The Austin Chronicle

VBW's Top 10 Sweet Bites of 2011

By Virginia B. Wood, January 6, 2012, Food

1) Sweet Leaf Peach Tea Since I discovered this beverage at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival in the fall, it's been one of my favorite refreshments.

2) Peach-Pecan Upside-Down Cake From Cake & Spoon These wonderful cakes were a treat that lifted my spirits during a long, hot, miserable summer.

3) Raspberry Jelly Doughnuts at Contigo I sampled these on Contigo's new brunch menu in November and have been dreaming about them ever since. It could be dangerous to have this restaurant so close to my house.

4) Salty Caramel From Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams I fell in love with this flavor when Jeni's marketing guy sent me samples last spring. Good thing the recipe is in her book.

5) Old World Eggnog From Talenti Gelato e Sorbetto Look for this voluptuous and festive frozen delight at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Randalls.

6) Buñuelos From 444 Gourmet Creations Dainty, crisp, and liberally dusted with cinnamon sugar, these crunchy treats are great with coffee, hot chocolate, dulce de leche, and/or ice cream (see numbers 4 and 5 for ideas).

7) Lemon Mascarpone Cake From Sen­tel­li's Bakery Pastry chef Shawn Bonifay always sends me a birthday cake. This one really hit my lemon-loving sweet spot, and I didn't share.

8) Chocolate Bars and Bourbon Balls From Cocoa Puro Discovering Tom Pedersen's remarkable dark-chocolate bar with caramelized cacao nibs, salted milk-chocolate bar with caramelized almonds, and milk-chocolate bourbon ball in a chocolate pecan shell made me very glad I braved the inclement weather and attended the Eat Drink Local Week Coffee & Chocolate Festival.

9) Lemon Cake With Lemon Curd Filling From Cake & Spoon Lemon and lemon, need I say more?

10) Sip Chocolate These little bags of quality chocolate shavings make sinfully rich hot chocolate – my favorite hot beverage of the year, by far.

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