The Austin Chronicle

Top 10 Sweet Bites

By Virginia B. Wood, January 3, 2014, Food

Many of my favorite sweet bites this year (presented here in no particular order) left me wanting more from such talents as Jodi Elliott, Janina O'Leary, and Laura Sawicki. I hope their planned new ventures find them situated soon in 2014, turning out more tasty and inventive creations.

1) Cookies & milk by Laura Sawicki at Meatopia The moist bacon-fat brownie and crisp bacon and chocolate chip cookies washed down with shots of iced horchata were the right sweet counterpoint to all that meat.

2) King Sundae at Searsucker Can't believe I had two wonderful bacon desserts in the same year, but this one really is a doozy: peanut butter cup ice cream and brûléed bananas with whipped cream, candied peanuts, and a perfectly candied slice of crisp bacon as a garnish. The King would be proud.

3) Pineapple Brown Butter Blondie by Jodi Elliott I love the nutty, caramelized flavor Elliott gets from browned butter in these pineapple-flecked delights.

4) Toffee Delight Bark and Salted Caramel Truffles from Crave Artisan Chocolate These are just my top two choices from chocolatier Krystal Craig's delectable product line. It's all wonderful.

5) Salted Brown Butter Texas Pecan Brittle Bar and Gianduja Drinking Chocolate Just two of the marvelous chocolate items showcased at the Chocolate Makers Studio Pop-Up Chocolate Shop at Antonelli's Cheese House in November.

6) Hot Chocolate Spiced Pot de Crème with shortbread cookies by Janina O'Leary at Wine & Swine Can't wait to see her breads, pastries, and desserts at LaV soon.

7) Espresso Soufflé with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream at Jeffrey's This lovely indulgence was well worth the time and the calories.

8) Baked Alaska at Jeffrey's These striking retro meal finales are put together according to the whim of the pastry chef, with appealing results.

9) King Cake from Bakerman's Bakery NOLA native Hope Arabie's festive pastry crown decorated with colored sugar and Mardi Gras beads had been an annual tradition at my house. I'll miss them now that she's sold the bakery.

10) King Cake from Easy Tiger Dough-puncher David Norman jumped into the king-cake fray last year. Looks like he'll be my go-to guy from now on.

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