Welcome to Guilty Pleasures, a new series which highlights a special, wonderfully handmade item prepared by a locally-owned city-based bakery. Items featured in this series will be singularly spectacular, well worth the effort of a special trip.
Baking seems to be nearly as hot as the Twilight series these days, with cake decorating at the helm. It’s encouraging to see so many people–especially children–taking on the cupcake, the quick bread, the cookie. But there’s an invisible line in the sand, and on one side are the toes of your typical homebaker, while on the other is an unassuming packet (or block) of yeast.
It seems that tackling recipes that require yeast is something most are unfamiliar with and nervous to try. Which is why yeast-based baked goods are not often seen at the local bake sale, church event or other homemade goodie-laden gathering. The ease that yeasty baked goods don’t offer makes them: 1. all the better when you can find a good example of one, and 2. often more complex in flavor. We all know that things that take more time, patience and effort almost always taste better, right?
So here we are with our magical, yeast-based sticky bun, the first entry in our Guilty Pleasures series. The real butter used to bring these babies to perfection leaves the base dough a deep golden color; we know its hard to tell under all that sticky goodness, but it’s true. Loaded with caramelized sugar and big, whole pecan halves, this particular version is a remarkable example of a traditional sticky bun–and get this–it’s only $2!
It comes to us from Carriage Trade Pastries, which has been open since 1989, but under “new” ownership since 1996. Some of you may remember it from its former location in the Elmwood Village, but for the last five years it has been located on Elmwood near Great Arrow, just a ways up the road. Don’t let the location’s unassuming facade fool you–there are marvelous sweet treats to be had inside. Owners Shandra and Andy Beutner make everything from scratch using good quality ingredients. The sticky buns “always sell out” as do the cranberry scones, but there are many other goodies awaiting the eager enthusiast.
Carriage Trade’s adherence to doing everything the hard way, by avoiding shortcuts in their ingredients and their efforts, has worked for them. The bulk of their business comes from their wholesale customers–wait until you see this list; Left Bank, Papaya, Buffalo Chophouse and Laughlin’s are all regular accounts, with others–like the venerable Chris’ NY Sandwich Co.–purchasing cookies and brownies for their lunch clientele.
As tempting as it might be to nibble on your sticky bun before you reach home, we caution that you are going to want to make sure that you have a good cup of coffee, a
strong mug of tea, or even a tall glass of milk on hand before undertaking one
of these beauties. I also recommend that the bun itself be a little warm for maximum enjoyment, so if
you aren’t fortunate enough to be making your purchase at the moment when they come fresh from the oven, heat them for a few
seconds in your microwave. Warming the caramel and the butter in the
dough make this bun sing!
Carriage Trade Pastries
1654 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14207
Have a Guilty Pleasure you’d like to recommend for this series? Email us.