On Monday Matt and I took advantage of the Civic Holiday to eat cookies in America.
Wait, let me backtrack.
I had expressed an interest to Matt in visiting every single one of these 13 Sweetest Bakeries in America, of which we had visited only one. Matt suggested we visit bakeries in the Detroit area. I agreed.
I printed off a bunch of maps and a list of over 10 different bakeries including bread bakers, cupcake shops, café/bakeries, and pie places. We were well on our way to diabetes.
Not surprisingly, we made it only to 4 of the 10 select bakeries.
Halfway through our second bakery (Pinwheel) Matt was hardly able to eat another bite of the Oatmeal Cream Pie I ordered. He told me he was throwing in the towel. I told him I was finishing the Oatmeal Cream Pie.
In the end, we had a fun day and though all of the things I ate were good, none of them wowed me.
Here’s my recap of each of the four bakeries we visited.
422 W Willis St, Detroit, MI
The servers were slow and confused. The Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie was mediocre (I’ve made much better CCC’s on more than one occasion). The Baguette was nothing to write home about. (I’ve made better baguettes too). Jan’s Magic Bar was delicious with a cookie crust and filling of condensed milk + chocolate + coconut but very sweet.
Final Verdict: Fun, funky atmosphere but I don’t think I’m cool enough to hang out here with all the hipsters and vegans. Or maybe I’m too cool. I respect the fact that the bakery is organic and was one of the pioneer businesses in a slowly gentrifying area of midtown Detroit, but, yeah, I’m unimpressed. And this wasn’t my first time unimpressed by their stuff.
220 W Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI
Good coffee. Should I lead with that? I guess that’s fair since the place is more coffee shop than bakery. Actually it had two business names (Pinwheel and Red Hook) which was very confusing.
Matt only wanted one thing but I ordered two. The Oatmeal Cream Pie was fantastic (like Little Debbie’s but so much better). The Snickerdoodle was just the right snickerdoodle texture and crumbliness and great for dunking in their coffee (did I mention the coffee?). So it was good for a snickerdoodle, but I forgot that I’m not a huge fan of snickerdoodles. It’s the name, it’s so damn cute it gets me every time.
Verdict: Coffee + Oatmeal Cream Pie = happiness. Must return the next time I find myself in Ferndale which is, typically, never.
1063 E Long Lake Rd, Troy, MI
Fuck yeah, pie! I like pie almost as much as cookies so this place was a must. I was “worried” (read: secretly hoping) that we would have to buy a whole pie but luckily (unluckily?) they sold pies by the piece. There were samples of classic Apple Pie which was good but a little sweeter than I’m used to so we opted for the Michigan Four Berry Pie. The crust was good and flaky, the filling was a good mix of sweet and tart and the whole thing had a nice crumb topping.
Final Verdict: Nice place, good pie. I left happy.
25566 5 Mile Rd, Redford Charter Township, MI
We dodged 457 pot holes to get here, but we made it. We needed something savoury at this point and Ackroyd’s was the only place to get it. Meat pies, meat pasties, meat tarts. Lots of meat and flaky dough can’t be wrong, right? We had to take our pies to go and heat them up at home but I snagged some Shortbread for the road. And Hobnobs.
We waited until the next day to eat our Meat Pie and Beef Pasty with abandon. The meat pie was really well seasoned but could have used more meat. The pasty was my favourite. It was like a samosa with beef and a flakier crust (that means, delicious).
Verdict: I ordered 4 shortbread and got 5. I paid $4.50 for a $6 jar of Lyle’s Golden Syrup. This place was winning before I tried anything at all. The fact that I wanted to recreate those meat pies and pasties after tasting them means that Ackroyd’s had my favourite baked goods on our tour. We saved the best for last I guess!