28 November 2011

Toast of the town

We are smack dab in the middle of the holidays. Here in the States, we’ve just passed Thanksgiving on and are in the fast lane on the way towards Christmas and New Years’. With the days getting shorter, and the temperatures starting to dip, this is, without a doubt, a season of food. More specifically warm foods that fill us up and block against the cold. And what does this better, than something sweet from the bakery case?

That’s just the question the roundtable had to contend with this month!

Roundtable Topic: Where do you go for your favorite baked goods in Walt Disney World? What do you pick up? And why?
Roundtable Contributors: Elizabeth Caran (Take the Monorail), Melissa Loflin (Makin’ Memories), AJ Wolfe (The Disney Food Blog), Andy Jackson (Eating (and Drinking) around the World), and yours truly.
Elizabeth – The more I visit Walt Disney World with other fans, the more I realize my trips lack routine in many ways. The consumption of baked goods is one of those ways. Don't get me wrong... I do love a baked good or two. If there is a single treat (and bake shop) that I enjoy more consistently than any other, it's the famous carrot cake cookie from The Writer's Stop. But believe it or not, I don't get one every time. I prefer to go with the flow at Disney and stop when I am hungry (or at least craving a sweet). This freedom means that if I see something I really want to try, I haven't just gorged myself at the last place I passed and I am able to try it. One of the great features of Walt Disney World is there is always something new to try. My first visit to the bake shop in Norway was only about a year ago, shockingly, and I suspect it will quickly become my new favorite place for baked goods. Well, at least until something else catches me by the sweet tooth!

Melissa – If I were my husband, my answer would be short and sweet. There's nothing he loves more than a chocolate muffin from the food courts. Me, however, I need something more. Now that I've discovered the carrot cake cookie I must stop at the Writer's Stop on every trip to The Studios to have one and a coffee for my oh so nutritious breakfast. I love to sit up front by the window and people watch while I enjoy my treat. As a carrot cake lover, this cookie, made of two carrot cake pieces with cream cheese in the middle is a little taste of pure goodness that can be enjoyed in a nice quiet location.AJ – There are SO many wonderful places to get unique and delicious baked goods in Disney World... Boardwalk Bakery is always trying out new cupcakes and offering 100% unique items like the Mickey head cake (Funfetti cake! Chocolate glaze! White chocolate Mickey face!) and the cheesecake brownie; Main Street Bakery has those ginormous cinnamon rolls – and they'll pile on even more of the extra melty, creamy glaze if you can overcome your shame and ask for it (not a problem); Boulangerie Patisserie in Epcot's France offers sweet and savory pastries – you never know what you're going to get when you go in there, but leaving with an overstuffed eclair is never a disappointment; Karamelle Küche in Epcot's Germany puts together some incredible caramel cookies and brownies – heavenly – and the cupcakes!!; Kringla Bakeri og Cafe always has me in a quandry over luscious school bread, sweet pretzels, or cloudberry horns; Writer's Stop will always get my vote for the cream cheese frosting-filled carrot cake cookie; but what about Starring Rolls Cafe, the place that debuted the legendary butterfinger cupcake??? And you can't forget Kusafiri Bakery in the Animal Kingdom, where the animal-themed treats have taken on cult status over the past year.I guess if I have to pick only ONE location and ONE baked good, I'll have to go with my heart and choose the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in DHS. The truth is that I want to lock myself away with that cupcake every time I see it. It's like my own little dream come true. Chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache, lardy buttercream frosting piled high on top, more chocolate ganache hugging the buttercream, and a generous coating of butterfinger crumbs smooshed into the whole thing. HOW is that not HEAVEN?

Andy – My favorite baked goods in WDW? No, it’s not one of those bigger-than-your-head blueberry muffins or the widely (and justly so) proclaimed Carrot Cake Cookie, but something not quite on the sweet side…

Many tend to think of desserts or sweet morning pastries when thinking of baked goods – I, however, tend more to the savory side, and yes, a non-sweet baked good is one of my favorite Disney Indulgences…

Where do I go? Well if I’m staying at one of the All-Star resorts or Port Orleans French Quarter, I head to the quick-service area for breakfast and order up the Biscuits and Gravy.As hard it is for a true Southern Boy to admit, Disney bakes up a darn good biscuit – top that with a fatty can’t-possibly-be-much-worse-for-your-arteries slathering of oh-so-tasty sausage gravy and you have a rib-sticking plate of goodness. Add a generous amount of black pepper and some drops of hot sauce and I’m a happy, happy boy.

What the heck, order up a side of bacon to complete the cholesterol coma…

To try and keep my girlish figure, I don’t eat such gravy goodness often, and that’s why I save it as a special treat while at the World. It’s a filling and tasty way to start a full day of park touring, and it also doesn’t hurt that it’s under four bucks!

Ryan – The easy answer here is the Boulangerie Patisserie, isn’t it? I mean, we all know I get my hopes up every trip for some raspberry schuss and, failing that, resort to any number of the other readily available sweets. Honestly, though, it isn’t the place I think of immediately for gathering baked goods, it is simply a nice park pit stop. Same goes for Kusafiri, Main Street Bakery, and Starring Rolls. They are all a nice place to stop back, especially for a morning sugar fix, but they aren’t the best thing since sliced bread for, well, sliced bread.

Okay, so I’m not going to find freshly baked sliced bread anywhere on property, but you get the picture. The bakery I make a point at stopping for these days is BabyCakesNYC at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

There are a variety of baked goods here, from cupcakes and cookies to doughnuts and loaves of sweet breads, which come in a remarkable assortment of ridiculously delicious flavors! This is where I come when I want to stock up the resort room with morning treats or late night snacks.The baked goods take into consideration a number of dietary restrictions, and yet still manage to taste just as bad for you as any other confection on property! More importantly, with a family member who is hypoglycemic, the agave sweetened cupcakes, brownies and loaves means she’s able to partake in the delicious treats just as much as the rest of us.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you have not yet tried BabyCakesNYC at Downtown Disney Marketplace, you need to. You will not be disappointed!

As you can tell from the short list of responses, a lot of the roundtable had a hard time crawling away from the Thanksgiving feasts last week… not that I blame them! That simply means we really want to know where you find your favorite baked goods in Walt Disney World, and what are they?!?!

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