This past weekend Jeremy and I went on a cupcake tasting roadtrip to some new bakeries in Ozark and Nixa. I had been following Stacey’s Sweets on Facebook and every picture she would post looked sooo good and I was so excited to finally get a chance to taste everything! Her shop is located in the corner of an older building on the square in Ozark and even though it was tiny, it was packed with cuteness. She even had a couple of small tables and chairs to eat at, which we took full advantage of.
I went ahead and ordered one of each cupcake she had in the case (eight total!) because at $1.75 apiece they were VERY affordable (if not somewhat underpriced!) and also got a brownie because they looked delicious. I passed on the cake pops, but they were covered in sparkly red, pink and purple sanding sugar and totally adorable…very tempting. We started tasting with the brownie and wow, it was SO good. Very fudgy, loaded with chocolate chips and had that nice thin crackle “crust” on the top. We had a hard time not eating the whole thing.
Next up, cupcake tasting! The flavors were Red Velvet, Wedding Cake, Cookie Dough, Pretty Princess Strawberry, Double Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup, Honeybee and Cherry Bomb (see photo captions for descriptions). I can honestly say that these cupcakes not only looked pretty but were so yummy! Her cakes were light and fluffy and the frosting was not overly sweet but somewhat airy and not heavy or greasy, which was nice. It’s one of the better cupcake tasting experiences I’ve had in a loooong time! I could definitely see myself making a special trip to Ozark just for these cupcakes (or the brownie!) and would strongly advise you to do the same–you will NOT be disappointed!
Looking back on the world of pastry in 2011, it was a pretty good year. But there was some not-so-good mixed in according to a few food critics. What made the list of good and bad?? Find out now!
Up first…cake pops! While cupcakes are the number one sugary obsession with just about every living, breathing human being, cake pops came in a close second during the past year. People call these things crack on a stick and eat them like they truly are!! Personally, I prefer my cake and frosting separate and in layers. But that’s just me. Read more about the “worst” food trends (including cake pops) here.
Also noted in the aforementioned article, savory sweets. Cheese and bacon cupcakes?? Salami flavored marshmallows?! Umm, no thanks! While there is a place for a touch of savory at times (think bacon maple cupcakes or beer infused baked goods), there’s a fine line between good and gross.
Speaking of beer, it became very trendy to use it in baking as noted by Serious Eats. From beer brittle to these beer and pretzel caramels, it looks like it will be making more appearances in baked goods in the future. And I have nothing against that.
Serious Eats also noted the macaron trend, perhaps my most favorite of all cookie sandwiches. This is a trend that I hope continues to grow.
Finally, a trend in Miami that some there wish would disappear…mini cupcakes. They don’t like them. Not one bit.
So what do you think about these trends?? Do you agree with the critics? I think overall 2011 was a pretty good year for desserts and I definitely can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!