Dessert Mecca

The weekend before last, I traveled to Boston with my mom to attend the New England Dessert Showcase, an event hosted by the Anthem Group to celebrate some of Boston’s most talented culinary professionals. I eagerly awaited this event for months and built it up to be something spectacular in my mind, but sadly, it wasn’t. It was a mediocre event with no published timeline, hordes of people traveling through the booths by way of long lines, and deliciously talented people crammed into a tiny little area. This was what I looked like when it started to get crowded: ūüė¶

However, on the sunny side of things, there were several lovely vendors there, and the room was filled with talent and culinary creativity that absolutely inspired my mind and my taste buds. I attempted to sample EVERYTHING before the crowd got too heavy, and I watched two demonstrations. Check out my photos below, and visit some of these vendors if you’re in the area!

Chocolate Therapy demonstration

Check out Chocolate Therapy¬†in Dedham, MA. They not only treat chocolate like an art form, they attempt to make it therapeutic for your taste buds and your body. The chocolates are filled with rich, healthy ingredients like cinnamon, green tea, and even brown rice. I’m dying to go here on my next trip up to Massachusetts!

BudiBar demonstration

Make your way over to BudiBar to check out snack bars made of natural superfoods that help support focus, concentration, and health.

Cookie & cupcake display from Baker’s Bloom

Who knew cookies could be so sexy?

Baker’s Bloom had to be one of my favorite vendors at the showcase. They had an assortment of decorated cookies in all sizes and shapes, and they were delicious! I sampled a lemon cookie with buttercream icing, and it was light and not super sugary. These cookies make great gifts for bachelorette parties (like the above!), wedding showers, favors, and hundreds of other occasions.

Enjoying a flourless chocolate piece of heaven

I could’ve¬†died happy after eating this cake…and I have no idea which bakery it came from. My apologies to the highly-talented chef-I don’t know who the heck you are, but I loved your cake.

Paris cupcakes from Konditor Meister

French-themed cake display from Konditor Meister

Konditor¬†Meister ¬†is to cakes what Christian Louboutin is to shoes. Okay, not quite, but pretty close. Their cakes are artful and GORGEOUS. I’d heard so many good things about them before coming to the showcase that I was delighted¬†to find that¬†I was immediately drawn to their French-themed display (for those of you are unaware, I’m obsessed with all things Parisian). I sampled a pastry or two, and as it turns out, the quality matches the appearance. I would die to be this talented.

Glorious whoopie pies that came in several flavors!

Another one of my great obsessions-all things whoopie. Who can pass up a whoopie pie? This bakery had them in traditional chocolate, red velvet, chocolate chip, and carrot cake along with a few other flavors. I tried the carrot cake whoopie and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, but again, I walked away without getting the bakery name…notice how that happened each time I couldn’t resist stuffing my face?

I’m feeling truly inspired after seeing and tasting all this creativity, and since it’s nearly officially fall, I think it’s time to start spending some quality time in the kitchen. :-*

Banana Cookie Butter Ice Cream

I’ve just made the second best peanut butter decision of my life. The best decision, of course, was Dark Chocolate Dreams, but this is a very close second.

Cookie butter. COOKIE butter?!? Because I’m the girl who eats peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon on a near-daily basis, I couldn’t possibly walk past this in the nut butter/spreads section of Trader Joe’s without being intrigued. I highly recommend purchasing it as soon as you can and finding a safe spot to relax with the jar. And a big spoon. However, if you have¬†a Trader Joe’s local to you, try finding it there before going on Amazon because it appears to be around $12.00 while I paid $3.69¬†in the store. I recently came across a vegan-friendly ice cream recipe that required no ice cream maker which probably makes it less “ice cream” and more “frozen delicious treat”, but I’m certainly not the one to judge. The recipe used cashew butter or almond butter as the base of the ice cream, but both of these products are very expensive and slightly bitter. I replaced the nut butter with the cookie butter, and it was nothing short of heaven. I also used a combination of maple & agave syrup, but if maple (pure maple) syrup is easier to find, feel free to use that as your sweetener.

It’s been days since I finished this ice cream, and I’m still drooling thinking about it. Must.have.cookie….

Banana Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes approximately 2 cups

  • 3-4 large ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 jar Cookie Butter (or one cup nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup plus 2 Tbsp agave nectar (or 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt

How to Do It

  1. Blend the frozen banana slices in a food processor with several short pulses or just enough to finely chop the bananas.
  2. Add the cookie butter, maple & agave syrup, and sea salt, and blend for 3-4 minutes on high speed until the mixture is fluffy and similar in texture to peanut butter. Serve immediately, and freeze the remaining portions (if there are any).

Recipe adapted from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

Tips & Treats

  • Let your bananas ripen for 2-3 days, and slice them before freezing. This will make it easy and quick to blend them into the ice cream later on.

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