Laura Pyles' Guide to Seattle Sweets
Diners don't just come to Revel, the Fremont sister restaurant of Joule, for the Asian street fare—they come for dessert. One month that means a light coconut creme cake with espresso caramel, another month it might mean moon pie parfait. This April, you'd find a "bake sale" themed dessert menu with treats like strawberry rhubarb crisp with 5-spice crumble and kafir lime cream or a chocolate peanut butter pie with a potato chip crust. Who's behind these deliciously inventive desserts? That'd be Laura Pyles, this year's winner of Food and Wine's Best Pastry Chef- West Coast.
Where does this alum of the Culinary Institute of America, Book Bindery, Bastille, and Dahlia Bakery Workshop go for sweets when she's not baking up her own? Find out below!
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Snickerdoodle Ice Cream at Bluebird Creamery: This creamery doubles as a micro-brewery these days and they are happy to pour your favorite beer right over top of yours scoops of ice cream for a beer float! I can't resist the ice cream version of my favorite cookie, especially drowned in a mason jar filled with Theo chocolate milk stout.
Bacon Bakkava at Zig Zag Cafe: Everyone knows this is the place to go for some of the best cocktails in the city, but this treat is hiding in their dinner menu. The ultimate sticky, sweet, and salty dessert is exactly what I want when I'm a couple cocktails deep, and this is one of those guilty pleasures best eaten in the dim red lights of my favorite bar.
Sweet Coconut Bun at Yummy House Bakery: This little Hong Kong style bakery in the International District creates a variety of the light, not-too-sweet Asian pastries I love, but this sweet, buttery bun is the best. Fluffy bread filled with sweet coconut and lightly glazed, I could eat one of these every day!
Coconut Ice Cream Sliders at Pestle Rock: This is a great Northern Thai restaurant that is not afraid to take risks and challenge the people of Ballard to eat something new. For this dessert they layer coconut milk ice cream, sticky rice, a slice of caramelized potato, and roasted peanuts on a sweet Hawaiian-style slider bun. This might sound like a wacky combo but it is right up my alley, especially after a spicy Thai dinner.
Almond Schnecken at Cafe Besalu: The best Danish dough in Seattle doesn't need many frills, but a little almond paste and sugar really takes those flaky layers to another level! You can't go wrong with anything at this fantastic little spot (except showing up after everything is gone) but this is my favorite. Try to eat your way to the center of the spiral slowly to make it last! Or buy two.
Cinnamon Sugar Fry Bread at Off The Rez: Almost like an elephant ear and a churro had a baby, I challenge you to pass by this food truck without ordering a piece of fry bread, or five. These little fried pillows of delicious are served with a variety of toppings depending on the day, and if you can't pick one, they are just as tasty totally naked.
Apple Kringle at Nielsen's Authentic Danish Pastry: I have always loved a Kringle and grew up eating those lovely pretzel-shaped Danish but this sweet little bakery has put it over the top for me with the simple addition of apple. Apple and almond is a combination I will never grow tired of, and they sell slices, which is a blessing so you aren't tempted to eat a whole Kringle all by yourself.
Passion Fruit Macron at Fresh Flours: You might stop by Fresh Flours for their coffee or azuki croissant, but when you're paying, there is a multi-colored tray of perfect macrons next to the register. The perfect impulse buy. The passion fruit is my favorite with just the right amount of bright, tart fruity flavor.