In one of my first ever job interviews, I was asked what my goal in life was.
Very earnestly, I answered that I was on a quest to have at least one slice of each of the 30+ kinds of cheesecake on the menu of a well-known local bakery. The interviewer looked startled and then hired me. I still have a sneaking suspicion I got the job more because my new boss recognized a soul mate than because I displayed any particular qualification or aptitude.
Because of my sweet tooth, I’m an avid baker. For the record, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s recipe for New York Cheesecake is the best I have ever found. With five 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, it should be heavy but it has an ethereal, creamy texture and sublime flavour. Another family favourite is David Woods’ Double Chocolate Cheesecake, with a dark chocolate layer of cheesecake topped with a white chocolate layer topped with sweetened sour cream. (I’m happy to share the recipes if you want them.)
But even I don’t bake on vacation in Florida. But the cookies in the supermarket aisle really don’t cut it, unless you’re talking Mrs. Fields White Chocolate Chunk Macadamia Cookies, in which case I will concede the point. So what’s a girl to do? Vacation is a time for a little indulgence, after all! Luckily, there are several spots where you can go to pick up freshly baked desserts near Siesta Key 611. We simply could not have bought the place otherwise, you understand.
Heavenly Cupcakes is located at 6538 Gulfgate, near the mall. Here you will find assorted desserts and cupcakes, including Peanut Butter in Paradise, Cuckoo for Coconut, Red Velvet, Lemon, Vanilla, Chocolate and Key Lime Pie.
Oooh La La French Bakery is nearby at 2705 Mall Drive, and is your go to place for almond croissants, eclairs and other French pastries.
The Island Gluten Free Bakery is located at 1880 Stickney Point Road and has apparently been voted one of the best gluten free bakeries in the U.S. Here you’ll find blueberry lemon muffins, apple cinnamon scones, key lime pie and lots more goodies, including gluten free breads. Indulge guilt-free while you’re on vacation: there will be plenty of time to be sensible when you get home from paradise.