Tag Archives: dessert

#NationalDessertDay: Some of the Best Sweet Treat Spots in NJ!

It’s #NationalDessertDay! Before you continue reading, I must worn you, you might experience a sugar rush! That’s okay, today is the day to cheat on those diets and indulge in those guilty pleasures! Here are a few of #HipNJ’s favorite local dessert spots to help you out!

1. Absolute Zero, Montclair

As you may or may not know, rolled ice cream has become “a thing” and Absolute Zero is the place to get it. In October 2016, Absolute Zero opened and has been putting smiles on customer’s faces ever since. Their hand made, Thai-inspired ice creams rolls are a combination of fresh milk, cream,  and other ingredients like fruit or cookies. They also offer a wide variety of toppings and flavors. The idea of rolled ice cream originated in Thailand, where street vendors would create and serve the ice cream on mobile carts. Now it has become an American favorite!

2. Gigi’s Cupcakes, Maplewood

I don’t know about you guys, but cupcakes are my absolute favorite dessert! They’re cute, fun, and tasty! What’s unique about Gigi’s Cupcakes is her signature icing swirl, with 3 layers of icing. Gigi has almost 100 locations nationwide, including one right here in Maplewood. Whether you’re planning an event or you just have a sweet tooth, Gigi’s cupcakes will satisfy your needs!

3. The Cookie Connect, Bloomfield

If you’re busy during the day on this year’s #NationalDessertDay, no worries, you can still celebrate by heading to The Cookie Connect for a late night treat! The Mission of this company is to “Make sure everyone’s late night cravings are fulfilled“. They bake their treats fresh daily, offering a standard menu of 12 cookies, seasonally changing beverages, ice cream, and their signature cupcake cup! This month’s cupcake cup flavor is Pumpkin Spice Latte, (yes I’ve tried it and yes, its as good as it sounds), get yours tonight!

4. Papa Ganache, Matawan

No, we did not forget about our #HipNJ vegans! Located in Matawan, all Papa Ganache’s treats are vegan and gluten free!

“Our products are heart healthy, cholesterol-free, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil, no high fructose corn syrup, dairy-free, egg-free, all natural no preservatives, no animal products, and mostly organic.”

Papa Ganache has a wide variety of treats, like cakes, bars, cookies, pies and more! They also offer wholesale for those special occasions.   

5. Mo’Pweeze Bakery, Denville

Our last dessert spot is another vegan delight, (we had to give you guys options too!) Mo’Pweeze Bakery is 100% vegan, and free of the top 9 allergens. They were voted Best Gluten Free Goodies in Morris 2018. They offer many different desserts, such as donuts, edible cookie dough, cakes, brownies, and more! Their products are ALWAYS tree-nut, fish, shellfish, gluten, peanut, eggs, dairy, and sesame free. If you have other allergies, Mo’Pweeze will try their best to accommodate you!

The moral of the story is, there are no excuses this #NationalDessertDay! Whether you want to go super sweet or try to keep it healthy, there are so many places for desserts right here in New Jersey! Celebrate today the right way! 

Happy Eating! 

The Zaferon Grill Celebrates its First Anniversary!

The Zaferon Grill in Verona is celebrating its one-year anniversary with new menu additions, an open house and fun giveaways to thank their patrons for a great first year. The elegant restaurant has been a welcomed addition to the town’s dining scene. First-time restauranteur and owner, Soody Nelson, would like to pay the community back for their wholehearted support.

The bistro features refined Mediterranean-American cuisine with a hint of Persian influence to reflect Nelson’s personal heritage and culture. Dinner and weekend brunch is made from quality ingredients utilizing wild-caught fish and organic meats, poultry and produce for the best possible quality food experience.

In addition to food preparation, Nelson focuses on the dining space as an integral part of the experience. Applying a neutral color palate to the backdrop of the restaurant soothes guests and highlights the vibrant photo murals containing Saffron Crocus flowers, the namesake of the Zaferon Grill and producer of the signature spice in Persian cuisine – saffron.

There will be a yummy anniversary offer for guests patronizing the restaurant between Friday, April 13th and Wednesday, April 18th. Guest who purchase an entrée have their choice of a free dessert including Lime Tart, Dulce De Leche, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Crème Brulee or the day’s Gelato and Sorbet.

New menu additions from Executive Chef Luis Andres Ramirez Villarroel include special tapas offerings available Tuesday – Thursday, a Thursday ‘Guy’s Night’ for steak specials and more seafood options. And don’t forget their beloved weekend brunch that includes breakfast options like Challah French toast, Farmer’s Market Frittata and much more!

The open house and anniversary party will be held on Saturday, April 14th from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with a ribbon cutting, complimentary cocktails, special desserts, giveaways and delicious treats from the menu. Verona Mayor Kevin Ryan and Director of Administration & Economic Development Steven J. Neale will be in attendance to support Nelson on her successful first year.

If you haven’t visited the Zaferon Grill yet, this is the perfect opportunity to experience what everyone has been raving about. Be sure to join #HipNJ in supporting this fun week of celebration and sophisticated cuisine!

Cara’s Cucina: Cardamom Spiced Crumb Cake

Today on Cara’s CucinaCara Di Falco teaches us how to make Cardamom Spiced Crumb Cake!

According to Di Falco, cardamom is an under-used spice. Learn how to use it to your advantage with this delicious recipe. Check out the ingredients for this dessert, which serves 15, below.

Cardamom Crumb Cake
makes 1 9×13 cake

Crumb Topping
2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
plus more for greasing
2 c. pecans
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour

Cake
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Glaze
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. whole milk
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Watch the video above to learn how to make your own, and click here to see the official Cara’s Cucina recipe!

If you make this at home, be sure to post it on Instagram along with the hashtag, #CarasCucina.

Buon Appetito!