Tag Archives: chocolate dessert

Pie Sisters

3 Mar

Between places like Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles, Baked & Wired, and now Pie Sisters, the Georgetown area seems to be making a name for itself as the dessert hubbub of DC.

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, cake, cupcakes, or anything with frosting is my thing…but pie?? Mehh, not so much. However, since I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Pie Sisters from several of my Georgetown U peers, I decided to trek over to the small M Street store to see what the buzz was all about.

I absolutely love the entrepreneurial story surrounding this place. It was started by three sisters in the fall of 2010, who were previously living in separate areas of the country and who were pursuing different careers. However, their love for pie-making, which was a tradition for them growing up, brought them back together.

The presentation of their pies is an art form in itself as you can see from the pictures above and below. I got the chocolate cream and apple pie cuppies per the recommendation of a Pie Sister’s employee. (FYI – Cuppies are essentiallyย  individual-sized portions). Both were delicious. The chocolate cream pie was light and airy and the chocolate itself was divine! This apple pie is the best I’ve had in my entire life, no joke. The amount of cinnamon used gave it the punch it needed without going overboard.

The store is conveniently located on M Street, almost a straight shot off the Key Bridge and is definitely a must-go if you’re a pie lover or just a dessert lover in general. I cannot wait to come back in summer to try out their berry-filled pies. I’d highly recommend Pie Sisters to anyone and everyone!

Where: 3423 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20007; Hours: 11am-7pm Tuesday-Sunday; Prices: Cuppies – $4, 7” pie – $14, 7” specialty pie – $16, 9” pie – $35, 9” specialty pie – $37. Go to the Pie Sister’s website for more details.

Trellis Restaurant – Williamsburg, VA

27 Dec

One my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is to go into Colonial Williamsburg which is close to where most of our extended family lives. I have yet to find another place that makes it feel more like Christmas time. The smells of burning wood and pine needles fill the air and houses are decorated with homemade wreaths.

While walking through this cute colonial town this year, we stumbled upon a restaurant called Trellis that had set up a bakery and coffee stand outside. The stand had hot chocolate, coffee, and cider and had a large array of Christmas desserts to choose from. Christmas cookies are one of my favorite things in the world so I naturally gravitated toward a giant gingerbread man that I ended up sharing with my mom. It was delicious! It wasn’t too hard or soft and had just the right amount of ginger in it. The amazing decorating skills on this little guy made him hard to eat initially. Look how cute he is with his M&M nose!

The Trellis is a very well known restaurant in Colonial Williamsburg. I definitely recommend it if you’re in the area. I hope everyone had a great holiday! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Grand Illumination - a Williamsburg tradition

Everyone gathered around the lanterns singing Christmas carols. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Year, New Blog!

30 Nov

Chocolate Pecan Pie (Credit: Hershey's Cookbook)

I want to apologize for not posting this week ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Prepping for the end of the semester in grad school has been occupying my time recently. With the new year coming up I got to thinking and decided it was a great time to amend my blog a bit. And what does that mean? Well instead of just posting critiques of dessert places in DC (since let’s face it I have to run out eventually) I will try my hand at baking. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop going to new dessert places because let’s get real, that’s just not humanly possible for me, but I’d really like to take a stab at baking. So with that said the content is just going to be more diverse. In my life so far, I didn’t make any sort of dessert unless the mix for it came in a box…the more error proof it was the better! I have several great dessert cookbooks and I’ve decided that they’re no longer going collect dust. The first dessert I’m going to try is chocolate pecan pie from the Hershey’s cookbook (see recipe below if you want to try it yourself). I’m hoping this a dessert I can bring to the dinner table on Christmas Day as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I’ll be completely honest if I mess up any of these recipes along the way! And I’m not going to be like one of those cooking talk show hosts who pretends like some intricate dessert is a piece of cake (no pun intended). I’ll be completely honest about how difficult it is, how it turned out, if I burnt it, hated it, etc. I’m no Martha Stewart but I’m going to do my best! Hopefully I can try more complicated recipes as I go along too. Stay tuned and see my culinary triumphs (with hopefully very few failures)! Also, feel free to send me any dessert recipes you love or just want to try out. I’m volunteering to be your dessert-making guinea pig! Also feel free to follow me/talk to me through Twitter (@vanessamgray). ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy cooking!!!

Vanessa

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

3 eggs beaten

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pecan halfs

1 unbaked (9-inch) pie crust

Whipped topping (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees; 2. Stir together sugar and cocoa in medium bowl. Add eggs, corn syrup, butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into unbaked pie crust.; 3. Bake 60 minutes or until set. Move to wire rack and cool completely. Garnish with whipped topping if desired.; 4. You’re done. Woohoo! Relax, sit back and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Firehook Bakery

20 Nov

Pumpkin Cupcake

With it being less than a week away from Thanksgiving, I made it my mission to get something seasonal. I’ve been craving pumpkin everything recently and wanted something to celebrate one of my favorite upcoming holidays. With that in mind, I trekked out to Dupont Circle to a bakery I’ve heard some rave reviews about…Firehook Bakery. Firehook has locations all over DC and the DC area.

Maybe it was my high expectations but the pumpkin cupcake wasn’t anything special. The cake was pretty dry; however, if it hadn’t been I think this would have been a pretty good cupcake. The frosting was delicious – creamy and rich.

The seven-layer bar on the other hand was pure heaven. It has a graham cracker crust topped with chocolate and butterscotch chips and pecan and coconut shavings. There’s a lot going on with this dessert bar – it’s rich but the blend of ingredients is pure perfection.

They also serve cookies, pies and tarts. In addition to the chocolately goodness that this place serves up, they also have breakfast and lunch items. Can’t wait to go back for breakfast here at some point in the near future! ๐Ÿ™‚

Seven-layer Bar

Firehook Bakery in Dupont Circle

The Sweet Lobby

2 Nov

The Sweet Lobby is tucked away on a cute side street in Capitol Hill and is easily accessible via the orange line – Eastern Market stop. The shop itself is tiny and is really only meant for to-go orders. And by tiny I mean there’s really only room for the line that forms for to-go orders. The store seems to have many regulars and I received some good recommendations from the lady behind me in line. Because this shop is known for its macaroons I tried two – the PB&J flavor as well as the hazelnut praline salted caramel. I figured the PB&J flavor would either great or terrible but I wanted to try something a little different. I’m glad I tried it though since it was delicious! It was similar to a peanut butter cookie with grape jelly sandwiched in the middle. While that one was pretty amazing, the hazelnut praline salted caramel was hands down the better of the two. It was light and airy and had hazelnut and praline shavings sprinkled on top. I do have to say that I’ve never been a fan of macaroons until now! I can see why this place is know for their macaroons…they are definitely this shop’s best product.

The cupcake I had was also very good as well. The chocolate salted caramel is a chocolate cupcake which is dipped in dark chocolate ganache, filled with house-made salted caramel and topped with milk chocolate buttercream and a salted caramel swirl. The center of the cupcake was the best part. I have never seen or heard of a cupcake like it. What I enjoyed most about their cupcake collection was the variety. They had unique cupcake flavors such as bananas foster, pumpkin spice, mango cream, chocolate caramel crunch, Boston creme, sticky toffee and pineapple ‘inside out’ cake.

Even though I’ve been raving about this shop, I do have one warning. They will charge you 50 cents extra if you get a cupcake box that only holds one cupcake. However, this is the only box they change extra.

The shop also offers shortbread, madelines, mendiants, looseleaf tea and European style hot chocolate. This little shop is a gem! I’d certainly recommend going for anyone who likes uniquely flavored cupcakes or is a fan of macaroons.

Pinkberry – Guilt Free Dessert

26 Oct

PB frozen yogurt + chocolately goodness

I wanted to mix things up this week and try some frozen yogurt at Pinkberry. For some reason, I end up craving ice cream and cold dessert as it gets colder outside…go figure! If you’re on a diet or just weight-conscious, this should be your main stomping ground. This place has plenty of low calorie options for a gal (or guy)ย  just tryin’ to get a sugar fix. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my dessert decision (peanut butter frozen yogurt) until I discovered the array of toppings. So what did I do? Well instead of getting fruit I went straight to the chocolatey goodness. I added chocolate chips, brownie bites and a waffle piece. The combination was pure heaven!

The best part about this experience was that you get to try samples of the yogurt…you can try every single one if you really want to. Feeling festive and wanting to try something seasonal, I also tried the pumpkin frozen yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I’d recommend this combination as well. One of the employees told me that I common combination is pumpkin yogurt, cinnamon and swirly whip (aka pumpkin pie). I was also in love when I found out my frozen yogurt wasn’t weighted AND when the employee told me their wasn’t a limit to the number of toppings. I just wanted to hug her at that moment (don’t worry I didn’t). She said, “Anything you can get in the small size cup is yours.” Amazingggg!

Pinkberry’s offers several frozen yogurt flavors including: original, peanut butter, pumpkin, chocolate, mango and pomegranate. The also have smoothies, fruit parfaits and fruit bowls. Check here to find a location near you: locations.

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