Best of show: the Salted Caramel Pizookie at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery in Avon, Indiana — an oven-baked caramel cookie as big as a Personal Pan Pizza, filled with almond toffee, pretzel bites, and both white and dark chocolate chips. Because that’s obviously not enough, on top is vanilla-bean ice cream, caramel sauce, and more dark chocolate chips. Just looking at this photo counts as 500 calories. Sorry, dieters.
October has been a delicious month for us, and not because of those tiny prepackaged candies that Big Chocolate wants us all to worship. In that spirit, today we present a montage of five happy treats that provided me much-needed happy-time boosts through a month of unprecedented busyness. Enjoy!
Our oldest niece reached the big 1-8 this month and celebrated with a round of happy birthday cupcakes. For my money, the underrated stars of this gala were the red velvet pops hiding on that next tray in the back. Decorum prevented me from stuffing them in my pockets, but it was tempting.
This is not a cake. This is cupcakes. One of my coworkers retired this month and received her fond farewell in the form of cupcakes bonded by a solid sheet of icing. Food scientists have at long last discovered a way to eliminate those boring wastes of space you normally find between cupcakes. Soon they’ll eliminate the vestigial “cupcake” part as well.
Another culinary innovation: tableside s’mores! My son and I kicked off our most recent outing with lunch at the HuHot Mongolian Grill in Lafayette, where the usual s’mores ingredients are gathered around a tiny cauldron filled with magic purple rocks set on fire. Y’know, just like the ancient Mongolian Girl Scouts did.
American laws regarding food-related articles require the inclusion of at least one (1) pumpkin-based dish. In the name of filling our autumn quota, here’s a Panera Bread pumpkin pie bagel. I’ll admit it wasn’t bad, but it was less charming when I tried to spread cream cheese on the top half and, as I flipped it over, watched a powdered-sugar cloud cascade off of it and all over my shirt. Yay pumpkin.