Simultaneous Love and Hate at Blackbird Baking Co.

Blackbird Baking Co.Location: 172 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Website: https://blackbirdbakingco.com/

You win some and you lose some.

I just tried the almond croissant from Blackbird Baking Co.  On one hand, the croissant itself is fantastic; it’s lightly crispy on the outside, satisfyingly buttery, and has an absolutely perfect texture.  The exterior crispiness is maybe a bit too subtle, but for the most part it’s one of the better croissants I’ve had in the city.

Blackbird Baking Co.

But the almond part of this almond croissant is disappointingly anemic.  Almond croissants are traditionally stuffed and topped with almond paste; the paste on top gets crispy and caramelized, and the paste inside is gooey and sweet.

That’s how it’s supposed to be, at least.  Here, on the other hand, the layer on top was so thin that it may as well not have even been there, and it was filled with a crumbly, dry almond mixture that had almost no sweetness.  It’s not at all what it’s supposed to be.

Blackbird Baking Co.

I get wanting to put your own spin on a classic, but if you’re going to do that, maybe make sure that your new creation actually tastes good?

Still, the croissant itself is so amazing that it basically doesn’t matter.  Just don’t expect anything particularly sweet or almondy.

Danish Cinnamon Rolls at Brod

BrodLocation: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)
Website: https://shopsquareone.com/brod

If the only cinnamon rolls you’re familiar with are the doughy and diabetes-inducing ones they serve at Cinnabon, Danish-style cinnamon rolls (a.k.a. kanelsnegl) are going to come as something of a shock.  It’s like comparing “Macho Man” Randy Savage to Daniel Day Lewis.  They’re both entertainers, but that’s about where the similarities end.

Brod

The kanelsnegl at Brod is solid.  The pastry is quite nice — it’s flaky and a bit buttery, with crispy outer ring that eventually gives way to a softer, sweeter interior.

It’s a little bit bland, however; the pastry itself doesn’t have a ton of flavour, and the cinnamon/sugar level is probably a notch or two more restrained than it needs to be.

Brod

I know it’s not fair, but I couldn’t help but compare it to the kanelsnegls I had on a recent trip to Copenhagen, and there’s no contest.  Those ones featured a much better balance of sweetness, with the pastry itself being downright magical.

Still, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what they’re serving at Brod.  It’s not amazing, but it’s very good.

Carrot Cake Doughnut at Dipped Donuts

Dipped DonutsLocation: 161 Baldwin Street, Toronto
Website: https://www.dippeddonuts.ca/

Dipped Donuts: still great.  I tried the blueberry basil doughnut from this place last year, and it was seriously tasty.

The one I just had — the carrot cake — might have been even better.  It’s outstanding.

Dipped Donuts

It’s a raised doughnut topped with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake chunks, candied walnuts and ginger, and a caramel drizzle.

It’s definitely sweeter than the last doughnut I tried, but it was just right.  The frosting was gooey and satisfying, and the chunks of cake were seriously tasty.  The nuts and the ginger amps up the flavour, and the caramel?  Come on.  It’s indulgent and amazing.

Dipped Donuts

And of course, the doughnut itself was just as good as I remembered, with a nicely substantial texture and a great flavour.  It’s a top-shelf doughnut.

Delicious Butter Tarts at Abbey’s Bakehouse

Abbey's Bakehouse by RedsLocation: 100 City Centre Drive, Mississauga (inside Square One)
Website: http://www.sircorp.com/abbeys-bakehouse/

I love butter tarts, but they’re one of those things that I’m sometimes wary to order; when they’re tasty they’re very tasty, but they can easily be throat-burningly sweet.

But I had specifically heard that the tarts at Abbey’s are quite good, so it seemed like a safe enough bet.

Abbey's Bakehouse by Reds

They’re not just good.  They’re great.  I’m not sure if they’re quite on the level of the Maids’ Cottage in Newmarket, which serves my favourite butter tarts in the GTA, but they’re clearly way above average.

The filling is sweet but not too sweet, with a rich caramelized flavour and a nice gooey consistency.  The crust is great too — it’s buttery and shortbready, and compliments the sweet filling perfectly.

Abbey's Bakehouse by Reds

The crust-to-filling ratio is also on point.  This can easily trip up a lesser butter tart, but here the balance is just right — there’s enough crust to offset the sweet filling, but not so much that it dominates.  It’s delicious.

Tasty Cookies at Cookie Scoop

Cookie ScoopLocation: 1115 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto
Websitehttps://cookiescoop.ca/

I recently mentioned that there aren’t nearly enough cookie shops in the city.  I mean, you can never have enough cookies, but the handful of shops we have in the GTA definitely isn’t enough.

Well, here’s one more, though the location is in an industrial area that’s a bit out of the way (they offer delivery on their website, and I suspect that’s where they do most of their business).

Cookie Scoop

It’s a tiny shop, but they offer a dizzying array of cookies; I decided to get six, and it was exceptionally difficult to pick from the many, many delicious looking choices.

I ultimately went with pistachio milk chocolate, peanut butter Nutella, Mars Bar cookie, Italian milk chocolate gianduja, hazelnut praline (Ferrero Rocher), and milk chocolate brownie.  All the flavours looked so good, though.  I wanted all of them, but that wouldn’t have ended well for anybody.

Cookie Scoop

 

They’re solid cookies, but they have a cakey texture that you only get from cookies that have been engineered to be perpetually chewy.  I’m guessing this is due to their delivery-heavy business, which means the cookies probably won’t be consumed until a day or two after they’re baked, if not longer.

Cookie Scoop

Don’t get me wrong — they’re quite tasty, but I prefer the classic dense and buttery cookies that they serve at a place like Craig’s.  There’s nothing wrong with the cakier variety they serve here, but the crispy/chewy texture of a more traditional chocolate chip cookie can’t be beat.

Cookie Scoop

Still, the flavours were all top notch (I particularly enjoyed the peanut butter Nutella), and despite my minor quibbles with the texture, they’re tasty cookies.