Slideshow: Our Best Sweet Bites of 2012

Coffee Toffee Banana from the Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco
Coffee Toffee Banana from the Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco
"This was one of those desserts where I said, 'Someone take this away from me,' as I guardedly hovered over it, shoveling in bite after bite, my face telling the true story of, 'If you actually take this away from me I'll kill you.' Banana cake is topped with about 4 inches of coffee ice cream that has toffee and butterscotch hidden inside. And my favorite part: a glorious mound of bruleed homemade marshmallow fluff. Thank you Ice Cream Bar, thank you."—Carrie Vasios, Sweets Editor

[Photograph: Wes Rowe]

CCPC cupcake at The Sugar Cube in Portland, Oregon
CCPC cupcake at The Sugar Cube in Portland, Oregon
"My favorite sweet bite of 2012 was the CCPC cupcake at The Sugar Cube in Portland, Oregon. I've yet to come across another cupcake with that perfect balance of lightness, moistness, and sinful decadence. Bonus points here because I made up the word "potatochococaramelgasm" to describe the happiness I felt eating this."—Aaron Wakamatsu, sweets reviewer

[Photograph: Aaron Wakamatsu]

Kanafeh in Jaffa, Israel
Kanafeh in Jaffa, Israel
"While in Israel this summer, I spent an afternoon exploring Jaffa, and one of the best bites that day (and of the whole trip, and now I realize, the whole year!) was this kanafeh. Underneath the wispy pastry shreds there's a bunch of soft white cheese and the whole thing gets drenched in a sweet syrup, then topped with pistachio bits. Shattery-crisp on top, soft and creamy inside, with all those nutty bits mingled throughout—kanafeh, you may look like a bird's nest but you taste so glorious."—Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor

[Photograph: Erin Zimmer]

Pork-Filled Waffle at LloydMartin, Seattle
Pork-Filled Waffle at LloydMartin, Seattle
"As much as I love certain sweets, I like savory elements integrated into my desserts. This dessert at LloydMartin delivers on that front. The big waffle with ice cream and fruit is stunning in presentation, but hidden within are delicious strips of bacon. While sugar and salt are prominent, the bourbon, vanilla, maple, and chamomile flavors also come forward while eating this dish."—Jay Friedman, sweets reviewer

[Photograph: Jay Friedman]

Katmer Pastry in Istanbul
Katmer Pastry in Istanbul
"My favorite foods in Istanbul were kaymak, a super-thick clotted cream often served with honey, and pistachios—whether in sweets, in salads, or in little bowls as bar snacks. So this katmer pastry, a specialty of southeast Turkey’s Gaziantep but served here in the Kadiköy neighborhood, seemed made for me: thin, thin phyllo dough layered with crushed pistachios, dabs of kaymak, and just the littlest bit of sugar. Creamy, nutty, crisp; when fresh from the oven, it was one of the best things I ate on the whole trip. Apparently, in Gaziantep, it's actually eaten as a breakfast pastry. I would be a very, very happy girl if I could start every day with one of these."—Carey Jones, Senior Managing Editor

[Photograph: Carey Jones]

Gula Melaka in Singapore
Gula Melaka in Singapore
"The best week of my year was my week spent in Sinagpore, and the raw sugar-draped cendol from Jin Jin Hot Cold Dessert in the ABC Brickworks hawker center just took my breath away. The gula melaka—raw palm sugar that's smokier and spicier than any molasses—is as thick as American hot fudge. It dilutes just enough as it trickles down the dome of finely shaved ice, so that by the time it reaches the green cendol noodles on the bottom it makes the perfect sauce. I could eat this forever."—Max Falkowitz, New York Editor

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Mallorcan Ensaimada at Fiola, Washington DC
Mallorcan Ensaimada at Fiola, Washington DC
"I'd say my favorite of 2012 was the Ensaimada at Fiola. The pork lard pastry was just so rich and delicate, it was like eating a cloud made of fat."—Brian Oh, sweets reviewer

[Photograph: Brian Oh]

Marshmallow Sundae from Eddie's Sweet Shop, NYC
Marshmallow Sundae from Eddie's Sweet Shop, NYC
"EDDIE'S. NOW AND FOREVER. I picked Eddie's marshmallow goo-laden sundae as my favorite sweet in September, and most sundaes since then have just been piles of sad. I'm glad I don't actually live near Eddie's. God, the sundae carnage that would ensue." —Robyn Lee, AHT editor

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Nieves Envinadas at Tepoznieves, Tijuana
Nieves Envinadas at Tepoznieves, Tijuana
"At first, the 60+ flavors at Tepoznieves,Tijuana's top scoop shop, were a bit overwhelming, but once I landed on the nieves envinadas (ice cream and sorbet with a slosh of alcohol), the perfect plan was obvious: creating ice cream "cocktails" using the boozy sorbet as a base. The pina colada was insanely delicious on its own, but when mixed with strawberry sorbet, pineapple sorbet, and coconut ice cream, it was just about the most perfect frozen dessert, ever."—Erin Jackson, sweets reviewer

[Photograph: Erin Jackson