For an aunt’s Christmas present, food writer Allyson Reedy wanted to find a cookbook of the world’s best desserts. There was only one problem: he didn’t exist.
“So I decided, ‘Well, okay, I’ll write this book,'” says Reedy, who is also a regular 5280 donor. “”I’m going to try to get all these great and amazing bakers to give me their best recipes – so we get the best cookie, we get the best brownie, the best lemon bar, the best cheesecake, all in the same place among all these different bakers who specialize in these different things.
The result, 50 things to cook before you die, is a compilation of all the best dessert makers here in Denver across the world in Dubai. The cookbook, which hits shelves (and kitchens) April 5, has recipes for everything from cobbler to peaches to crème brûlée, but Reedy says it doesn’t have to be a pro sugar and flour to have fun.
“I want [readers] to try anything, even if they’re like me and they’re not super talented bakers,” says Reedy. “My cakes look like a second grader made them. They don’t look pretty, but if you have a good recipe, it will be delicious; and I hope people will just try things they don’t. have maybe never tried before. I felt like a superhero when I got my chocolate soufflé up here at altitude. I want people to have that sense of accomplishment and say to themselves: ‘Hey, I did that’. It’s amazing.'”
50 things features recipes from five Colorado bakers, including the Long I Pie shop and Ruby Jean Pastry– but Reedy’s love for local desserts can’t be counted on one hand. Here are 10 of her go-to sweets in Denver.
1. Spring Cake
Where to get it: Lala Bakery, 5604 Kendall CT.
Why she likes it: “The three ladies behind Lala met while working at Larimer Square Market. When the market closed, we all freaked out about where we would get our Spring Fling cakes – the zucchini and sour cream cake topped with cream cheese frosting and gorgeous fresh fruit. Lala saved the day. Even if we all miss the market, at least we can still get our beloved Spring Fling cakes.
2. Cookies and ice cream
Where to get it: good cream, 3047 Larimer Street, #101
Why she likes it: “It’s the best ice cream in the world. That’s it. End of the story. I am obsessed.”
3. Rice Krispie Candy
Where to get it: Pig and Tiger, 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder
Why she likes it: “I’ve made a lot of treats, but I’ve never made a Rice Krispie treat, and never will. They’re too delicious and too perfect, and I prefer to think of them as little magic squares made of magic things. like pixie dust and unicorn marrow. I love them, and I especially love the version of Pig and Tiger with the mixed fortune cookie pieces.
4. Chocolate and salted caramel cupcake
Where to get it: happy bakery, 3621 W. 32nd Ave.
Why she likes it: “At the time when [cupcakes] were everywhere, I did a taste test of about eight cupcake bakeries, and Happy was the clear winner.
Where to get it: The Long I Pie shop, treats available in pop-ups and by special order (contact owner here)
Why she likes it: “Shauna [Lott] bakes her pies in a cast iron skillet. How awesome is that? It makes for a super flaky buttery crust, so of course I had to steal one of her recipes for my cookbook. I think she only does occasional pop-ups these days, so if you see one, run there for an amazing pie!
Where to get it: The Greenwich, 3258 Larimer Street
Why she likes it: “Any list of my favorite desserts has to include cheesecake, and the one at Greenwich is so special. I first had it just a few weeks ago, but I can’t stop thinking about it ever since! It’s lighter than a normal cheesecake, but still perfectly rich and creamy. It’s drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, then flambéed. You have to try it.”
7. Foxy Brown Ice Cream
Where to get it: Blacksmith & Cannon, 2260 E. Colfax Ave., #102
Why she likes it: “Besides baked goods, ice cream is my favorite dessert, so I have to put my second favorite place on the list. Curt Peterson taught himself how to make ice cream just a few years before he opened his Colfax shop, which is crazy because you’d think he’s been doing it his whole life. The man is kind of an ice cream prodigy – the best prodigy, really – and you’ll see him in flavors like the cinnamon-cheesecake bun hybrid, Foxy Brown.
Where to get it: Ruby Jean Pastry, order online for delivery or collection
Why she likes it: “They’re known for the cakes, but really anything you get from baker Jen Essex is wonderful – macaroons, cupcakes, whoopie pies…if I order a cake, I’m definitely ordering from Ruby Jean.”
9. Chocolate Chip Cookies
Where to get it: Crumb and Chocolate, 2501 Dallas St., Suite #176, Aurora, and 9905 E. Colfax Ave., Aurora
Why she likes it: “A chocolate chip cookie is just the perfect dessert; it’s so simple and it has it all. And theirs has these dark chocolate chunks and sea salt, and it’s probably the best cookie in town.
Where to get it: Devil’s Food Bakery, 1004 S. Gaylord Street
Why she likes it: “Although all of their baked goods are solid, I definitely wouldn’t kick any of their brownies out of bed just yet.”
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