The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down

I never understood what that meant until I was looking at a subway map in Manhattan and realised that the Bronx is north of Manhattan, while Battery Park is at the very bottom of Manhattan, near New Jersey.  It makes a lot more sense now!

I’ve never been a New York fan.  The girls I work with are obsessed with New York, they love it.  I grew up a couple hours outside of it, so it doesn’t have the same novelty and to me, it’s never been as vibrant as London, as cultural as Boston or as intellectual as Washington DC (if I move back to the US, it would definitely be to either Boston or DC)

But Beardy Boyfriend had only been there once, not being American, so on our recent trip back to America, we did a day trip to New York to see some architectural sites for him (Ground Zero, Brooklyn Bridge) and some baking sites for me (Dylan’s Candy Bar, Magnolia Bakery).

The first stop on the baking tour was the wonderful Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker Street.

The shop was small and crowded (the sign of a delicious cake place!)  but filled with delicious cupcake smells. They served the normal cupcakes, cakes, teas and coffees, but they also had an ice cream bar, which was lovely.  We picked up the red velvet cupcakes with vanilla icing and the vanilla cupcakes with chocolate icing.  I particularly liked the icing – I’ve yet to find a buttercream icing that I’m really happy with and I’m really excited for this one.  And so, I picked up a copy of More from Magnolia Bakery.  I’m so excited to try the icings as well as the cookies and bars (always on the lookout for some good bars for a Beardy Boyfriend Weekly Bake.)  I’d definitely recommend trying this New York City classic if you’re around any of the locations.

The one thing that I found a bit creepy was the amount of food colouring in this red velvet cupcake!  When I make it myself, I will definitely be toning down the food colouring.  We found ourselves harkening back to Florian on Cupcake Wars: “there was too much food colouring and so…it didn’t work for me!”

We did a lot of New York snacking when we were there.  You can see Beardy Boyfriend consuming a slice of the amazing authentic New York pizza we consumed while heading towards the World Trade Centre tower (what I wouldn’t give to be able to find greasy New York pizza here in London.)  Also pictured, some black and white cookies.  I love black and white cookies.  My grandmother adopted a taste for these while living in New Jersey, and the fudgy taste of these will always remind me of one of the particularly delicious trips to the bakery with my nana.

This has prompted me to find a recipe so as to make these at home, which I will definitely be doing in the near future!

Our next stop was Dylan’s Candy Bar, which had read about/seen on an episode of Project Runway.  I LOVE candy and was pretty enthused about finding a whole mecca devoted to the sweets!

After journeying far uptown on the subway, we entered the world of themed sweets.  I will admit, most of the candy that I buy these days, isn’t really for consuming so much as to use in various baking products, so it was very interesting to see all the theme ideas – below you can see their displays for both Halloween and the American Presidential election.

In addition the candy (my favourite was the wall of colour coordinated candy – I wish we had something like this when I was planning themed parties), they also have candy related paraphernalia (like these cute Milk Dud pillows) as well as a display of the favourite candies of various celebrities (ever wonder what candy Kendall Jenner likes?  Wonder no more.)

Although it still hasn’t totally won me over, I did really enjoy getting to experience New York with Beardy Boyfriend (who hasn’t experienced enough of it to be anything other than excited).  I miss my family while I’m in London.  It’s hard being so far away, so this was a nice baking themed experience for us to get to have together!

Does anyone have any bakeries that they recommend trying in NYC?

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