Vanilla Creme Brulee Cake at Decadent Delight, Ann Arbor, MI

I returned to Decadent Delight in Ann Arbor this past weekend with their creme brulee fruit tart on my mind. I’ve reviewed the tart before and it’s fantastic. After walking in the door I had to add to my order when I found they were selling slices of vanilla cake with creme brulee filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting. I’ve heard a number of people make the comment that vanilla is such a plain and boring flavor. I highly disagree. Vanilla can be very interesting and complex and comes from the exotic orchid plant (what’s boring about that?).

Wow! The cake was really good… the vanilla cake tasted like a rich pound cake, the brulee filling was rich and delicious and the buttercream was decadent (no pun intended). My heart felt like a ring of butter was surrounding it after the last bite, but worth the taste experience.

Decadent Delight, Ann Arbor, MI

There’s a great little pastry shop/bakery tucked behind a building on Huron Street just on the edge of downtown Ann Arbor. It’s called Decadent Delight.
When we stopped in last weekend we were greeted warmly and told that in addition to the lovely pastries and cookies in the case that cinnamon rolls were due out of the oven in about 20 minutes. Oooh, warm cinnamon rolls? It was tempting to wait, but we were still full from that morning’s breakfast so we decided to run a couple of errands and come back to take one home for the next day instead. The cinnamon roll did not disappoint the next morning. It was very tasty and nicely glazed, but not thickly sweet, though I’m sure right out of the oven would have been amazing.

I also sampled a creme brulee tart from this visit. The tart shell was exquisite! Great texture, crumb and flavor, but the custard was definitely the star. It was satiny, rich and similar to what you’d expect from traditional creme brulee. The fruit on top was impeccable, the strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and kiwi were perfectly chosen. A nice balance to the rich filling. This creme brulee tart may have taken the place of my favorite dessert, traditional creme brulee.

I’ll definitely have to add this to a list of places to stop at frequently!

Just Baked, Livonia, MI

I had heard great things about Just Baked cupcakes for a while, but didn’t get a chance to try it for myself until recently. While I was in Livonia last week, I stopped by their original store at Seven Mile and Farmington.

I picked out a Fat Elvis cupcake for me ā€“ banana cake with a pillow of peanut butter frosting then dipped in their chocolate ganache; and a Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake ā€“ chocolate cake with peanut butter butter cream, dipped in chocolate ganache topped with Reece’s Pieces candy. I can attest that both were quite tasty as I stole a bite of my husband’s, a woman’s got to do a little direct research for her blog, right? The cakes were nice and moist, the ganache was an unusual touch that made it more interesting and it wasn’t too rich. The peanut butter buttercream ‘pillows’ were a nice light texture and the right balance of sweetness just under the ganache glaze. Believe it or not, I saved half of a cupcake for the next day and it was still moist. I’ll have to remember that next time I’m in because the sell day-old cupcakes for $1.

When I was in the store the case was stocked with most of the flavors they show on their website, at least 20 the day I was there. I scoped out their ‘menu’ online beforehand and was a little sad that they didn’t have the Sweet Potato Pie flavor when I was in, I’ll have to try that next time. There’s a wide variety to choose from and the choices play on dessert favorites, such as Oreo Cookie, Cinnamon Donut, Peach Cobbler and S’more. You’re likely to find something to fit the pickiest of palettes and the child in you.

Just Baked also has a location in Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, and, I’m excited to say, are opening up a location very close to me in Ann Arbor around Febuary or March as well as another shop in Royal Oak.

UPDATE: NOW OPEN IN ANN ARBOR!
24633 West Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

I had a couple of well ripened bananas and was looking for a new way to use them up. I’ve done plenty of banana bread in the past so I looked for a cookie recipe. Many of the banana cookie recipes I found were described as more cake-like than cookie-like. I like my cookies with a crisp edge and a chewy center. The recipe below achieves that perfectly. I added peanut butter chips because I love the combination of peanut butter and banana and I had some on hand. They add a nice change from chocolate and they make a nice lightly sweet rich addition to the cookies. The cookies also freeze well, but if stored in a Ziploc bag the do loose a little bit of the original crispy texture.

Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Recipe adapted from the blog Genesis of a Cook which adapted it from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans.

  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 2 very ripe mashed bananas
  • 1 c. peanut butter chips, such as Reese’s

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpat sheets or parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Stir in the oatmeal. Mix in mashed bananas. Stir in peanut butter chips.

4. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 16 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies