Friday, April 3, 2009

Valrhona Chocolates, Van Leeuwen IceCream & Mr. Cupcakes

O.K., I admit it. In addition to loving liquid refreshments, I have a sweet tooth. I can go days without eating dessert, but if I am going to indulge, I want something wonderful—no waxy chocolate bars or cookies filled with artificial ingredients. For whatever reason, it’s been an awfully sweet week. Here are the sinfully good sweets that were worth the indulgence:
Valrhona Chocolates – My dear friend James came home from a weekend in Amsterdam with a box of these decadent and beautifully crafted “bon bons” for me. Every day, we each have one. I am a true chocolate lover, and these may be the best box chocolates I have ever had. I understand that there is a Valrhona Boutique in the Trump Place Food Emporium—much closer than Europe!
Van Leeuwen Ice Cream – At a recent writer’s meetup, I started talking about the sample ice cream that I tried recently and a fellow writer cried, “The ice cream truck!” It seems that Pete Van Leeuwen has an honest-to-goodness truck that treks around NYC. But, we can eat his cool treats without running down the street to catch him—it’s sold at Whole Foods. To give you an idea of how good this is: my husband brings home several half-gallons of ice cream every week and I never eat it. Unless it’s scorching hot, I find ice cream pretty easy to resist. But this ice cream is so high quality, it might as well be in a different food group: there are only about four ingredients per container, including fresh cream, hazelnuts from Italy’s Piedmont (in chocolate hazelnut, my favorite flavor), and actually less sugar than the bigger brands.
Mr. Cupcakes – Well, you have to drive to Jersey for this one! Let’s face it: cupcakes are having a moment. I know New York has its share of bakeries like Magnolia that offer the darling little treats, but I’ve heard tell of a NJ spot that is worth the trip. This past Tuesday the whole family headed to Clifton and we were not disappointed. With flavors like Peanut Butter & Jelly, Chocolate Strawberry, Smores, Red Velvet, and more, this is a fun spot to pick up a box. And, at $1.50 a piece, it’s a super economical indulgence. We ate ours at Brookdale Park , a sprawling green space designed by the Olmsted Brothers of Central Park fame.
Back to the wine anon. Hope readers will excuse a girl for sharing a little dessert love.

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