St. Patrick’s Day Plea: The Irish Potato Must Go

As someone who grew up in Northeast Philadelphia, I have a certain respect for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m questionably Irish and even more questionably Catholic, but I’m dutifully wearing my green today, and I couldn’t help but be proud when Philly ranked fourth in a recent survey on stateside St. Paddy’s celebrations.

But there comes a time when we must examine even our most beloved traditions and ask ourselves, “Is this really how we want the world to see us? At what cost are we cheapening our ancestors’ heritage and compromising our city’s legacy?”

I’m speaking, of course, about Irish potatoes. (Say what you will about the Erin Express — it’s actually a pretty good time, although in truth, I was always more of a Shamrock Shuttle girl myself.)

An unholy combination of confectioners sugar, coconut and cream cheese rolled around in cinnamon, Irish potatoes trace their roots to the Philadelphia area, where more than 100 years ago, a couple people got dangerously stoned and had the following conversation:

“Hmm…what goes with coconut?”


“You’re right. Amazing.” Read more »

Brown Betty’s Closing Liberty Place Location

brown betty liberty place 400Brown Betty Dessert Boutique will be closing its “petite” location within the Shops at Liberty Place. The bakery is consolidating its brick-and-mortar operations in Northern Liberties while it pursues what a release is calling “several very exciting new wholesale opportunities.”

The flagship location at 722 North 2nd Street will remain open for business and extend its hours slightly, opening the bakery at 11am daily (instead of 12pm) beginning February 19th.

Brown Betty Dessert Boutique

Recipe: The Amazing Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake You Can Feel Good About Eating

chocolate cake

Photo by Becca Boyd

Want to know what’s super fun? Not hosting during the holidays. Taking on hosting responsibilities requires you to clean things that may not have been cleaned in, well, months (your oven, your baseboards) and write an endless amount of lists on small pieces of paper that you inevitably lose.

Not hosting this year? Congrats! Please offer to bring your host this chocolate cake. It’s delicious, of course, but it’s also gluten- AND dairy-free. So consider this moist, heavenly chocolate cake your own little holiday miracle. Just remember to share.  Read more »

Will and Stargazy Collaborate on a Pie


On the menu right now, a collab pie with Chris Kearse.

It’s not like Sam Jacobson needs help making wonderful pies at East Passyunk’s Stargazy but that doesn’t mean he’ll turn down a good idea.

Today and through the rest of the week, he’s teamed up with Chris Kearse of Will BYOB to create a special dessert pie. Kearse took Epoisses de Bourgogne cheese and combined it with chopped chestnuts and handed it over to Jacobson, who baked it into the middle of his Bosc Pear Pie.

The results can be yours through the rest of the week, or until they’re all sold out.

Stargazy [Foobooz]

Satisfy Your Ice Cream Craving: Where to Get Banana Whips in and Around Philly

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Photo via Instagram|@animojuice

If you’ve never tried a banana whip, you’re missing out. It’s frozen banana whipped into a custard-like consistency that can satisfy any sweet tooth — especially with the right mix-ins. Think: peanut butter, chocolate chips, coconut shavings. Mmmmm. Delicious, cool and creamy, it’s a dessert that can easily stand in for a scoop of ice cream — and it’s made entirely from a perfectly heathy whole fruit! Talk about a guilt-free (and dairy-free, and gluten-free) dessert.

Lucky for us, the Philly area boasts plenty of eateries where you can find this treat, and we included a few spots down the Shore, too, to cover all bases. Read up, then go get your banana whip on.

Read more »

The Ultimate Healthy Eater’s Dessert: Brûléed Grapefruit with Maple Cream

Photo by Becca Boyd

Photo by Becca Boyd

You can’t beat a fresh, vibrant, fragrant, juicy pink grapefruit. On second thought, you can: A grapefruit gets even more delicious when you pop it under the broiler. Really! With a sprinkle of sugar and a burst of flames, the vitamin C-rich citrus fruit is transformed — like magic — into a caramelized dessert no one can pass up.

And, hey, with my Greek yogurt maple topping, you can totally justify have this for breakfast, too. I won’t tell. Read more »

Cake Boss Is Coming To Philly


Buddy Valstro, otherwise known as the Cake Boss, of the TLC series of the same name, has finally officially settled on a Philadelphia location. Work has begun to bring Carlo’s Bakery Philadelphia to 2101 Walnut Street in Rittenhouse Square (because, apparently, no one told him how well Crumbs Bake Shop did in that same neighborhood).

But hey, maybe things will be different this time, right? I mean, Valastro has a TV show. He has 7 other locations already up and running, with new ones planned for a casino in Connecticut and aboard every Norwegian Cruise Lines ship in the fleet. He does cakes shaped like full-size cows and working toilets. So we’re not leaping to judgement here. At least not too much.

Carlo’s Bakery Philadelphia is scheduled to open later this year.

Carlo’s Bakery [Official]

The Insanely Easy 15-Minute Dessert to Try This Holiday Season

Photograph by Becca Boyd

Photograph by Becca Boyd

When it comes to dessert, I’m a bit of a traditionalist (i.e. I don’t want bacon in my cookies, thank you very much), and what’s more traditional this time of a year than an apple pie? While I could attempt a low-fat or gluten-free pie crust to impress you, I’m sure I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a recipe that tastes as good as the real deal, and that just doesn’t work for me.

So in the vein of my crust-less pumpkin pie from last month, I decided that the most sensible route would be to forge on with the elemental ingredients; after all, the velvety smooth, sweet and tender filling in an apple pie is the best part. Agreed?

This dessert is quick and easy enough for a weekday after-school snack but elegant enough for company. Experiment with different spices or purchase some cinnamon gelato to really up the ante. Best part? You’re just 15 minutes away from this new, lightened up classic.

Read more »

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