Mountains of Pink Frosting and Red Roses – Slow-Dancing With ‘Lady in Red’, and Valentine’s at Short & Sweet!

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Fluffy mountains of pink frosting, bright red rosettes, heart shaped sprinkles and decorations adorning every corner and surface, and the intoxicating smell of fresh baked cupcakes that smell and taste like sweet spun sugar.  It’s Valentine’s pandemonium at Short & Sweet Cupcakes!  Having sorely missed out on the holiday festivities back in December (I’m still recovering from the heartbreak), I’m back with a Valentine’s Day venegeance!  Short & Sweet has two very special Valentine’s Day promotions going on: the February Flavour of the Month, “Lady in Red” (cue Chris DeBurgh’s ’80s hit and the image of me slow-dancing with a giant cupcake) and the Valentine’s Day “Love Pack”! 

For those who want to pick up a quick Valentine’s cupcake on the go, the stunning strawberry Lady in Red ($2.90) is at your service!  If you want something a little more extravagent and a little more razzle-dazzle, the Love Pack, featuring 12 delicious Valentine’s cupcakes is ready and willing to sweep you and your loved one(s) off your feet.  The Love Pack ($40) includes 4 different flavours x 3 of each: 3 Lady in Red strawberry cupcakes, 3 chocolate, 3 vanilla, and 3 red velvet, all topped with Short & Sweet’s signature lickably sweet frosting and giant fondant heart toppers, sugar heart decorations, and sprinkles!  They’re also available to purchase as singles (with an extra $2 charge for the cupcakes with the great big heart fondant toppers) or in half dozen packs. 

One of the best things about Short & Sweet is their ever-changing storefront window display.  Aside from the delicious, groan-inducing cupcakes, their gorgeous and elaborate window display is one constant that has followed Short & Sweet from their old location on Old Orchard Grove into their new location 3 blocks north on Avenue Rd.  The window display reflects changes in season, special holidays and occasions, and new products such as their edible toppers, jumbo cupcakes (perfect for birthdays as a giant cupcake birthday cake!), and custom designed creations. 

My favourite displays since I started coming here have been the Easter display (Easter dishes out my favourite colour palette) and the current Valentine’s Day one.  The Valentine’s one is so gorgeous and the whole concept is a cross between “I’m enjoying cupcakes and champage in a romantic sudsy, bubble bath” (check out the mini pink frosted cupcakes sitting daintily in the champagne flute-like glassware with silver edible pearls!) and “I want to celebrate everything lovey-dovey in red, pink, and white with hearts and roses”.  The displays are always beautifully thought out and just mesmerizing to look at.

Now, a Short & Sweet post wouldn’t be a Short & Sweet post without a closer look at least one of the cupcakes.  We’re cozying up with the fabulous Lady in Red cupcake and I do mean fabulous!  Out of all the Flavour of the Month flavours I’ve tried, I loved the mint Oreo Mint Everest cupcake the most, but after devouring Lady in Red over the weekend, that Flavour of the Month favourite is now at a dead tie. 

Lady in Red is AMAZING.  It’s a strawberry cupcake with strawberry frosting and a cute little red candy heart on top.  I know, I know.  It’s “just” strawberry.  It’s not something exotic like durian.  But it’s the simplicity itself that knocks it out of the park.  Just like lemon, the strawberry flavour can take on a number of different nuances.  It can be tart, it can be juicy, it can taste more like strawberry ice cream, it can taste like strawberries and cream, it can be approached from so many angles.

If Flour Studio’s strawberry cupcake tastes like strawberry Pocky and cream, Short & Sweet’s Lady in Red is a mesh of strawberries, vanilla, jam, sweet sugar, and shortcake.  Even though the cake isn’t airy, the cake is very moist and full of flavour.  The vanilla cake base looks like a mosaic of golden cake, strawberries, and jam and the thick frosting has this delicious, bold, sweet strawberry flavour that isn’t tart in the least.  I like to think of it as a bolder, in-your-face version of strawberry shortcake. 

If it was up to me, I would have both the Mint Everest and the Lady in Red added to Short & Sweet’s permanent rotating menu because they are THAT amazing.  Lady in Red has shot right up into my Top 3 favourite Short & Sweet cupcakes and it’s such a shame that it’s only around for the month of February.  Maybe if I toot my horn loud and long enough, it might make an appearance on the permanment menu in the future, but for now, I can only look forward to the last two and a half weeks of the month and pine for the delicious strawberry cupcake after that.

      

*****

Short & Sweet Cupcakes is now located at 1945 Avenue Rd., south of Wilson Ave.  They are open from 11am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sundays.  They are closed on Mondays.  If you take public transit like me, the easiest way to get here is to get off at Wilson subway station and take the 96 bus to Avenue Rd. and walk south.  You can also get here by getting off at York Mills subway station and taking the 165 Weston Rd. North bus to Wilson Ave. and Avenue Rd. and walking south, or taking the 61 Avenue Rd. North from Eglinton subway station.

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Ate by Ate’s Bits & Bites, Vol. 004: Valentine’s Day 2012 Edition!

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Dish out the frilly pinks and reds and puffy hearts – it’s t-minus 7 days until Valentine’s Day!  I know everyone feels differently about this annual occasion, but I adore Valentine’s and not just because I’m in a relationship.  I have always loved Valentine’s ever since I was little and it’s something I look forward to every year.  I loved exchanging the little boxed Valentine’s cards with friends and classmates, I made some very memorable memories working three Valentine’s in a row at my old flower shop job, and when I was single, I would either stay home and scrapbook or do fun dates with my best friend or other friends whether they were part of a couple or not.  It’s also no secret among my friends that pink is one of my favourite colours (in high school, it was THE favourite colour), that I’m a sucker for seasonal, themed celebrations, and that I will take advantage of any excuse to indulge in extra cute stationery, scrapbook goodies, accessories (kitchen and fashion!), and themed desserts. 

I had one of the sweetest Valentine’s Days ever last year and I hope that I make memories this year that are just as heart-warming and special.  Over the next 7 days (and possibly even beyond) I’ll be posting a bunch of fun Valentine’s related posts in between some of the regular, non-Valentine’s posts, so here is Ate by Ate’s Bits & Bites: Valentine’s Edition from my heart to yours!

  • Valentine’s is exactly one week from today so for those of you who want to celebrate with some romantic plans and special meals over the upcoming weekend or on the actual day, head over to the DineTO’s Valentine’s webpage!  I found the link to the page through my Twitter about a week ago and I was floored.  They have gone through the task of compiling ALL the restaurants in and around the city that offer Valentine’s Day restaurant menus into ONE site!  It’s so convenient because you get to browse through a bunch of different menus from restaurants all over the city.  Some of the menus are so adorable.  Biagio Ristorante is offering heart-shaped ravioli while Cafe California has an entire love and romance themed menu complete with cute names for all their courses!  Some menus are downloadable through PDF, some can simply be viewed in a separate pop-up window, and others can only be obtained by giving the restaurant a ring.

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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.