More Good Baked Goods From Starbucks

The other day I was having a very specific craving (but then, when are my cravings not very specific?) for a cakey-but-very-dense brownie with a fudgy ganache icing. I didn't want just a brownie, and I didn't want just a frosted browie; I wanted a dense, cakey brownie with fudgy ganache icing.

I didn't actually think I was going to find such a confection, but upon stopping in at Starbucks to look for a black and white cookie*, I discovered that they're now featuring a mint brownie that, aside from the addition of a layer of mint fiIling, exactly fit the bill. The extra mint did not inhibit my enjoyment of the dense, cakey brownie or the fudgy ganache icing in the least, and I am now happily eating my second one in three days.

On the cupcake front, Al decided to try the chocolate companion to the Vanilla Sunshine Cupcake and immediately pronounced it "too chocolatey." To me this is an oxymoron, but after eating the remainder I can kind of see his point: If I wanted this much chocolate in a baked good, I'd probably opt for a brownie. I suspect the chocolate shavings on top of the chocolate icing were the tipping point, but I should admit that I have something of a bias against chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing in general. I'd rather have the aforementioned brownie or a slice of chocolate cake than a chocolate cupcake. To me, "cupcake" implies "vanilla cupcake with buttercream icing", or at the very least, "buttercream icing". When desperate for a baked good I will accept a vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing or a chococolate cupcake with chocolate icing, but in my heart I will pine for the white-on-white version.

*The story behind the search for a black and white cookie has to do with the less-than-efficient system for ordering take-out items at Artie's Delicatessen (home of my favorite black and white cookies) in NYC. The procedure is that you tell the guy behind the counter what you want, and then you move over to the cashier and tell her what you ordered. Unfortunately, there are no cross-checks in the system; if the counterman didn't hear you properly and the cashier does, you could end up paying for one thing and getting another. This is how I ended up paying for two black and white cookies and getting only one, thus leaving a one-black-and-white-cookie void. The one I did get, of course, was delicious.

Posted by Lori in food at 11:30 AM on March 8, 2006