LOS ANGELES With summer waning, more than a few people are abandoning their beach-body plans. So here are three ideas for meeting breaks or gifts that will indulge a sweet tooth.
1. Cupcakes: In July, New York's famed Magnolia Bakery opened on Third Street. The bakery's signature pastel buttercream cupcakes, which have been widely credited with starting the modern cupcake fad, are available, as well as banana pudding, cakes and icebox cakes, brownies, bars and cookies, cheesecakes, muffins, and coffee cakes. Everything is made from scratch daily. Cupcakes are $2.75 for classic flavors or $3.25 for specialty. And for office birthdays or events, layer cakes including devil’s food made with Dutch cocoa and a choice of chocolate, caramel, mocha buttercream, or caramel-cream cheese icing cost $32 to $55. Curbside pickup is available.
2. Ice Cream: New at the Brentwood Country Mart is Sweet Rose Creamery, a place for house-made small-batch ice cream served in pies, cones, sundaes, and sandwiches. Owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan also own Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen and Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe in Santa Monica. The menu of ice creams constantly changes, and ingredients such as marshmallows, cones, and chocolate chips are also homemade. Options include salted caramel ice cream, Caffe Luxxe coffee milk shakes, and butterscotch crunch sundaes. Catering orders are available for pickup, with more extensive catering options as well as gift baskets planned for the future.
3. Chocolates: Not all meeting breaks have to be as indulgent. Here's one for body- and fitness-conscious Angelenos: Benedetto, a company specializing in protein chocolates and the first confection to be categorized in the protein bar category, makes assorted chocolates with protein centers that have no fat and no sugar. The dark chocolate covering is low in calories, fat, and sugar. Benedetto uses all-natural methods and bills its products as delivering more protein per gram than any known protein bar, drink, gel, or meat, but with decadent flavor and texture. One serving of Benedetto protein chocolates provides about 38 percent of the daily protein requirement recommended for active men and women. Orders can be placed online.