Far From a Basic Bakery: Dominique Ansel Bakery
As I sit scrolling through my Instagram feed, the usual suspects make their appearance: Cronuts, Cookie Shots and Blooming Hot Chocolates. Trust me, I am not complaining :) Stopping by Dominique Ansel Bakery was an inevitable item on the New York City itinerary.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this pastry genius, please allow me to introduce you. Before starting his own business in 2011, Dominique was the Executive Pastry Chef at Daniel. During his six-year tenure, Daniel received multiple accolades including the highly sought after three Michelin star rating to the first four-star review from the New York Times. In 2013, Dominique Ansel changed the pastry landscape with his introduction of the cronut ( a croissant-doughnut hybrid), ultimately putting his bakery on the map worldwide.
I feel certain if you have heard about the cronut, that you have also heard about the insane line associated with getting one. People wait up to three hours to try this little bit of heaven. Deciding to roll the dice, I made my way to Spring Street, home of the original Dominique Ansel Bakery. Anxiously anticipating a terribly long line, blocks long, I looked down at my watch and checked the time to make sure it was open. Yes, in fact, it was open and there was NO line outside. I was astounded! Clearly, the universe decided to smile upon me that afternoon.
I eagerly made my way to the back of the bakery trying to narrow down what I was going to order. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed two gentlemen working on pastries. Come to find out, they were crafting the next set of cronuts.
Inching closer and closer to the front of the line, I decided that this might be my one and only opportunity to devour such sinful pastries. I thought... " I want it all!!" They say timing is everything and gang I timed this visit perfectly. Just as I approached the register, I noticed several people walking back with these cookie shots. I thought to myself, there is NO way they still have these. Keeping my fingers ( and my toes for that matter) crossed, I asked the cashier if there were any left and yes, there were. HOORAY!
I placed my order and waited for the delectable bites to be prepared. Up first, was the famous Cookie Shot. A cookie shot is just what it sounds like. It's a soft chocolate chip cookie that is in the shape of a shot glass. It's served warm with cold milk. To eat this little bit of goodness, one can take the shot of milk and then eat the cookie or slowly sip the milk and nibble away. Of course, this is not your ordinary milk. Dominique Ansel sources their milk from Red Acres Farm where they create a special milk specifically for this dish. Rich, floral and slightly sweet, the bakery then cold infuses the milk with vanilla for 24 hours. Cookie shots are available every day starting at 3pm and are also available for consumption on the weekend. Literally, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
Increasing my glycemic index even more, I had to order the Blooming Hot Chocolate. It would be a total foodie fail if I didn't. I won't attempt to describe how entertaining this was but will let you all see for yourself. This is the second take as the first flower didn't "bloom" as it should have.
Ending the visit on a frosty, but tasty note, we had the Frozen S'mores. Such deliciousness on a stick. Filled with vanilla custard and chocolate wafers, the chef then takes a blow torch and toasts the marshmallow to perfection. Campfire s'more may never look the same!
Thinking back on my visit to Dominique Ansel Bakery I had two major takeaways: 1. Roll the dice. You never know, you may totally luck out and not have to wait in line (again, thank you universe) 2. Even if you are there strictly for the cronut, expand your horizons and try one of the many amazing creations that have been carefully constructed for your dining pleasure.
Until next time!