Let Your Fingers Do the Walking When Making Your Sweet Escape
Forks are overrated. In fact, we probably place too much emphasis on all utensils. Sure, table manners are important, but when talking about treats, sometimes it’s best to appreciate sheer goodness by using all our senses — touch included.
This week, I decided to switch it up a bit and marvel in the sweetest of treats made to be eaten with your hands. Now, I know it may not seem like the most refined thing to do, but let’s face it, being able to actually touch the food you’re eating really adds to the complete dining experience.
So, wash your hands and come along with me to feast on handfuls of alluring creations that’ll awaken your sweet tooth. I know you’ll be tempted by these sweet delights, and the following “Ono, You Know” establishments have it all — scones, chocolate sandwiches, creme puffs, cupcakes and more. This week, dear readers, frosted fingers are a guarantee!
One sure way to my heart is through cupcakes, which are the sweetest of finger foods yet. Lucky for me, there are many bake shops around town that specialize in cupcakes, but Larry’s Bakery on Lawehana Street remains a favorite when it comes to satisfying my cupcake cravings.
Siblings Iris and Lance Yafuso are the masterminds behind this Salt Lake bakery and have what it takes to whip up marvelous cakes, cookies, doughnuts, butter mochi and, of course, cupcakes!
I recently met with Iris in her cozy bakery — a location you could say is the baker’s equivalent to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. There, we shared in exuberant cupcake conversation that would make your mouth water.
“We offer an assortment of cupcakes here,” Iris says. “We have non-refrigerated cupcakes — including chocolate, red velvet and vanilla flavors with a butter-cream frosting — that are perfect for school parties. We also do a vanilla or chocolate cupcake with a Chantilly frosting or dobash. These need to be refrigerated.”
Priced at $19.95 for a dozen cupcakes and $11.95 for a half-dozen (non-refrigerated), and $22.95 for a dozen and $14.95 for a half-dozen (refrigerated), Larry’s Bakery cupcakes are light, moist and made with extra love.
“We sell a lot of cupcakes; we love cup-cakes,” Iris says. “What’s special about us is that we offer Chantilly frosting as an option for your cupcake, and that’s been very popular here.
“The cupcake packs also come fully decorated with sprinkles/nuts and adorned with a toy of your choice. So, if you want a Sesame Street theme or a Hello Kitty theme for your cupcakes, we can easily decorate it so that it fits any occasion.”
Forget the flowers, boys, and demonstrate your love with Larry’s Bakery’s Cupcake Bouquets (start at $33.95) — guaranteed to put a smile on that special someone’s face.
“Cupcake bouquets also are popular for birthday parties, baby showers and last-minute thank you gifts,” Iris adds. “We try to match the bouquet to the theme of your party, and a lot of people have them as centerpieces and place additional cupcakes around it.”
Welcome to baked goods and cupcake heaven at Larry’s Bakery — where no fork or knife is needed!
4369 Lawehana St. #3
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Panya Bakery, Bistro & Bar
Life has become much simpler now that I’ve found the perfect place to spoil myself at Panya Bakery, Bistro &
Bar. It’s a chic and sophisticated environment that serves up comfort food that’s pleasing to all the senses.
Owners Annie and Alice Yeung first opened the doors to this classy bakery and bistro/lounge in 1997 at McCully Shopping Center. Now more than 10 years later, Panya is not only a frontrunner when it comes to premier fusion cuisine, but it also has locations on Queen Street (Bakery & Express) and at Ala Moana Center (Bistro & Bar).
Although, the menu showcases a vast selection of onolicious choices from its piping-hot bowl of Laksa to its freshest of salads and fresh-squeezed apple juice, it’s Panya’s incredible baked goods that will kick anyone off their diet. Yes, resistance is futile!
A simple and mess-free treasure that I adore are Panya’s scones, more specifically, the Blueberry Cream Cheese Scone ($3.15 each) and the English Orange Cranberry Scone ($2.20 each).
What I love most about these scones, baked fresh every morning, is that the English Orange Cranberry Scone exudes its English flair, whereas the Blueberry Cream Cheese Scone is your typical American classic.
“I believe scones are gaining a following as an alternative to the soft bread items because they are not too sweet and are great for breakfast or a quick snack,” says operations manager Kiana Huang. “These scones also pair well with coffee or tea.”
Personally, I have a soft spot for the English Orange Cranberry Scone, which is similar to an English Cream Scone, as it features English cranberry orange made with heavy cream and fresh orange zest for a richer flavor and texture.
So, if you’re in search of something with just the right amount of sweetness, stop on in at Panya for a scone and a cup of tea. Who knows? You may just have to make a tea party out of it! That’s something the royal family would definitely approve of!
Ala Moana Center (and various locations)
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
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Patisserie La Palme D’or
It always excites me when I have the opportunity to pay a visit to one of my most admired patisseries — Patisserie La Palme D’or. Located at Ala Moana Center, this upscale eatery has a blend of French flavor and Japanese craftsmanship that never cease to amaze me. Owner Hiromi Tanaka brought this exquisite pastry concept to the Islands in 2006 and ever since patrons have been able to devour delicious treats without the added guilt (and hopefully without the added pounds!).
“We don’t use that much sugar and most items are low in fat, so it’s really healthy,” Tanaka explains.
This sounds too good to be true, does-n’t it? Well, think again. Head chef Akiko Kimura utilizes only the highest-quality ingredients directly from Japan to create tantalizing works of art on a daily basis.
While items such as Tropical Fromage, Strawberry Shortcake and Strawberry Roll Cake may seem too beautiful to eat and require careful consumption with a fork or spoon, Chef Akiko’s Crunchy Choco Sandwich ($2 each) and Choux a la creme ($2.50 each) are easily edible finger foods!
Chocoholics, like myself, are addicted to the Crunchy Choco Sandwich, featuring La Palme D’or’s original “fancy” walnuts and macadamia nut brownie sandwiched with a sweet milk chocolate hazelnut crunch. And if you’re crazy for cream puffs, you’ll be pleased with the Choux a la Creme, a light crust filled to the brim with a savory blend of whipped cream and custard filling.
Patisserie La Palme D’or is love in each and every bite!
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
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