Slideshow: Ask a Pastry Chef: What to Eat at Sofra Bakery & Cafe, Cambridge, MA

Morning Bun
Morning Bun
"We started making this with croissant scraps, but now we sell so many that we make batches of dough specifically for the morning buns. We toss cubes of croissant dough with sugar that's spiced with cinammon and cardamom, bake them in muffin pans, and top them with orange blossom glaze."
Pistachio Poptart
Pistachio Poptart
"Another great example of how we give a Sofra twist to traditional items. We fill the poptarts with ground pistachio paste and top them with a glaze made with saffron and a honey called Mishmish."
Ma'amoul and Syrian Shortbread
Ma'amoul and Syrian Shortbread
"These Arabic cookies are two of my favorites. Ma'amoul means 'filled' in Arabic; it's a spiral filled with date and almond paste filling. Each country has a version of Graybeh (a shortbread) and we make ours with clarified butter for a very distinctive texture that dissolves in your mouth. We turn them into a thumbprint with seasonal jam."
Umm Ali
Umm Ali
"Umm Ali, or Egyptian Phyllo Bread Pudding, is made of toasted phyllo flakes layered with fruit and nuts. Our current version uses caramelized pears, golden raisins, and almonds. It's warmed to order and served with cold cream poured over. It's like soggy cereal—in the most comforting way."
Moroccan Spiced Almond Bostock
Moroccan Spiced Almond Bostock
"This is an example of how we have to change traditional items to include a Sofra twist. For our Bostock—a sort of almond-covered brioche French toast—we use sliced almonds cooked with olive oil, demerrara sugar, and cinnamon."
Tahini Hot Chocolate, Tahini Shortbread, Milk Chocolate Tahini Cups, and Tahini Brioche
Tahini Hot Chocolate, Tahini Shortbread, Milk Chocolate Tahini Cups, and Tahini Brioche
"I have discovered how well tahini can be used in sweets. The Milk Chocolate Tahini Cups are similar to Reese's but we use only three ingredients: milk chocolate, tahini, and butter. The idea for Tahini Hot Chocolate came from many tests of the Milk Chocolate Tahini Cups. And the shortbread is a very delicate, crumbly version. We add tahini to the brioche dough, which changes it to a very rich, mildly sesame flavor. We turn them into donuts and top them with salted caramel ganache."