Friday, June 17, 2011

My Achilles ... Tooth?

My sweet tooth is my Achilles heel. If it’s a sweet confection that’s glazed, cream-filled, sprinkled with sugar, dusted with cocoa or covered in frosting, I am powerless to resist it.

Of all the glorious things that can be done to desserts, the application of frosting is by far my favorite. I remember the brownies my grandmother used to make: dark, dense, rich and topped with a layer of chocolate frosting. For years, I didn’t know brownies could come any other way.

And then there are doughnut holes. Doughnut holes are good, right? Bite-sized and glazed, they’re a perfect little snack. But imagine them injected with just a dollop of frosting. That, as far as I’m concerned, renders them practically irresistible. And where can you get such a delectable thing? The Fancy Pastry Shop in Lexington, N.C., of course.

From the time I was a little tow-headed tyke, I remember going with my mother to Fancy Pastry. Inside were glass cases filled with cookies, pies, tarts, turnovers, Danishes, doughnuts, cakes—every sweet imaginable. And bread, rolls and biscuits too.

It’s their cakes, though, that I find most enthralling, because Fancy Pastry’s frosting is the best frosting ever. Light, fluffy, sweet, creamy … it’s sheer perfection. Period.

My mother always insists that her birthday cake come from Fancy Pastry. And, because we share the same sweet tooth gene, she always insists that the top of the cake not have the standard “Happy Birthday” script and a few meager flowers. Rather, it has to be covered entirely in flowers and decoration, resulting in a layer cake with frosting nearly 2 inches thick on top.

What could make a birthday—or any day, for that matter—happier?

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