With cupcake shops still proliferating around Houston, you might not have noticed there's a war being fought over the next hot dessert.
In New York and other cities, that role has been taken by delicate, delicious French macarons (not to be confused with coconut-based macaroons). In Houston, Jackie Burdisso of Maison Burdisso has been a one-woman macaron show for years, offering her multi-flavored wares at several farmers' markets and at Kuhl-Linscomb.
Now CityCentre's adorable Sweet has entered the mix, with bite-sized macarons upstaging even its cupcakes. Green Eyed Susan bakes its own macarons in Baytown and sells them online and for a limited time at Revival Market. Macarons have also been seen on the shelves at Catalina Coffee and Araya Artisan Chocolate. Despite all this I know someone who insists the Houston climate will never produce a top-notch macaron and instead orders them from Sucre in New Orleans.
Yes, the cinnamon and sugar cookie from childhood with the silly name to match is now the hottest thing in desserts since sliced cake.
But while macarons still have a ways to go before achieving a cupcake-like dessert ubiquity in Houston, already there are challengers to the throne. Doughnuts are having a bit of a moment, making their way to places like the RDG brunch menu. Rebecca Masson is making a strong case for Moon Pies (you can sometimes find them at Revival Market and Eatsie Boys). And crepes have a certain appeal in the hipstrict thanks to Melange Creperie.
But according to an insider at the Culinary Institute of America, it's none of the above. "Snickerdoodles are the new macarons," she wrote.
Yes, the cinnamon and sugar cookie from childhood with the silly name to match is now the hottest thing in desserts since sliced cake. There must be some kind of pendulum that swings in our preferences between comfortable childhood favorites and sophisticated sweets.
The source of the best snickerdoodle in Houston might just be Michael's Cookie Jar, which has a storefront in West University and a large online ordering presence.
"It's probably one of our bestsellers aside from chocolate chip," says Katie Leggett of Michael's Cookie Jar. She said that she hadn't noticed any changes in demand, though, as Michael's version has been a hit for years.
Snickerdoodles have become a favorite at Gluten-Free Houston, and the cookies are on the menu at cupcake shop Ooh La La Dessert Boutique as well as at the new Central Market cookie bar. To test my scientific hypothesis that the snickerdoodle craze has really taken hold, I stopped in to Great American Cookie in the Houston tunnels for one.
"We're totally sold out," was the reply.
Damn — the foodies in this town sure move fast.