Rock City Sweets: Kolaches, Craquelin, and Custard

Time for another visit down Sweet Street…a time in which we share with you some of the most indulgent, cavity-causing treats around town. Be a good boy or girl, stick to your diets the rest of the week, and then find a way to reward yourself with some of these fantastic desserts and sweets…you won’t regret it. Here’s a few things that are worth the blood sugar spike:
Kelli Marks’ crew at Sweet Love on Cantrell Rd. has always been willing and able to take on some of the more challenging aspects of baking. When it comes to wedding cakes especially, you will not find a more talented cake decorator in this city. Period. Marks has done some simply stunning work with cakes. But beyond that, Sweet Love often takes a crack at sweets less commonly found around town…a quality I really appreciate about any chef or baker. Recently, having brought on a native Texan into the baking team, Sweet Love has been trying their hand at kolaches. As you may already know, kolaches are a Czech pastry, typically composed of a dollop of fruit jam or paste resting on a pillow of fluffy dough. For one reason or another, they have become a Texas tradition, but have never really infiltrated Arkansas in a similar manner. Sweet Love has churned out some really respectable kolaches of late…filling them with all manner of fruits or sweetened cream cheese. You’ll have to keep an eye on their social media outlets to see when they’re being produced, but I urge you to check them out when they’re available.

Key lime pie at Trio's
Key lime pie at Trio’s

When it comes to dessert, Arkansans seem to always have pie on the brain. I get it, I am a strong supporter of pie. The debate on where to find the best in the state is a heated one, but I’ll just say that the dishes being dealt out by Capi Peck at Trio’s deserve to be in the discussion. We recently sampled a few of their available options from a pie list that rotates regularly. Their key lime pie was particularly good…creamy, tart, and not-too-sweet. The peanut butter pie with a thin layer of chocolate ganache was not far behind. Dessert lovers would do well to keep Trio’s on their radar.
Craquelin from Mylo Coffee Co.
Craquelin from Mylo Coffee Co.

You know I “heart” me some Mylo Coffee Co. I heart them hard. I probably spend way more Saturday mornings there than is medically advisable, but in truth, it’s just too hard to stay away from their coffee shop for too long. Lately, I’ve developed a real love for a particular item…one that may not initially grab customers’ attention like some of Mylo’s other beautiful offerings. I’m talking about the “craquelin.” This soft, doughy yeast roll is dense and buttery…like one of the best white dinner rolls you’ve ever eaten. Inside is a nugget of crunchy, course sugar flavored with orange. This sugar center may occasionally need to be squished by hand to get it to break up a bit, other times it melts into the dough effortlessly…but overall, it’s a wonderful creation that has grown on me with time and now has become something I order almost anytime it’s available.
I don’t know why it took me so long to discover Shake’s frozen custard? Thankfully, some friends tipped me off to this place recently, and I’m ever so grateful they did…in fact, I’ve probably been there four times in the last month. Yes…it’s a chain, but it’s also delicious. Their frozen custard is thick and creamy…darn near perfect in my opinion. Of the flavors I’ve sampled, the “wedding cake” concrete stands out as one of the better options (although they sometimes struggle to incorporate the chunks of cake in the very bottom of the shake). And now that Fall is upon us, their limited edition pumpkin flavor is back, and it’s definitely worth taking a look at.

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