It's hard not to love the smell of fresh sweets baking in the oven. Whether it's donuts or sticky buns or cupcakes, there is something wonderful and comforting about sitting down with a steaming hot cup of coffee or cold glass of milk and enjoying a sweet treat. This week, we took a look at a few baked goods from around the area and found some winners.
At Charleston Grill, they have a first course of foie gras and donuts for the perfect start to your meal. A decadent slice of foie gras comes on top of apple slices in a tiny skillet. A double stack of donuts is drizzled with a rich bourbon cider sauce, a combination of sherry vinegar, apple cider, Maker's Mark, and cinnamon, next to a dollop of mascarpone. They deep fry the donuts and glaze them with cider and sugar. "It's really rich," says administrative assistant Bobbie Sliwa. "You could honestly eat them as a dessert."
Red Drumoffers an equally decadent donut dessert that will is the stuff of legend. It's called sugar + spice and is prepared by pastry chef Lauren Mitterer of WildFlour Pastry. Five donuts are served on a wooden skewer — hot and covered in cinnamon and sugar. Beside it sits a glass filled with dulce de leche and topped with whipped cream, perfect for dunking the donuts or just sneaking a whole spoonful.
Speaking of Mitterer, WildFlour Pastry is a great stop for baked goods, especially if it's Sunday when they have sticky buns. Big, gooey, and individually baked, these treats are enormously popular. They offer two options: a sticky bun with pecans and a cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting. Either way, you can't go wrong. As for cupcakes, they have a large variety. Two favorites, according to baker Erin Nobles, are the red velvet, made with a hint of chocolate and cream cheese frosting, and the hummingbird, made with cinnamon, pineapple, bananas, and cream cheese frosting.
Cupcake, as one might guess, has some pretty delicious and creative cupcakes too. For something that tastes of summer, try the pink lemonade cupcake, which has a double dose of lemonade flavor in both the cake and the cream cheese icing. "It's very tart," says manager Sarah Stewart. "It almost tastes like a lemon bar." For another lemony treat, try the lemon cupcake made with the zest and juice from two whole lemons and topped with lemon cream cheese icing. If you're a chocolate fiend, try the chocolate caramel sea salt cupcake, which is covered with salted caramel cream cheese icing, drizzled with caramel, and topped with ground-up sea salt. And be sure to enjoy every last morsel.