19 Delicious, Decadent Desserts

Sweets you have to try now —plus, more than a few extras, because you can never have too many!

We stuck our hands in the county cookie jar to find Westchester’s most delicious, decadent desserts. These 19 sugar-rush-inducing creations come from all over the culinary map—from the hottest restaurants to traditional bakeries and everywhere in between—but they have one thing in common: You won’t be able to stop eating (or dreaming about) them.

 

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By Leslie-Anne Brill and Andrew Dominick
Featuring Photography By Andre Baranowski

 

Il Sorriso, Irvington

Is tiramisù a pudding, a cake, or a trifle? Regardless, have it at Il Sorriso, where it’s made in-house using a traditional recipe — with a twist. They’re using a brandy-infused cream, but rather than soaking the ladyfingers in plain-old coffee, Il Sorriso ups the ante by using a mixture of espresso and coffee liqueurs. Doubling the booze, what’s not to love?

 

Topps Bakery, Bronxville

Topps gives the classic black-and-white cookie a puffed-up makeover. The bakery uses the same batter as the traditional rendition, but the Marigold is baked in a cupcake tin. The Topps spin makes it easier to get some chocolate and some vanilla in every delicious morsel—for a confectionary combination Jerry Seinfeld would definitely approve of.

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Enrico’s Pastry Shop, Hartsdale

The cronut craze has calmed down some, but lovers of the donut/croissant hybrid still seek them out and will wait in line before the sun comes up. At Enrico’s you usually won’t find a line, but its version of this rich, buttery, sugary, frosted treat comes in many flavors, including salted caramel, Nutella, and Madagascar vanilla bean with raspberry, to name a few.

 

Beascakes Bakery, Armonk

Any baker worth their chips can make a chocolate chip cookie, but ones worth a detour take special talent. And the chocolate chip cookies from Beascakes Bakery may just be the best in Westchester. “Cookies are the big deal here,” says owner Julie Dickens, who apprenticed with Jacques Torres. “People refer to them as ‘Armonk crack.’” She won’t share her secret, but you can buy the pre-rolled dough and bake them at home.*

*Home baker alert!* 
For another killer chocolate chip cookie, try the recipe from Chappaqua’s sherry b dessert studio here:
westchestermagazine.com/chocolatechipcookierecipe

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​Top Photo By Tykischa Jacobs

 

Campagna, Bedford

Jim Eckler, pastry chef at Campagna at Bedford Post Inn, puts his chocolate skills—first honed when he worked the night shift years ago at Marea (part of the same restaurant group as Campagna)—to magnificent use in this fascinating dessert. It’s a fork-tender, salted caramel bar, infused with vanilla and green cardamom, spray-painted with chocolate, piped with espresso-bean-infused Chantilly, sandwiched between a chocolate plaque and a sablé cookie (made with jet black cocoa, “the kind used in Oreos,” Eckler says) and served with cardamom gelato. It’s beautifully styled, but even more important, a sweet patchwork of textures and tastes.

 

Bistro Parisien, Eastchester

The île flottante—or floating island—steals the show at this French bistro owned by Stephane Kane of Bistro SK on City Island in the Bronx. A single poached meringue sits in a pool of crème anglaise (vanilla custard), and is finished with toppings of slivered almonds, caramel, and powdered sugar. Sweet, yes, but also delicate and airy—the floating island is the best way to end a filling French meal.

 

Blue Tulip Chocolates, Rye; Cocoa, Larchmont      

If you’re looking for a fancied-up peanut butter cup, check out the giant one at Blue Tulip—way better than anything you can pick up at the supermarket. It starts with creamy peanut butter and dark Belgian chocolate ganache, and it’s wrapped in a dark-chocolate shell. Also in the peanut-butter-cup game is Cocoa, where owner and chocolatier Angela Ingrao pays tribute to the classic Reese’s we all grew up on (above). Available in both milk and dark chocolate with Skippy peanut butter (a true classic!), they pack a sweet, chocolatey snap on the outside and a creamy, salty taste on the inside.

 

42 The Restaurant, White Plains

“This dessert has many components,” says Anthony Goncalves, chef/partner of 42 The Restaurant, which crowns the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester building. He’s not kidding: The recipe for the brand-new creation fills three pages. It includes gelatinized strips of milk-chocolate ganache, caramelized white chocolate, Nutella powder, sablé cookie, pretzel toffee caramel, shards of dehydrated chocolate mousse, Dulcey chocolate foam, free-form peels of pretzel toffee, and pretzel toffee ice cream. There’s even a  bowl of liquid nitrogen, used to flash-freeze scoops of chocolate mousse into what looks like moon rocks but is light as air. The finished product, dazzling and characteristically playful, is great for sharing; thankfully, we didn’t have to.

 

La Tulipe, Mount Kisco; Bistro V, Greenwich, CT

La Tulipe makes the most exquisitely decorated French cakes (below), topped with items such as fraises des bois (wild strawberries), and a popular bûche de Noël. Bistro V makes glorious French cakes large and small—favorites include the Passionata shown at right (passion fruit and raspberry mousse in a ladyfinger sponge cake soaked in Kirsch syrup) and opera cake (coffee-flavored almond sponge cake with layers of coffee buttercream and chocolate ganache), a treat even just for the word “opera” swirled across the top.

 

Artuso Pastry Shop & Cafe, Mamaroneck

Is there a bakery around making better cannoli than the ones at Artuso? In business for more than 65 years, Artuso has made up to 10 million cannoli in a year. The bakery sticks to an old family recipe and keeps the textures simple: a crisp outer shell, and creamy, semi-sweet ricotta on the inside. For a chocolate fix, get your cannoli on with a chocolate-dipped shell; if you’re into playing with your food, Artuso offers deconstructed chips-and-dip-style cannoli, too.

 

Durian, Larchmont

One of the great Thai desserts, the light and airy coconut mousse at Durian is made with young coconut and piled high with an assortment of fruits. This is a good intro to Thai sweets and is Durian’s signature dessert. And while you’re there, try the sticky rice with fresh durian fruit (the infamous pungent fruit banned in public spaces in Malaysia) at least once.

 

Chantilly Patisserie, Bronxville

The bakery boasts a cake menu, a cupcake bar, and a variety of breads, and Chantilly’s éclairs—like everything else made there—are a true work of art. The éclairs come in two ways: chocolate (chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache) and fresh whipped cream (unfrosted, filled with pastry cream, Chantilly cream, and chef’s choice of fresh fruit). It’s also mandatory to leave with a goodie bag of Chantilly’s hand-piped, gluten-free (made with almond flour) French macarons, which come in a variety of flavors.

 

Bradley’s Desserts & Cafe, Larchmont

A dessert bar is a bite-sized pie that’s arguably as common as any bakery display-case treat. The lemon bars at Bradley’s have been a customer favorite for more than 20 years (Bradley’s opened in 1994). The fresh pop of lemon can be attributed to flecks of zest in the well-executed curd. It’s complemented by a Scottish shortbread crust based on a recipe from Bradley’s Great Aunt Violet.

 

Lulu Cake Boutique, Scarsdale

Seems we haven’t quite recovered from the panic that set in when Hostess products disappeared from store shelves for a while. Fortunately, local establishments like Lulu stepped in—so now we’d rather have our snack cakes homemade. Lulu’s classy “Yodels” (which sometimes come in Valrhona dark chocolate, salted caramel, or peanut butter varieties) have been ordered by Judge Judy, Lady Gaga, Harry Connick Jr., Hillary Clinton, and Oprah. And its Twinkies have appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as a gift from Whoopi Goldberg to the host, and they were a swag-bag gift at the 2014 Oscars. That’s no coincidence. Devour a Lulu’s chocolate-coated Twinkie filled with chocolate pudding (below), and I dare you to go back to Hostess.

 

 

Fleetwood Pastry Shop, Mount Vernon  

The hefty lobster tails (similar to Italian sfogliatelle) at this family-run bakery are so delectable, there is a contingent of out-of-staters that regularly make the trek for them. For the uninitiated, any unpleasant thoughts of snappy-clawed crustaceans disappears with one bite of the flaky, multilayered dough that’s shaped, well duh, like a lobster’s tail. And inside, rather than the standard yellow-custard cream found in so many pastries, Fleetwood’s tails are filled with a luscious custard-whipped cream mix.

 

Patisserie Salzburg, Rye

Named after the famous French actress, the truffle-like Sarah Bernhardt Cookie is a baked-good/chocolate-confection hybrid. Fans of the cookie (and perhaps the actress, too) will find a winner at Patisserie Salzburg. A slightly chewy, slightly crunchy cookie is topped with a smooth ganache and coated in chocolate. Patisserie Salzburg also makes an inverted version with the cookie on top and both the coating and ganache on the bottom. Pick one, pick both, then choose a favorite.

 

Red Barn Bakery, Irvington

Owner Randell Dodge’s pies are a big hit, but, as she states, “People don’t buy a whole pie every day.” Her answer? A $6 personal pie, in roll-up form, using fresh, organic fruit from the Hudson Valley. As a bonus, all of Dodge’s pies are low in sugar and available in gluten-free versions.

 

Madison Kitchen, Larchmont

Chef/Owner Nick Di Bona spent years perfecting his Italian/American ice cream recipe, and he’s not afraid to showcase it on Madison Kitchen’s dessert menu. Almost every dessert comes with a scoop, and you can choose from an array of flavors if you simply want ice cream. Chef Di Bona gets rave reviews for his out-of-the-ordinary varieties, which include Oreo Italian Cheesecake, PB&J, Nutella S’mores, and the very popular Rainbow Cookie (yep, ice cream made from those Italian tricolored, chocolate-covered cookies). The creamy-smooth ice cream may be purchased by the pint at the restaurant and at the Larchmont Farmers’ Market (open Saturdays early May through the third week of December).

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