La Nueva Bakery

image_1

The next stop on my 12 Best Bakeries In NYC Challenge off of Gothamist’s list brought me to La Nueva Bakery in Jackson Heights, Queens. 

image

This no-frills South American bakery is making a variety of authentic pastries and cookies to savory empanadas and Columbian sandwiches. Since I’m obsessed with baked goods and love dulce de leche, I decided to go on a bit of a dulce de leche spree. And, since it’s a Latin American confection, it only seemed right. 

image_3

The first item that I got was a cone shaped pastry filled with dulce de leche (which I’ll refer to as DDL from here on out) and topped with powdered sugar. The cone was crunchy and light with a savory, buttery quality. The DDL was rich, creamy and sweet, which balanced out the savoriness of the pastry. Then, when you add on the powdered sugar, you really appreciate the pastry. 

image_2

Next, I got an alfajor, a sandwich cookie with DDL filling and rolled in coconut. Now, I recently had an alfajor for the first time at another bakery, but, the two were quite different. First off, this one was about 2 or 3 times the size of the other. This one also had a much more generous amount of DDL, and the cookie itself was chewy and coconutty (a new word). It was delicious, but, a bit intense with all sweetness since it was such a large cookie. 

image_4

Lastly, I had…well, it didn’t have a proper name in the store, so, I’ll awkwardly attempt to give it a name. Let’s call it a DDL filled coconut pie. This thing was unreal, unlike anything I’ve ever had, and, a bit intimidating. First off, it’s a beast. It’s meant to be more of an individual portion, but the size of my hand (disclaimer: I have kind of small hands) and weighs…a pound? It’s heavy. The pie crust is delicious and flakey. Then, there’s a generous layer of DDL at the bottom of the pie. And then, there’s a dense, thick layer of the coconut that I would compare to the taste and texture of a macaroon (not to be confused with a French macaron).

image 2

Check. This. Guy. Out. 

The Shorts:
Name: La Nueva Bakery
Location: 86-10 37th Avenue, Queens
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Now, to be honest, I’m really never in this area. But, these baked goods were worth the trip! Would I recommend it? Yes. Go get that DDL filled coconut pie thing. And then go find about 3 other people to share it with. 

Northside Bakery

image_5

The next stop on my 12 Best Bakeries In NYC Challenge off of Gothamist’s list, is Northside Bakery in Williamsburg. 

image_4

This European bakery is using all natural and fresh ingredients. Their products range from cookies, to breads, to cakes and Napoleon. 

image_3

Since three is the magic number (at least in this case it is), I got three different items to try. First, I had a raisin and walnut roll. Don’t let the size of this little roll fool you. It’s hearty and packed with plump raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts. It’s got a great crispness and crunch on the outside, and loaded with the natural sweetness of the fruit and nuts. 

image_6

Then, my eyes went straight for this horseshoe looking pastry. I’d never seen one like it. Since there’s nothing in the picture to scale the size, believe me when I say it’s the size of my face (or your face, your friend’s face, whoever). The pastry itself is layered with a light and flaky pastry dough, and what I would describe as a cross between a crisp croissant and a cookie. It has a slightly savory quality to it, but mixed with the large sugar crystals on top, you get a balanced combination. Then, seeping out of the middle is this perfectly sweet prune puree meets paste. 

image_7

Lastly, they said that one of their most popular items was their jelly donut. Sold. This softball sized donut is pretty awesome. The dough is pillowy, light and soft and confected with powdered sugar. 

image_8

The amount of jelly on the inside isn’t very liberally injected, but, it is unique and delicious. It’s a bit tart from the berries, but then, out of nowhere, you have a hint of floral, potentially rosewater. 

image_9

The Shorts:
Name: Northside Bakery
Location: 149 North 8th Street, Brooklyn
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, the goods were so tasty.
Would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a great little bakery with really affordable treats.