Tag Archives: cookie dough cupcake

Wholey Moly Whole Foods!

22 Sep

You might find yourself exclaiming this very same statement after encountering Whole Foods’ cupcakes,  for one or all of the following reasons:

1) They’re expensive – $3.49 a pop

2) They’re huge.  Like, there’s no possible way I could smoosh the whole thing in my mouth  (because, you know, I like to have that option)

3) They’re scrumdiddlyumptious! (name that movie…)

After my little identity crisis last month, I finally got my act together and marched into my local Whole Foods with downright determination.  I was gonna eat a cupcake gosh darn it and eat it good.

There were 11 flavors available, along with 7 characters (like Elmo, Spongebob, a cow, and I think the pig from Angry Birds) to choose from.   I paced the counter, back and forth back and forth, so many times that (I believe he was) the baker came out to offer assistance.  He gave a detailed run-down of each flavor, and with his help I able to narrow down my selection to the two flavors exclusive to the Merchant’s Walk (Marietta, GA) Whole Foods – the Peanut Butter cupcake and the Cookie Dough cupcake.  A few more minutes passed and my mind was made – the hefty Cookie Dough stud of a cupcake was coming home with me!

So...I got a vanilla mini cupcake also. I couldn't resist it's cuteness!

Back at home, I cozied up on the couch with my plate o’ cupcake in one hand and an eager fork in the other.  I had a good felling about this.  Took one bite and swooooooned – this cupcake was divine!  The cake was fresh, chocolately, moist and sweet.  Then the frosting was oh so lovable – soft and sugary.  And I think that actual cookie dough mixed into buttercream is genius.  Nearing the end of my little, cupcake love affair, I realized I was doing something unusual – I was taking teeny tiny forkfuls, almost crumb-size bites.  It was so good that I guess I was just doing whatever necessary to prolong the sweet experience.  Word to the wise – this cupcake is literally sweet!  I’m pretty sure eating the cupcake in full (I split mine with Steve) would result in a cupcake hangover.  And trust me, those are not cool.

Let’s break it down now…(btw, I’ve added a new category to the list.  I hope you like it!)

Whole Foods (Merchant’s Walk) / 1311 Johnson Ferry Road NE Marietta, GA / http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/merchantswalk

1. Price: $3.49.  That’s pricey, no doubt about it.  But, it’s jumbo-sized and prime for sharing.  Also, some are filled so you get a lot for your money.

2. Room temperature:  No, their specialty cupcakes (jumbo-sized and character cupcakes) are kept in a cold case.  They do however have room temperature, pre-packaged “Two Bite” cupcakes ready and willing whenever you are.

3.  Size:  JUMBO !  This may be Numero Uno in the jumbo cupcake category.  Well, except for Big Papi over at Trader Joe’s.

4. Cake to Frosting Ratio (<—new category!): While I stress the jumbo size, I must say this ratio is still commendable.  I probably had just a wee bit of frosting left unaccompanied.  But that’s okay with me – if it’s good frosting, I’ll take my frosting straight up (still waiting the day to try a frosting shot…)!

5. Vegan or gluten-free options:  Single ($2.99) and packs of 4 ($7.99) gluten-free cupcakes are on-hand.  The day of my visit,  these were of the “blondie chocolate chip” variety.  Not sure if this flavor is standard or rotates.  If you find out, let me know!

6. To-go packaging:  Interesting little plastic cup with lid.  You know the things they put a McDonald’s sundae in?  It’s kind of like that, but upside down.  It definitely prevents the cupcake from toppling over and messing up the cupcake’s “do”, which can really bum me out.  But extracting the cupcake still got kinda messy.  It’d be awesome if they’d employ the same technique of Edibles Incredible, where they put a long skinny strip of parchment paper underneath and along the sides of the cupcake so you can then pull up on the ends of the strip to lift it out.

7. Milk for sale?:  Oh yes, there’s so much milk for sale!  And every other delicious beverage you can imagine!  You know, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure Whole Foods doesn’t sell Coke and Pepsi products.  So if those were the tasty beverages you were imagining – I’m sorry!

8.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:  Oh yes, so many treats!  You can make a night out out of Whole Foods (remember when I mentioned that grocery stores do it for me? Crazy, but true!)  But seriously, you can go and load up a plate full of yummy variety from their hot bar and salad bar, get some freshly squeezed juice with a splash of wheatgrassthen pick out your well-deserved (since you drank wheatgrass) jumbo cupcake!  Oh yeah, and then you can get some groceries, nice-smelling soap, and a pair of Tom’s shoes if you fancy.  Whole Foods = my idea of a fun date.

Pretty cakes on-hand, too!

9.  Ambiance:  The Merchant’s Walk Whole Foods to is just about a month old, so every thing is still shiny and new.  Most of the Whole Foods I’ve been to, though, have a pleasant ambiance – breezy and hip.  Plus, there’s indoor and outdoor seating that says “hey neighbor, why don’t you stop and stay awhile!”.

10. Service:  Excellent!  I wasn’t left waiting, they let me take pictures and ask random questions as well as pace back and forth in front of their counter.  And then the baker came out and provided me with all sorts of helpful information, too.  Happy customer right here.

Fresh ingredients + unprocessed sugar = less guilt 🙂

11.  Three words to describe the Whole Foods Bakery experience:

1)  Invigorating 2) Neighborly 3) Licking-my-plate-delicious

To sum it all up, I really loved that Cookie Dough cupcake.  And really want to find a spot for it on the Top 10.  It’s just getting so hard now with all the amazing cupcakes that have come before it and captured my heart & taste buds.  Give me a little more time to think it through and I’ll find a righteous spot for it!

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Cupcakes on Canton Street

6 Jul

For our latest mission, I decided to keep it simple and local!  A little side note:  (that whole brevity thing from last week just didn’t stick with me)  I have a tendency to make choices that end up making my life waaaaay more complicated than they need to be (the thought of day-tripping to Tennessee JUST for cupcakes did cross my mind), which I believe is the reason why I now DREAD making decisions.  But every once in a blue moon…or once a year, I’ll make a good decision.  Good decision of 2009 = marrying Steve.  Good decision of 2010 =   not taking $500 out of savings to fly to California to audition for Wipeout.  Good decision of 2011 = going to KellyKakes (in hometown Roswell) for cupcakes on June 26 instead of driving to Tennessee.  Since Steve and I were in full-on lazy Sunday mode, the less-than-one-mile commute to get our cupcake on seemed wise. 

Once we arrived, we were caught a little off guard.  KellyKakes isn’t really your typical bakery.  It’s a “boutique cake studio”, which extends into Party Chic, which is a nice restaurant/lounge.  I don’t think I’m explaining this well.  Let’s roll tape in hopes that’ll clear things up!

Those $4 cupcakes are no joke!  With me floating in a happy sugar bliss combined with the magical verandah air, Steve nearly had to roll me outta there.  Can you imagine if we partook in the bottomless mimosas (more on that below…)?  I can’t even imagine!  Well, I sorta can.  And it ain’t pretty!  Anyway!  The cupcakes made me happy.  The cake was SOFT, people.  Almost cupcake blanket soft!  So, eating this delicate treat with a fork is recommended.  Everything tasted fresh.  I vaguely remember reading somewhere that KellyKakes cupcakes are frosted upon ordering, and it did seemed like our selections were freshly topped.  The cookie dough cupcake didn’t have as much frosting as the german chocolate cupcake (and as much as Steve would’ve liked) but the sweet and creaminess of the buttercream along with mini chocolate chips seemed to provide enough coverage for the spongy vanilla cake.  It took me a few bites to pick up on the cookie dough flavor – it just tasted like a rich vanilla at first.  But if you stick with it, that cookie dough tastiness will make a welcome appearance.

And now, dum da da dum…the break down!

KellyKakes (in conjunction with Party Chic) / 953 Canton St.  Roswell, GA / www.kellykakes.com

1. Price:  $4.00 – blimey!  Most expensive yet?  I think so!  (Edibles Incredible was another budget breaker, but both of these places do have large n’ in charge cupcakes.)  BUT, if you check out the KellyKakes website, it looks like you can order cupcakes ranging from standard ($1.50 – $2.75) to jumbo size ($3.50-$4.25).

2. Room temperature:  Yes

3.  Size:  Jumbo.  Definitely splitting in half material.

Cookie Dough & German Chocolate Cupcakes

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  No such luck.

5. To-go packaging: Not sure since we dined in.

6. Milk for sale?:  “Yup, yup, yup!”  (<—-two points if you can name that movie quote!)  Along with tea (hot or cold), lemonade, Coke products (do they even sell Pepsi in Georgia??), coffee (iced, hot, or flavored), hot chocolate, and San Pellegrino.  (WARNING!!  MUST BE 21 OR OVER TO READ THE REST OF THIS PARAGRAPH!!)  There’s also a whole menu dedicated to martinis as well as wine and beer.  And if you go on a Sunday, you can enjoy bottomless mimosas for $10.

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow:  You could totally get away with an undercover cupcake mission to KellyKakes/Party Chic with a non-cupcake enthusiastsWith full-on lunch and dinner menus, you could just say you’d like to meet up for a sandwich, drinks, the live music (Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings), etc.  and then nonchalantly order up your cupcake goods while they unsuspectingly feast on everything else.

The scene inside Party Chic by KellyKakes

8.  Ambiance: It’s quite striking in that it has a little whimsy mixed with historic charm and a dash of cool sophistication.  For short – whimsy with a dark side.  Dark hardwood floors, black beadboard ceilings, fun/dramatic chandeliers here and there.  I bet it casts a very romantic glow in the evening. If it’s a nice day out, I  HIGHLY recommend sitting out on the pretty verandah where you get a great view of folks strolling along Canton Street.

9. Service:  Great – you saw what a trooper our server Carol was!  And it wasn’t just when the camera was rolling, she was that hospitable the whole time!

10.  Three words to describe the KellyKakes/Party Chic experience:

1)  Charming 2) Unique 3) Festive

Though the Cookie Dough and German Chocolate didn’t find a spot on the Top 10 board, I still enjoyed them!  Plus the whole experience was a delight, so I’d definitely recommend this outing to all!

Come on Down to Canton Street!

Oh, I almost forgot!  Check out this cute passerby that Steve was able to quickly capture from our verandah view…

Party Chic:

Party Chic on Urbanspoon

Meet Miss Mamie!

3 Jun

Cupcake Crusade continues! Still searching for the best, kick-butt cupcake in the country!  Armed with this mission, Steve and I skipped over to Marietta, Georgia to see what Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes, Cakes and Such had to offer.

Miss Mamie’s cupcake menu has 18 flavors, consisting of both the traditional (like carrot, red velvet, and vanilla with buttercream) and the unique (like margarita, rocky road, and the aforementioned Guinness).  For some reason, I was able to pick out my cupcake flavors in record time. It was a proud moment.  Anyway!  Here’s the line-up for our feast of four (4 cupcakes between the 2 us seems to be the magic number)!

*A little heads-up: There are two cupcake cases, so be sure to scope out both before selecting your treats!

Lemon Lavender Cupcake (“a sumptuous cake made with fresh lemon zest, juice, and lavender.   Topped with a delicious lemon buttercream and a caramelized lemon slice.“)

This was a dense cake with dense frosting.  I picked up on a subtle lemon flavor, but not so much the lavender.  I was looking forward to that unique taste, but never detected it.  Do you think that the caramelized lemon topping was edible?  hmm…I should’ve eaten it anyway, maybe it would’ve given me that extra lemon zing that I love…next time!

Cheesecake Cupcake

(“white cupcake with cheesecake batter baked inside.  Frosted in cream cheese and topped with a cherry.”)

Nice, spongy & moist cake with a little “pocket” in the middle filled with the cheesecake batter.  Creamy frosting, but not especially cream cheesy.  This one would be good if you don’t have a mammoth sweet tooth like I do.

Cookie Dough Cupcake (“white cupcake with cookie dough baked inside.  Topped with buttercream and an additional chunk of cookie dough.“)

This was probably my favorite out of the bunch.  Buttercream + cookie dough = gold star!  It has been waaaay too long since I last had cookie dough…why am I not eating this on a regular basis?!  And because that buttercream + cookie dough combo ranked high on the sweet-tooth meter, the cupcake’s simple, thick vanilla cake brought  balance to the whole scene.

Guinness Cupcake (“chocolate cupcake made with the Guinness beer topped with cream cheese and mini chocolate chips.”)

I’ve got a little footage of me experiencing the Guinness Cupcake, if you’d like to check it out (btw…this cupcake was my very first brush with a real live, ManCake [I’m blushing!], which I once considered here.)

A common thread between all four of our cupcakes – dense cake and frosting, but fresh to boot.  Not especially sweet, either.  Except  my friend, the cookie dough cupcake.  We didn’t crown a Top 10 cupcake this go around… I must say, it’s getting harder and harder to do the more places we go.  Do you think I should do a Top 50 instead??

Before I break it down, allow me to back it up a bit…what I wanted to say during our little intro (before the train stole the scene!) was that Miss Mamie’s has two cool things going for it, right off the bat –  1) it’s in a historic building and 2) it’s in a quaint, historic downtown.  Gotta love me some historic charm!  And there’s plenty of it encompassing Marietta Square.  I might  have to make another top 10 list, for “top experience” (unique location, cool decor, abounding character,etc).  What do ya think?  Miss Mamie’s would definitely place in that category!

Scenes from downtown Marietta, Georgia

Okiedoke, allow me to break it down for ya!

Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes, Cakes and Such / 156 Roswell Street SE Marietta, GA / www.missmamiescupcakes.com 

1. Price:  $2.50 / Buy 5, get 1 free / $27.50 dozen

2. Room temperature:  Yes, Ma’am

3.  Size:  Standard

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  No, Sir

5. To-go packaging: We dined in, and had our cupcakes served to us on whimsical mismatched china dessert plates. 

6. Milk for sale?:  Didn’t spot any…but you can get apple juice, bottled water, Pellegrino, ginger ale, Coke, Sprite, Orangina, hot tea, and coffee.

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: Not readily available (unless you count necklaces, but those aren’t edible).  But they do make custom cakes, awfully pretty ones at that!  (Remember Mamie has an art degree along with her Le Cordon Bleu training! )

8.  Ambiance: Sweet, shabby chic mixed with cozy, historic yumminess.  I appreciated the vintage, floral table clothes; the collection of cake stands used to display the cupcakes; the string of cute aprons hung on the wall; big storefront windows;  and the exposed brick wall!  Oh yeah, and the music!  That’s a Pandora station I would totally tune into.

9. Service:  Kind folks can be found behind the counter at Miss Mamie’s!

10.  Three words to describe the Miss Mamie’s experience:

1) Charming 2) Genuine 3) Relaxed

Miss Mamie's: Cupcakes, Cakes & Such on Urbanspoon

One more thing!  If you do make the trip to Miss Mamie’s and Marietta Square, you might want to swing by “The Big Chicken” while you’re in the neighborhood and check out this quirky roadside architecture.

Tickled Pink @ Pink Pastry Parlor

26 Mar

Ladies, want to feel like a kid again? If yes, then skip on over to the Pink Pastry Parlor!  (Sorry to discriminate fellas, but there just really isn’t anything manly about this place….which you may have already figured out based on its name.  Oh wait!  I just noticed that there’s an Earthworm cupcake on the menu.  That’s manly, right?)  

While Pink Pastry Parlor is a bakery, with lots and lots of cupcake flavors, they also specialize in princess-themed parties.  I don’t even have kids and found this a neat place -you just can’t help but be happy here!

Once I honed in on the cupcakes, I was blown away by all the flavors to choose from.  I counted 46 varieties on their (online) menu, and had about 34 to choose from on the day of my visit.   The only downside to all that was a pretty severe indecisivity flare-up.  (side note: is indecisivity a legit word? If not, can I take credit for creating it?)  I mean, how awesome do Mississippi Mud, Banana Puddin’, and ButterFinger cupcakes sound?  Plus, they have Strawberry cupcake with either cream cheese or buttercream frosting.  Me and my cream cheese frosting dispassionate-ways thank you Pink Pastry!  I finally selected the following lot:

~Banana Puddin’ ~ Italian Cream ~ Snickers ~ Strawberry (with buttercream frosting!) ~ Red Velvet~Cookie Dough~S’more~Cinn-A-Swirl

That’s a big lot, I know.  So I think I gotta fess up here, that I made two trips to PPP recently.  One time to pick up dessert for dinner with my neighbors, but I didn’t have my camera (drat!) .  I figured I could easily just pop back in later that week since it’s on my way home from work.  So, when I returned days later armed with my camera I couldn’t resist getting some more.  I, seriously, have NO willpower.

All of these cupcakes were good – definitely no bad eggs in the bunch.  And I think everyone in my group thoroughly enjoyed them.  Very fresh, moist cake.  Stellar frosting/cake ratio, for me at least (and if you’re looking at these photos and thinking “those look heavy on the frosting side”, just know that it’s not a dense frosting but has a light, almost whipped texture).  Also, I found their appearance commendable – dainty and fluffy, yet creative and fun.  Some things that really stood out to me – how indulgent the Italian Cream tasted; that the Cinn-A-Swirl wasn’t very cinnamon-y; the fact that Steve liked the Banana Puddin’ when he has always claimed to only like actual bananas and nothing banana flavored;  that the Snicker cupcake really tasted like a Snickers; and how yummy the S’mores was, not to mention cute with that little Teddy Graham on top.

So that’s all she wrote…for that section at least.  Here’s the ol’ break down (note:  I added a new category, Check out #10!)

Pink Pastry Parlor / Spalding Center at 6385 Spalding Dr. Suite C, Norcross GA / www.pinkpastryparlor.com 

  1. Price:  $2 each / $22 dozen

2. Room temperature:  Yup! 

3.  Size:   Petite.  Even though these cupcakes are on the dainty side, I wasn’t left feeling deprived of either cake or frosting.

4. Vegan or gluten-free options:  None to be found on-site or online.

5. To-go packaging:  It depends on how many cupcakes you get – a single cupcake could go in an individual-sized plastic clamshell; three cupcakes go in a larger clamshell; four cupcakes go in the cute pink cardboard box with window and dividers inside.  The only thing I left wanting was a small, paper shopping bag.  Since the clamshell containers didn’t have those braces (for lack of a technical term) inside, putting them in a flat-bottomed bag would decrease their toppling-over odds. 

6. Milk for sale?:  I only spotted bottled water and cans of soda.  But how cute would it be to serve strawberry milk here?!  You know, to keep with the whole pink scheme.

7.  Other treats for non-cupcake enthusiasts you may have in tow: Yes ma’am!  Pick out an “award-winning” brownie, cookie (one of which is called “chunk-in-the-trunk”!),  a scoop of ice cream or pudding.  Then online, you’ll also find a variety of pies, cheesecakes, cobblers and bars.

8.  Ambiance:  Pink!  There are pink walls, pink booths, pink curtains, pink merchandise, pink bakery boxes, etc.  Upon entering, you get the sense that Pink Pasty Parlor is a bona fide, homespun bakery with a fun, girlie side.  Add some splashes of retro and southern sweetness in there and before you know it, you’ve forgotten all your troubles.  Plenty of places to sit and enjoy your sweets, and some young-hearted merchandise to browse when you’re done…like tiaras! 

9. Service:  Southern hospitality is alive and well in Norcross, GA.   I really felt like a valued customer at Pink Pastry Parlor.

10.  Three words to describe the Pink Pastry Parlor experience: (*this is my new category!  What do you think?) 

1)  girlie 

2) festive

3) whimsical

All in all, I was very pleased with my experience at Pink Pastry.  And if my nieces lived in Georgia, I would surely plan a party for them there.  No Top 10 cupcake  just yet, but that may change.  They already made a repeat customer out of me, and like I said it’s on my way home from work.  I’m pretty sure my lack of willpower will yet again get the best of me and I’ll find myself standing in front of their cupcake counter, feeling like a kid all over again.

Pink Pastry Parlor on Urbanspoon

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