Macaroons, amaretti torts, and scones, oh my!

I’ve died and gone to sweet tooth heaven.  (I work in a bakery now, you see).  And I absolutely love it.  I’ve only worked two shifts thus far, but have already managed to sample a happy array of confections.  It’s mandatory at the bakery, that you try everything…goodness, what a hard job I have.

The bakery is called Simple Kneads, and is located in downtown Greensboro, tucked away in a charming little ally-way with floral-embellished iron gates and old brick walls.  The bakery is as rustic as it looks – practically everything is organic, made with local ingredients – (few ingredients at that), and they have everything there.  This is a true old school, European bakery, complete with Artisan breads, like asiago peppercorn, harvest curry, parmesan walnut, cinnamon raisin, challah, spelt, and more – most of them containing a sourdough starter.  I am fascinated by sourdough starters.  They are always experimenting and welcoming new recipes at the bakery.  They even make their own ricotta!  I was fortunate enough to try some, as it was being  strained over some cheesecloth, to separate the curds and whey and soon become a ricotta cheesecake – mmmm.

There are croissants contesting to be sold in a boulangerie, they are so good – smoked cheddar ones and chocolate ones.  Cinnamon rolls, buttermilk rolls (endearingly referred to as “crack rolls”), and so much more.  The pastry case is interchangeable, but right now there is bread pudding, carrot cake, lemon bars, cheesecake, (you get the idea).

I tried my very first french macaroon today.  (Not the coconut kind, mind you).  The true macaroon.  The beautiful, delicate, petite and colorful little confection that is practically the French mascot of desserts and is sweeping our nation as I type.  Every Wednesday there are macaroons.  Sometimes they are lavender or pistachio.  Today they were raspberry and almond amaretto, adorably placed on top of a lace doily tray, near the register, begging to be purchased.  I tried the raspberry and finally got what it was all about.  The buttercream was the best part.  I have to say it was a bit too sugary for my liking, a little goes a long way.  I loved the fragility of them.

I felt like the very hungry caterpillar again.  I arrived at the bakery this morning and my breakfast consisted of:  the raspberry macaroon, a sampling of chocolate mousse, a bite of a hot cross bun, a bite of a lemon currant scone, a few bites of schnekel (which I am probably spelling incorrectly), a slice of asiago peppercorn bread with dill and sun-dried tomato butter, and two bites of an amaretti tort with chocolate (which was my favorite).  It was heaven I tell you, moist, buttery, not overly sweet and subtle on the amaretti flavor.

I was really eyeing the freshly made eclairs.  Their flawless ganache coating was beckoning me, but there is time.  I had my sweet tooth fill for the day.

Not having a proper breakfast though, was my downfall.  As I was leaving the bakery, I felt a sugar headache come on, and it was monstrous.  The throbbing kind, almost worthy of being a migraine.  Some leftover turkey bolognese, some aspirin and an afternoon kip did the trick though.  That’ll teach me not to have some eggs with my sugar!  Enough about the bakery (I’ll be back in bright and early).  Until then, I shall dream about amaretti torts…


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