LOS ANGELES Never mind the New Year's resolution-makers. These crowd-pleasing dessert options work for meeting treats or gifts.
1. New York's BabyCakes opened its much-anticipated downtown Los Angeles outpost on January 3. The sweet shop offers all-natural, organic products without common allergens like wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, and eggs. BabyCakes uses neither refined sugar nor chemical sweeteners; instead, most products are sweetened with agave nectar, which is safe for many diabetics. By the end of the month, BabyCakes expects to be ready to take special orders for meeting breaks and events with 48-hour notice, but the L.A. location does not deliver.
2. Try an order of custom cookies from Sabrina's Sweetery, which launched in the fall. Sabrina's can create confections with logos, corporate messaging, and custom colors. There is no storefront; delivery is available or product can be picked up at the bakery. Custom cookie pricing starts at $3.50 per cookie, and may increase based on the size and design; most cookies typically range from $4 to $5 each. Sabrina's can also personalize packaging or tags (for an additional design fee) for even more customization.
3. Hire a dessert truck for an event or a valet station conversation starter. In November, founder and president Melissa Hanna and vice president Laurel Tincher—both from the event world—launched the Little Spoon dessert truck, a mobile caterer and distributor of gourmet desserts and novelty candies. Offerings include chocolate-dipped red velvet cupcakes, meringue cookie sandwiches, mini key lime pies, pumpkin brittle, and retro sodas. There is no minimum to book the truck for events. (Little Spoon also does traditional catering.) Individual items range from $2 to $5 at this time, although Little Spoon is working on adding a cheese sampler to the menu, which may be more expensive.
4. The Sweets Truck is a mobile bakeshop and gourmet coffeehouse. Molly Taylor hand picks the offerings, including a lineup of rotating chef specials, nostalgic candy, and signature items. The truck also serves coffee and espresso roasted by Jones Coffee in Pasadena. Menus can be customized for events. Beginning this month, the truck is offering a high tea complete with scones and clotted cream and artisanal teas. The Sweets Truck gives a portion of its profits to charity, and offers organic milk, sugar, vegan selections, and eco-friendly paper goods and plastics.
5. Gotta Have S'more offers s'mores-inspired desserts in mini-muffin form for catering or gifts. S'muffins are $24.99 per dozen, and individually packaged favors are $3.25 apiece. Orders include flavors like milk chocolate, creme de menthe, peanut butter, and white chocolate wtih blueberries. Delivery is available Monday through Saturday in Los Angeles county. Standard orders require 48 hours notice, and orders exceeding four dozen require four days notice.