Bacon in desserts isn’t a common thing to find, especially in Erie, but I set my sights on finding some sweet treats in the area this week. Two local bakeries got creative with some bacon themed pastries and I found a few other desserts as well.
Ye Ole Sweet Shoppe at 402 State St. has been a household name in Erie for over 25 years. They are known for their cookies, brownies, and scones. New owner and long-time employee Lea Yadeski is giving the store an updated feel and creating some new, incredible baked goods. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try a new menu item. Lea and fellow baker Lindsay created a French toast cupcake topped with maple bacon frosting and fresh bacon chunks. The cake itself was moist, sweet, and had a delightful pop of cinnamon that made the cake taste like I was biting into a slice of actual French toast. To my surprise, the cupcake was filled with a cream cheese filling that added a creamy, tanginess that was a welcome contrast to the sweetness of the cake. The bacon could have been overpowering, but instead the lightly sweetened frosting had a pure maple taste that created a perfect balance for the salty bacon.
Since their first week of being open in Erie, I have been enjoying everything that Icing on the Lake has to offer. Located at 3624 West 12th Street, Heidi and John Fette have been creating custom cakes as well as a variety of cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and plenty of other pastries and confections. The bakery’s one year anniversary is coming up this month and they have come a long way. They have been tossing around the idea of a bacon cupcake for a while and went through a few different recipes before they settled on the one that I tasted. They created a buttermilk pancake cupcake with maple frosting and topped with a bacon strip. This cake had a looser consistency than the first, but it was every bit as amazing. It had a crumbly texture and really tasted like fresh pancakes. Mixed in with the batter were chunks of bacon that cut some of the sweetness beautifully. The maple frosting was rich and velvety and paired perfectly with the chewy, salty bacon. Each bite truly was a delicious piece of breakfast. Amanda and I have ordered many cakes from this fantastic team of bakers and definitely be ordering more in the future.
In addition to the new dinner menu at 1201 Kitchen, Dan Kern also created a new dessert menu. One new item is their Cheese Composition. Using spoons, a whipped brie cheese blend is shaped into ovals, or quenelles, and is placed onto a smear of cinnamon honey. The creamy and melty cheese is then topped with dried Asian pear, crumbled lemon snaps, fresh berries, maple bacon toasted walnuts, and crispy pork belly. When the plate was set in front of me, the first thing I noticed was that it was very beautifully assembled, and each bite was phenomenal. The combination of flavors and textures made for a sweet dessert with wonderful savory notes throughout. The walnuts were roasted in the same pan as the pork belly so the salty and smoky flavor of the pork belly was everywhere. The honey and fruit gave the dish its necessary sweetness while the brie and meaty pork belly made my mouth water. This dessert was smaller in size, but so rich with flavor that had it been any bigger, it would have been too much. It was a fantastic way to end my night.
Thank you to Lea, Heidi, and Dan for your culinary creativity. You and your employees constantly impress me and have made quite the impression on the restaurant/bakery scene in Erie. I can’t wait to come back and try more menu items from all of you!
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food