Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hesh's Bakery

Although I am certainly not a foodie, I thought I would write a little review of a local bakery that deserves to be in the spotlight. In the haze of new upscale and boutique style bakeries this one is a stand out for the quality and pricing of its baked goods.

Hesh’s Bakery, aka Hesh's Eclair Bake Shoppe, at 7721 Castor Avenue is an absolute find. It has been in business since 1959 and has all of the treats I remember as a girl, the little cookies with jam or chocolate drop centers, cinnamon twists, elephant ears, cupcakes with icing and jimmies, and brownies with chocolate icing.  They are an old-fashioned bakery without all of the hype of the one-hit wonders that are currently popular with their flavored cupcakes and red velvet everything.

Hesh’s Bakery has the best birthday cake in the city. It comes in plain or their famous chocolate chip pound cake with regular or butter cream icing. I always get butter cream because that is my number one favorite sweet. The cake is great, but the icing is the deal breaker because they have gotten it just right, dense and sweet, but not too sweet. If you do not need a whole birthday cake, which by the way is very reasonably priced, you can get a chocolate chip loaf iced. If you need just a little fix try a High Hat—a little piece of regular pound cake with a high dollop of butter cream icing all dipped in chocolate. Another instant fix is Hesh’s new cupcake made from their plain or chocolate chip pound cake with either vanilla or chocolate butter cream icing.  They also make cakes that have a layer of chocolate and a layer of vanilla cake with butter cream icing that is about $10. Now that I have probably sold you on the cakes, let’s move on to my next favorite sweet—the Almond Cup.

The what, you say? The Almond Cup. This is not a little piece of cake and some pieces of almond and sticky bun syrup. In fact, there is not one almond in the whole thing, but lots of yummy almond paste! It looks like a muffin but is actually a pastry. The almond paste is swirled on the middle and on top with sugar and a few raisins. Lately, I have been escaping into almond cup heaven every morning with a cup of coffee. It is a little habit that I have gotten into, that I unfortunately need to get out of if I want to fit into my clothes. But they are truly irresistible. I buy them six at a time and keep them in the fridge for the week. My mom freezes them.

Now I could be wrong, but I have never seen an almond cup anywhere else, so this alone is worth the trip to Northeast Philadelphia. I have never given an almond cup to anyone who has not just loved it.

Hesh’s also makes other great pastries, breads and cakes so whatever you have a sweet tooth craving for, Hesh’s can fulfill it. The bakery probably has not changed much over the last 20 or more years so don’t expect any fancy little bake shop with cute tables and coffee service. Just expect a nice person to wait on you and a great sweet treat!

P.S. They are prepared for Donut Day and are open at 6:00 a.m. They make fabulous cream donuts like little sandwiches and what else? Icing in the middle! And they also have jelly filled and chocolate cake donuts.

P.S.S. This is an unpaid endorsement, just because I felt like it. I get a little bugged with all of the she-she-la-la bakeries that are popping up and the never ending cupcake rage about cupcakes that don't taste as good as the old fashioned bakery stuff. I will say that there is one chic bakery that is all the rage in Philly and has really good tasting cupcakes, and that is Whipped Bakeshop. Zoe Lukas bakes up really original, creative cookies, cakes and cupcakes that are great tasting as well. (Another unpaid endorsement, just because I felt like it.)

I will try to get some photos of goodies from Hesh's and you can find Zoe's work at Whipped Bakeshop.

Baci e abbracci...