeries from a book I had read only a few days before we left. The book is written by Amy Thomas and titled Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate). Despite the torturous experience of reading a book about food you can't have, it proved itself as incredibly useful. Through first hand trial and error, Amy Thomas has constructed a careful guide to both Paris and New York bakeries. Each recommendation has suggestions of what to eat and commentaries of the two cities' baking obsessions, including New York's baking crazes which bounce between cupcakes, macaroons and cookies. Although we only made it to three of the bakeries on Amy Thomas' list, the three we did go to were super fun.
On our second day, we stumbled across Buttercup Bake (E 51st, 2nd Ave) which is a low key bakery with huge glass cabinets filled with rows upon rows of colourful cupcakes - a tantalizing image as delicious as the cupcakes themselves.
The next day, after a trip up to Columbia University campus we caught the subway then walked a few blocks to find the tiny Levain Bakery (167 W 74th St & Amsterdam Ave). The bakery is practically underground and surrounded by charming town houses. I was skeptical about paying $4 for a cookie but a particularly extroverted woman beside me in the queue promised me I wouldn't regret it - and I didn't. The paper bag, which the peanut butter chocolate cookie came in, weighed a tonne and I kid you not - that one delicious, chunky chocolate cookie alone kept me going until dinner (this time frame included a lengthy visit to the Natural History Museum).
A few days later, we had been walking around the World Trade Center Memorials then up Broadway but completely forgot to plan for lunch. I read through my bakery list and we ended up fast-walking to Billy's Bakery (9th Ave, 21st W) in Tribeca. Billy's Bakery had excellent cupcakes and pecan pie and I enjoyed watching the melange of customers passing through, from the deranged to the lonely and glamorous.
Despite our successful bakery visits, I remain desperate to taste Momofuku's crack pie & other such creme de la cremes of baked goods (breathy laughter). But for now I will reminisce of my not-so-long-ago visit to NYC and as for you...well you can live vicariously through my adventures by reading all the updates on this blog.
P.S. Wasn't my post title hilarious?