This upstate New York bakery is doing some incredible stuff, with refreshing change-ups from the over-sweet, self-consciously crazy pastries we've seen too much of elsewhere. Perhaps their best example is this parsnip bread, which features roasted parsnips mashed with maple syrup and apple cider, then baked into a delicately sweet loaf with a moist but granular crumb. It's much more a bread than your typical cake-like banana variety. We didn't want to eat the piece after stuffing ourselves so far, but we couldn't help ourselves.
These grainy-edged, chewy-centered cookies come with boulders of dark chocolate. If there is such a thing as a rustic chocolate chip cookie, this would qualify.
Shandaken has two biscuits to choose from: sweet cream and aged cheddar. It's chilly outside, and biscuits don't much care for that, so take these home, split them open, give them a toasting, and slather on the butter. They are both serious biscuits, but do heat them up. They are not made for immediate consumption.
The Bent Spoon
New Jersey's The Bent Spoon doesn't come to the market every week, but when they do, ask for their riff on an affogato with hot chocolate instead of coffee (basically just melted chocolate in a four-ounce up, and yes there is ice cream under there). Ours came topped with a marshmallow special they had that day, made with maitake mushrooms. Sounds weird, we know, but the maitake powder lent this perfect little cup a jolt of earthy intensity.
Hot Bread Kitchen
Aaron Burr Cider
This lightly sparkling hard cider is aged in bourbon barrels for two years before bottling. It's dry and a little funky, but comes with the aroma and finish of caramel, corn, and oak, along with a notch of whiskey heat. Read more here.