It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, which means our beloved Big Apple is about to be turned into a Guinness-soaked disaster area. Normally we celebrate Lá Fhéile Pádraig by getting totally schwasted and rocking head-to-toe green, but this year we’re opting for something different: dessert.
Baked goods and other saccharine confections may not be the first things that come to mind in honor the Feast of Saint Patrick, but New York City has no shortage of tempting Irish treats. This weekend, give your liver a break and assault your teeth instead (because cavities are way easier to fix than cirrhosis).
1. Green-Themed Goodness from Big Gay Ice Cream
Image: Big Gay Ice Cream
The Inside Scoop: Big Gay Ice Cream is the kind of place that makes you think “I can die happy now that I’ve been here.” BGIC got their start as a roving seasonal truck in June 2009 and quickly became an NYC favorite for their new-school take on old-school soft-serve. Nobody else in the city does frozen treats quite like these guys (and their sparkly unicorn mascot) do.
Put It In Your Mouth: Big Gay Ice Cream is keeping it sweet and simple for St. Patrick’s Day 2014 with green-dyed vanilla ice cream coated in festive green sprinkles.
2. Kiss Me I’m Coconut Mallows from Mitchmallows
The Inside Scoop: MitchMallows catapults marshmallows into the 21st century and straight to the top of the must-have designer desserts list. There’s a reason many have declared them “the new cupcake” – these artisanal pillows of fat-free and gluten-free goodness are opening up an exciting new chapter in NYC dessert-making and making this the marshmallow’s Golden Age.
Put It In Your Mouth: The Kiss Me I’m Coconut Mallows are a “fat free, gluten free, blarney free” treat with a tropical Emerald Island flavor.
3. Lucky You, Hats Off To The Irish & Irish Cream Cupcakes from Crumbs
The Inside Scoop: The war for the best cupcake in the NYC is fierce, and Crumbs is one of its most serious contenders. More than 50 varieties of their enormous goodies are baked daily in a mix of tried-and-true classic varieties and totally bonkers “Did a mad scientist develop this?” flavors.
Put It In Your Mouth: Crumbs is offering three seasonally appropriate flavors of their heavenly dough-and-frosting pods. Choose from Lucky You, Hats Off To The Irish, and the to-die-for Irish Cream (vanilla cake soaked in coffee filled with vanilla buttercream and topped with Irish Cream cream cheese frosting).
4. Black & Tan Eclairs and Shamrock Macarons from Dominique Ansel Bakery
Image: Dominique Ansel Bakery
The Inside Scoop: Chef Dominique Ansel’s mouth-watering creations have been making the news left and right lately, from the now-infamous Cronut to the milk and cookie shots cooked up for this year’s SXSW. His eponymous bakery was awarded Time Out New York’s “Best New Bakery of 2012” and Metromix’s “Best Bakery of 2012”, both within four months of opening its doors, plus an insane number of other awards since that we don’t have nearly enough time to mention.
Put It In Your Mouth: Dominique Ansel’s seasonal specialties are the Black & Tan Eclairs, made with a Guinness and Pale Ale cream and topped with dark chocolate and caramel. The Shamrock Macaron Set is also available if you’d prefer something a little simpler.
5. Irish Whiskey Cake from Black Hound New York
Image: Black Hound New York
The Inside Scoop: Black Hound New York has been delighting New Yorkers with chocolates, cakes, cookies, and other treats since 1988. Their storied cakes were first served in the café of the original Barneys New York, before going on to dazzle the rest of the city with their pure, premium ingredients and artful, done-by-hand decorating.
Put It In Your Mouth: The Irish Whiskey Cake. Concealed beneath that smooth, silky shell of bittersweet chocolate ganache are three layers of bittersweet chocolate butter cake filled with Irish Whiskey buttercream and a hint of ground hazelnuts.
6. Green Velvet Cupcakes from Billy’s Bakery
Image: Billy’s Bakery
The Inside Scoop: It all began with two friends from business school, a sweet tooth, and a dream. Co-founders Mark and Wayne serve up classic American baked goods in a warm, friendly atmosphere decked out in 1940s style. It’s basically your grandmother’s kitchen without any of the “Why don’t you call more often?” guilt or the inexplicable collection of rubber bands.
Put It In Your Mouth: Billy’s Bakery is taking the cocoa flavor and cream cheese icing of classic red velvet and giving it a fun St. Patrick’s Day twist with Green Velvet Cupcakes.
7. Leprechaun Pudding from Sugar Sweet Sunshine
Image: Sugar Sweet Sunshine
The Inside Scoop: Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s warm, inviting, cozy vibe is topped only by its practically-too-good-to-be-true sweets. The shop opened its doors in the winter of 2003 and has been serving up cupcakes, cakes, pies, and an assortment of breakfast sweets ever since.
Put It In Your Mouth: Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s highly anticipated Leprechaun Pudding is a lusciously layered cup with tiers of Irish soda bread, vanilla pudding, and Bailey’s whipped cream.
8. Wales Kringler With Bailey’s Irish Cream from Leske’s Bakery
Image: Leske’s Bakery
The Inside Scoop: Leske’s Bakery has been cooking up Scandinavian favorites in Bay Ridge since 1961. The bakery quickly became the gold standard in the neighborhood, winning fans with its unique mix of old-world favorites and iconically Brooklyn fare, and found fame as a “must-see” for foodies in New York City guidebooks.
Put It In Your Mouth: The Wales Kringler is an éclair/crème puff-like pastry shaped like a pretzel. For the holiday, Leske’s is giving it a makeover in the form of Bailey’s Irish Cream-flavored whipped cream and Bailey’s custard, plus a generous drizzle of shiny green glaze.
9. Black & Tan Cupcakes + Booze Pairings from Sweet Revenge
Image: Sweet Revenge
The Inside Scoop: Cupcakes = good. Booze = good. Put them together and you’ve got something almost otherworldly in its deliciousness. Sweet Revenge claims to be the nation’s only restaurant with a cupcake, beer, and wine bar, which is yet another reason you should be proud to call New York City home.
Put It In Your Mouth: Tuck in to the Black & Tan Cupcakes, which are made with Young’s Double Chocolate cake with ChocoVine cream cheese frosting. And to make a mind-blowing taste experience even mind-blowier, you can pair your sweet treat with ChocoVine wine from Holland or a glass of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.
10. Irish Whiskey Chocolates from L.A. Burdick
Image: L.A. Burdick
The Inside Scoop: In the beginning, there was a man with a vision, a love of chocolate, and a set of Swiss tools. L.A. Burdick Chocolate was established in New York City in 1987 and its exquisite chocolate bonbons quickly garnered a devoted following. Despite is current status as a worldwide phenomenon, the company still makes its confections in small batches and cuts and shapes all bonbons by hand.
Put It In Your Mouth: L.A. Burdick’s special assortment of St. Patty’s Day goodies includes Burdick’s own “Caife Gaelach” – gourmet Irish Coffee bonbons made with dark chocolate, coffee, cream and Irish Whiskey, then coated in white and dark chocolate. The box is also packed with Irish Whiskey truffles and Irish Cream truffles dusted in cocoa powder.
11. Pot O’ Gold Pretzels from Fatty Sundays
Image: Fatty Sundays
The Inside Scoop: Fatty Sundays provides a modern twist on an old classic: the chocolate-covered pretzel. The family business has been whipping up these sweet, crunchy, sprinkly bits of heaven in a range of creative flavors since 2010. The epic battle between sweet and savory may carry on forever, but the winner has already been decided: you.
Put It In Your Mouth: This St. Paddy’s Day, race for the rainbow and get after that pot o’ gold. Fatty Sunday’s is celebrating the holiday with a pack of 5 white chocolate-covered pretzel rods with red, orange, yellow, green, and blue nonpareils “dipped” in gold nonpareils.
12. St. Paddy’s Day Pistachio Mini from Baked By Melissa
Image: Baked By Melissa
The Inside Scoop: After being fired from her job in advertising in 2008, Melissa decided to turn her life-long love of baking into a career. Inspired by the care-free rock ‘n roll culture of the 60s and 70s and the idea that people should be able to taste more flavors without that post-dessert guilt trip, Melissa began serving her adorable bite-sized treats in 2009.
Put It In Your Mouth: Get your green on at Baked By Melissa with the St. Paddy’s Day Mini, a pistachio cake with pistachio stuffing that’s topped with vanilla icing and piece of pistachio brittle.
13. Irish Cream and Irish Coffee Cheesecakes from Eileen’s
The Inside Scoop: No discussion of the food legends of New York City is complete without a mention of Eileen’s. Eileen’s Special Cheesecake opened as a wholesale business in December 1975, then expanded into retail after hungry New Yorkers demanded easier access to the goods. Eileen’s really changed the game when they began shipping cheesecakes overnight anywhere in the United States and the rest, as they say, is history.
Put It In Your Mouth: Eileen’s promises that a bite of one of the Irish cream or Irish coffee cheesecakes “tastes better than kissing the Blarney Stone”…which to be honest doesn’t sound that hard, since the Blarney Stone has had a bunch of strangers’ mouths on it. (Seriously, though, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a cheesecake from Eileen’s. Yum.)
14. Devil’s Food Whoopie Pies With Peppermint Buttercream from Magnolia Bakery
Image: Magnolia Bakery
The Inside Scoop: In 1996, Magnolia Bakery opened its first location on a quiet street corner in the heart of New York’s West Village. Since then, it made a famous appearance on Sex and the City, as well as a few other films and TV shows, and is credited with kicking off the NYC cupcake craze. Nowadays, Magnolia Bakeries can be found in spots around the city, the country, and even abroad.
Put It In Your Mouth: Of course, being a legendary cupcake joint, Magnolia Bakery is offering a selection of St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes, but what we’re really excited about is the Devil’s Food Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Buttercream.
15. Dirty Leprechaun Cookie from Schmackary’s
The Inside Scoop: Schmackary’s has come a long way from its early days as a delivery service operating out of a 400 square foot apartment. It’s now a Midtown store serving up more than 45 unique flavors – made with more than 115 natural gourmet ingredients – to New York City’s cookie monsters.
Put It In Your Mouth: We’re hoping this leprechaun is dirty in the “needs a bath” kind of way, because the thought of a leprechaun in any other kind of “dirty” situation is just…no. No thank you. What we would not say no to, on the other hand, is a Dirty Leprechaun cookie, which is a tempting combo of dark cocoa, mint chips, and semisweet chocolate.
16. Car Bomb Cupcakes and Irish Soda Bread from Robicelli’s
The Inside Scoop: Robicelli’s claims their goal is “to democratize dessert,” which it turns out means making a bucketload (or is that “an ovenload?”) of incredible cupcakes, brownies, whoopie pies, and more. With 350 rotating flavors and counting, you are guaranteed to find old favorites mixed in with a whole bunch of things you never even dared dream were possible.
Put It In Your Mouth: Robicelli’s is offering a double whammy of Irish goodness this year. On the traditional side is Irish Soda Bread studded with golden raisins that have been rehydrated in Drambuie (aka “Scottish Honey Whiskey”). On the non-traditional side, they’re bringing back their famous “Car Bomb” cupcake – a chocolate Guinness stout cake, topped with Jameson whiskey ganache and Bailey’s buttercream. Oh, and there’s brownies made with brown ale and swirled with a reduced beer caramel, too.
Did we miss any New York City goodies you plan to gobble up this St. Patrick’s Day?