Art Imitating Food Imitating…More Food! Sweets & The Neapolitan Ice Cream Cone Sugar Cookie at Yummy Stuff

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Ice cream cupcakes, cake and pie cupcake flavours, cupcakes made to look like ice cream cones, candy sushi, and cakes made to look like sandwiches and candy bars (read Food Network magazine, you’ll totally get what I mean with those two last ones!); it’s art imitating food imitating…more food!  It is so darn cute and clever when dessert and food themes criss-cross all over the place to create culinary masterpieces and awe-inspiring works of sweet, edible art.  Now, before I unleash the 2nd installment of the Cupcake Connection featuring a very summer appropriate cupcake from Yummy Stuff among other specials, news, and updates from Toronto’s cupcake scene, let’s talk sugar cookies!  And more specifically, cute as a button decorated sugar cookies that look like food!

Everyone knows I love baking cookies.  However, when it comes to eating them, I am veeeery ambivalent towards certain varieties.  And one of them just happens to be sugar cookies.  I KNOW.  How could I possibly feel that way about one of the world’s most basic, simplest cookies?  They’re blank canvases that beg to be decorated, they don’t complicate things with a whole bunch of wacky, out-of-left-field flavours, and while everyone’s method might be a little different, ingredients are fairly similar across the board.  What’s not to love?  The answer: half the time, they’re just not executed well.

Check out the adorable hamburger!

My beloved Neapolitan ice cream cone cookie!

Pretty ribbon, a takeout box container, and creamy sandwich cookies? I’m sold.

I love the idea of enjoying a sugar cookie but I find sugar cookies to be one of the most difficult things to enjoy because there are so many things that can be wrong with them.  More often that not, they come out chalky, dry, crumbly, tasteless, and uncomfortably hard on your teeth.  And while the aesthetic is often beautiful (the artwork that many cookie decorators do is truly breathtaking), the total sum of the cookie’s yum almost never lives up to its beauty on the surface which is unfortunate because it should taste as good as it looks!

And this is where Yummy Stuff comes in!  I promised you all in my first Yummy Stuff post back in April I would report back on their sugar cookies and I got the chance to go back to their shop on Queen West in Parkdale earlier this month to grab myself one.  They always have an in-store selection ($3 to $4 each), as well as an option of having custom designed ones for special occasions like baby showers, wedding favours, birthdays, and more.  Remember how gaga I was over their cupcake and ice cream shaped and decorated cookies?!

Never a dull cookie or sweet on the Yummy Stuff shelves

This time around, they had some different designs on hand and I was absolutely in conniptions when I saw their new Neapolitan ice cream sugar cookies!  (Hint: this has a little something to do with the upcoming Cupcake Connection!).  They were so, so pretty and really, who can resist anything Neapolitan?  I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve never separated the flavours or favoured one “section” for another (don’t innocently whistle and pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about; we all know what I mean) and I kind of liken it to spumoni ice cream.  Anyway, I eagerly snatched a Neapolitan decorated sugar cookie ($4) and vowed to save it for a moment when I could truly savour it and enjoy it’s prettiness.  Even though I was still a tiny bit wary of it delivering on yumminess (they certainly had the appearance down pat, so that wasn’t a concern), I felt confident that Yummy Stuff wouldn’t let me down with their sugar cookies.

And they didn’t.  I will never eat another sugar cookie from another place ever again.  Okay, so maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but OH.MY.GOD.  This sugar cookie was the BEST sugar cookie I have EVER had.  It was everything a sugar cookie should be and the exact opposite of all the negative traits I listed earlier.  Their sugar cookies weren’t difficult to bite into (I actually broke mine into small pieces to eat, but regardless, my teeth and mouth didn’t hurt from trying to eat them), they melted in your mouth, the icing was delicious, and the cookie!  Oh my lordy, the cookie whipped the hair-tie off my ponytail and sent me to cookie heaven.  Pure vanilla excellence.  Keep in mind, unless there’s a note that indicates the icing is of a particular flavour, the cookie is expected to be vanilla.  Their vanilla is top-notch and the flavour made their sugar cookie taste incredible.  I was actually sad when I finished it because it was so good.

Sneak peek at the upcoming Cupcake Connection, Vol. 002!

It’s a shame cookies can’t keep forever because these are lovely little works of art that would look so fab sitting on a display case in all their foodie glory.  Considering how delicious they are though, it’s not too bad of a trade-off at all.

*****

Yummy Stuff is located at 1660 Queen Street West in the west end Parkdale neighbourhood, east of Roncesvalles Ave.  They are open Tuesday-Sunday, from 10am-7pm from Tuesday-Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays, and 12pm noon-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  Visit their official website here.

Valentine’s Day Sweetness – A Rendition of “All I Want Are Cupcakes & Sugar Cookies!”

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I am still on such a high from my amazing, wonderfully memorable day yesterday.  And yes, in part because of all the amazing goodies I was able to go yummy-yum-yum over!  😀  My boyfriend and I managed to snag some sweet treats from both The Cupcake Shoppe and Chocolatease Chocolates and Pastries by Yonge & Eglinton on Valentine’s of all days!  I was so excited to pick up a few Valentine’s themed cupcakes, and sugar andshortbread cookies.  It’s the novelty of it that I love and I bask in the hustle and bustle.  After working in a flower shop for 3 years a number of years ago, I know the nuttiness that is Valentine’s Day better than anybody!  The Cupcake Shoppe was offering all their cupcakes in special Valentine’s outfits; some were adorned with red and pink hearts and sprinkles, others with a spicy cinnamon heart (rawr!), and others had a red jube jube candy or gummy bear lounging out, waiting to be seduced by a cupcake lover.  Like me.  I chose a double chocolate sweetheart (aka. James Brown) for my sweetheart of a boyfriend, and a vanilla temptress (aka. Yonge & Eligible) for me.

Sharing a Read My Lips tea at David’s Tea, my boyfriend and I lost ourselves in cupcake amour.  The Cupcake Shoppe was totally on their A-game!  My Yonge & Eligible vanilla cupcake was even more delicious than usual, with the fluffy vanilla buttercream sitting atop the golden brown and lightly toasted cupcake.  It was the embodiment of yummy golden brown, vanilla fluffy goodness *hugs cupcake box*.  Ahh, to be in love.  And those two heart shaped sugar cookies you see are courtesy of Chocolatease, a sweet chocolate and pastry shop 2 blocks north of The Cupcake Shoppe, offering beautifully crafted Belgian chocolates, fudge, cupcakes, cookies, and macarons among many other sweet nibbles.  Cupcakes are $2.50, sugar cookies (like the ones pictured) are $1.40, and macarons are $2.  After perusing their selection after a recent trek from Lawrence station down to Eglinton, I knew I had to get my tooshie back soon.  I was a lean, mean cookie monster with a craving and a mission!

And might I add, the sugar cookies were so lovely.  Sugar cookies can sometimes be too dry and crumby, with the taste of dough stuck to the roof of your mouth, and not in a pleasant way.  These sweet cookies were so perfect.  Keep in mind that sugar cookies aren’t meant to be chewy, so you will get a bit of that crumbiness flavour and texture, which may or may not be everyone’s preference.  But let it be known that these wonderful cookies were not overly sweet in the least and so soft and moist.  I am so looking forward to coming back for more sweets in the future because I was really happy with my cookies from yesterday!  Not to mention the girl who served us was very sweet to me.  Me: “I have an odd request.  May I take a picture of the display of sweets?”  Girl: “oh, sure!”  A+ in my book, baby 😉

*****

EDIT: Chocolatease has changed locations!  It is no longer present in the Yonge & Eglinton neighbourhood and is now located at 2700 Dufferin St.  You can view their website hereChocolatease is located at 2489 Yonge St., just south of Keewatin Ave.  The nearest main intersection is Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. and the shop is about 4 blocks north of Eglinton.  The Cupcake Shoppe is located at 2417 Yonge St., north of Eglinton Ave.  Photos taken at the nearby David’s Tea on Yonge.

A Winter ‘I Love You’

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Winter can get horribly cold and “blah”, especially after the excitement from the holidays has worn off and you’re left with slushy gray snow and ho-hum weather.  But I like to find ways of brightening things up each day.  And nothing says “I love you” like cookies ^_^  You all know what a soft spot I have for both cookies AND adorable seasonal things, so there was no way I could pass up a pretty snowflake cookie like this one.  And a heart shaped sugar cookie outlined in blue icing, Richard’s favourite colour! 

No matter where I am, I always love scoping out sweet treats and I found these lovely morsels of gingerbread and sugar at the little Nortown Foods supermarket located inside the Promenade Shopping Centre (at the intersection of Bathurst and Centre St., Thornhill).  There was actually a really sweet blue frosted teddy bear cookie in the basket I saw yesterday but it was unfortunately gone when I went back for it this morning.  Oh poo, I was totally outsmarted by another cookie monster.  Oh well, I think these cookies get the “I love you” message across pretty well on their own 😀 

*****

The Promenade Shopping Centre is located at 1 Promenade Circle at the intersection of Centre and Bathurst St. in Thornhill, Ontario.  Nortown Foods is nearest to the south end of the mall, closest to Sears and Pharma Plus on the lower level.