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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sugar High! Canelés at Vergennes Laundry

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Canelé, Vergennes Laundry - MELISSA HASKIN
  • Melissa Haskin
  • Canelé, Vergennes Laundry

Since I arrived in Vermont about two months ago and started asking strangers where I should eat, a few places always come up. The Vergennes Laundry is one of them. Last week I was in Shoreham to report a story about Vermont Cider Week, affording me the perfect opportunity to stop by the pastry shop on my way back to Burlington.

My timing, however, was not perfect. I arrived at 2:45 p.m., 15 minutes before closing. By the end of the day, most bakeries have sold out of most, if not all, of their edible items. What remains can be disappointing, at least to some. So my first impression of Vergennes Laundry wasn't ideal, but it was an opportunity nonetheless, and I was incredibly hungry. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sugar High! Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy Frozen Desserts

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 3:51 PM

New dairy-free flavors from Ben & Jerry's - MELISSA HASKIN
  • Melissa Haskin
  • New dairy-free flavors from Ben & Jerry's
Mooove over, cream. Ben & Jerry’s is about to release its new, dairy-free line, including classic flavors Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, along with two new ones: P.B. & Cookies and Coffee Caramel Fudge. Made with almond milk, the frozen desserts took an entire year to develop, according to a company press release. The pints will hit Vermont grocery stores in three to five weeks.

Since the non-dairy ice "cream" is not officially available yet, some nice folks from Ben & Jerry’s brought samples to the Seven Days office. So, for Sugar High! this week, I decided to enlist help from a few colleagues in giving them a try. Most people in the office are pretty indifferent to free food. Just kidding! I think about half of them were crowded around my desk within minutes.

And we had a favorite: P.B. & Cookies. Testers agreed there wasn’t a noticeable non-dairy taste. Creamy and rich, it was packed with whole Oreo-type cookies and generous swirls of peanut butter.

Results otherwise were mixed. Read on for a few tasting notes from Seven Days staffers.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sugar High! Maple Cheesecake, Chef's Corner South End

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 4:15 PM

Maple cheesecake from Chef's Corner South End - MELISSA HASKIN
  • Melissa Haskin
  • Maple cheesecake from Chef's Corner South End

Hey, welcome to the first installment of Sugar High! This series is about confections and desserts made by local chefs, and also about me eating them. Seriously, it's an idea whose time had come, and I'm really glad I had it.

The pastry case at Chef’s Corner South End is the kind of children's dreams. Cheesecakes and cupcakes, tiramisu and brownies are all beautifully aligned behind glass casing. Red velvet cupcakes with heart-shaped sprinkles took the spotlight earlier this week, yelling at customers about the impending holiday of love.

On the day I went to Chef's Corner, two impeccably neat rows of little maple cheesecakes were tucked in next to the boisterous Valentine's cupcakes. The butterscotch-hued confections were topped with whipped cream and tiny rolls of striped chocolate. In their own quiet way, they spoke to me.

So I ordered one. On first bite, I noticed its light, fluffy texture. It wasn’t as sweet or overwhelmingly dense as I had expected. Rather, it was the kind of dessert you could order and eat all in one sitting without feeling ill.

On a second bite, I noticed something else — something more complex. Apricot? I skimmed the fork across the top, picking up some of the clear coating. Yes! It was subtle, but played nicely with the maple, elevating the cheesecake's flavor.

If the maple glaze from a donut crawled into a blender with cream cheese and then tossed itself with whipped cream, it would taste something like this

The desserts at Chef’s Corner South End, located in Flynndog at 208 Flynn Avenue in Burlington, are ever evolving and seasonal. At a place known for great sandwiches and a healthy salad bar, it’s easy to talk yourself out of dessert in order to keep a New Year’s resolution. But in this case the sugar high was worth it. 

Sugar High! is a weekly exploration into the Vermont dessert scene. It features everything from chefs to recipe tips to the best sweets on Vermont menus. Got an idea for something you'd like to see in Sugar High? Email  

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