Lifestyle: Travel & Dining

Sweet Tooth

A Dessert Tour Of The Hamptons
By Dawn Watson - September 21, 2018

Much ado has been made about the East End’s food and beverage bounty. But one deserving category has been largely overlooked. Until now.

That’s right. It’s time to pay tribute to everyone’s favorite course: Dessert.

It’s kind of surprising that our sweet treats aren’t at the forefront of more food features, especially considering the amount of attention paid to our farmstand fresh fruits and vegetables, award-winning wines, and the bountiful seafood selection. It’s shocking actually, as we can boast of a significant number of acclaimed, and incredibly delicious, desserts that are freshly baked and house-made right here in the Hamptons and the North Fork.

Of course, everyone knows about Tate’s Bakeshop, which is home to Southampton’s own thin, crispy, buttery, and now world-renowned Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (among other varieties), thanks to a $500 million deal with snack food giant Mondelez International. Kathleen King started baking up her take on the classic cookie as a young girl at her father’s farmstand in North Sea several decades ago. The rest is confection history.

But there’s a whole lot more of this fine finisher to experience. So, let’s take a road trip around the Twin Forks to discover some of the best-known desserts and baked goods out east.

The award-winning Aquebogue-based North Fork Chocolate Company is best known for its signature handcrafted Belgian Chocolates, which feature centers created from the goodness of local farms and East End purveyors. In season, the confectionary also scoops up Hal & Steve’s Ice Cream, made by chocolatier and chef Steve Amaral from Goodale Farm’s cow’s milk.

A Westhampton Beach institution, the line is frequently out the door for Simon Jorna’s hand-made Raspberry Cinnamon Croissants at the Beach Bakery. Get these baked goods while they’re hot, as Holland-born baker recently put his Main Street mainstay on the market after 30 years.

Blue Duck Bakery Café in Southampton definitely takes the cake for its delectable desserts—most especially its crowd-pleasing pies. Owned by Keith and Nancy Kouris since 1999, the super successful shop now has outposts in Southold, Riverhead and Greenport too.

The Sag Harbor Baking Company hits its sweet spot with locals and big-time foodies alike. With fresh hand-made selections every day, this Division Street bakery, owned by Michele “Mimi” Yardley and Margaret Wagner, is best known for its exceedingly deep menu of tantalizing treats, which includes everything from babka to brownies.

Made in small batches in Sag Harbor, and now distributed all over the East End and beyond, Joe & Liza’s Ice Cream is to die for. All natural and with no stabilizers or emulsifiers, the dairy dessert was dreamed up by Joe and Liza Tremblay, who also own Bay Burger. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, for this premium ice cream, which comes in half a dozen flavors including Vanilla, Cookie Jar, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee and Pistachio.

No dessert road trip can be complete without Dreesen’s Famous Donuts. Selling more than 400,000 doughnuts a year, these plain, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar dunkers even have Martha Stewart raving about them. Can’t make it to the shop on Lumber Lane in East Hampton? No worries, there’s a mobile Dreesen’s Famous Donuts truck to satisfy your cravings wherever you may be.

Scratch-baked goods are Mary Schoenlein’s secret to success at her Mary’s Marvelous on Newtown Lane in East Hampton. The cookie selection is especially outstanding here—with staples and lesser-known but equally delicious recipes on hand daily. As a result, there’s something special for everyone here, including those who are gluten-free and vegan.

Specializing in hand-made pastries and sweets, the Montauk Bake Shoppe is the perfect place for those who crave primo patisserie with an old-school vibe. The signature Jelly Croissants are worth the wait (in sometimes very long lines in the summertime) at the 40-plus-year-family-owned storefront on The Plaza. Treats from this bustling bakery alone are worth the trip to The End.

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