Huckleberry chevre pudding at Batch, West Village
New York is littered with specialized dessert shops--from cupcakes to hard candy, rice pudding to frozen yogurt--long lines often form for these one hit wonders. And really, what's not to like? A long, leisurely walk around the Lower East Side is greatly improved with a quick stop for a pistachio cupcake at Sugar Sweet Sunshine. Similarly, after a long day at school I admit sneaking into Pinkberry for a late afternoon snack, and I appreciate that only three choices (green tea, original or coffee) present themselves.
Cupcakes and puddings at Batch
Sometimes, however, a one-item shop just won't cut it. Your vegan friend craves something sweet, but you want a buttery cookie. Or your little sister only eats pink-frosted cupcakes, while you're sick to death of buttercream. Two different bakeries in the West Village help solve these dessert dilemmas.
Cookie stacks behind the counter at Birdbath. Fake, I believe.
To accommodate the vegans and environmentalists in your life, visit Birdbath Bakery, an eco-conscious offshoot of City Bakery. Don't worry-- you--the dairy-loving, Hummer-driving friend, won't have to eat birdseed. You can try the mighty fine gingerbread cookie-it's perfectly chewy and studded with real, fresh ginger. The cookies are about the size of a saucer and come in double chocolate chip, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and other traditional flavors. I can't speak for the tastiness of the vegan items, but New York magazine recently termed the banana sesame agave cakes the best "vegan treat" in the city.
For the cupcake-loving little sister (and her jaded, worldly older sibling) try the new Pichet Ong venture, Batch. Right next to his schmancy spot P*Ong, Batch is a bright little bakery stacked Willy Wonka style with puddings, cookies, cupcakes and more. J and I loved the huckleberry chevre pudding--creamy cheesecake in a cup. My friend Jess tried both the lemonlemonlemon cupcake (she pronounced it dry) and a caramel chocolate cupcake with a dose of sticky caramel on the inside (she liked it). The aspirations and the prices at Batch are higher than many other bakeries in town, so choose wisely (cupcakes were approximately $3, while the pudding was $5). If you're the kind of person who swaddles your doggie in sweaters as soon as temperatures hit 45 degrees, you'll also appreciate the foie gras doggie biscuits Batch offers.
corner of 7th Ave South and Charles Street
Batch (currently cash only)
150B W. 10th St. at Waverly Pl.