Today will mark the first huge snowstorm that we have had yet in Minnesota this winter. There are a few things I really look forward to when there is promise of piles and piles of the fluffy, white stuff. First there’s sweaters, and I’m talking the huge, soft, fall-into-them, probably-belonged-to-your-dad kind of sweaters. Of course we have to have a great movie marathon and in our house, this usually means at least 6 hours of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
Then there are the snacks……
Other than the usual suspects that always appear around my house -Twizzlers (cherry) or some kind of sour gummy, on a winter storm movie day, there must also be something salty (duh, popcorn). There must be something substantial like mac and cheese or some delicious, thick, creamy soup. And of course, there must be something sweet, decadent and preferably chocolate. For me, this usually means dark chocolate brownies or cupcakes or on an especially cold day, hot chocolate with cinnamon and chili pepper.
Because we are kicking off a 3 post series dedicated to one of our most favorite of favorites, chocolate. And because this weather makes me want to eat all the comfort foods, I thought it would be appropriate to pay homage to some of our (and your – thank you to our Facebook friends!) ultimate favorites in chocolaty treats and where to find them throughout our beloved Twin Cities.
So, without further ado, I present our picks for best chocolate treats in the TC area. Now put your Subaru in all wheel and get out there and getcha some, you hearty Minnesotan, you! Enjoy!
- Chocolate Turtle Cake – Layers of gooey, chocolaty, pecany, caramely goodness. Need I say more? The only place to get this in the city is Cafe Latte on the corner of Grand and Victoria in St. Paul. If you’re not a chocolate fan (gasp!) try their Tres Leches Cake. You will not be disappointed. And while you’re there, why not treat yo self to a warm, delicious coffee drink?
- The Perfect Chocolate Brownie – It’s dense, it’s crispy and it’s sooooo chocolatey. When measured against several other major local contenders, it received our highest marks in our brownie taste test. Where is it from you ask? Bread and Chocolate on Grand Ave in St. Paul. With the word chocolate in your name, you’d better make a good brownie and this one doesn’t disappoint.
- Chocolate House Cake – Layers of chocolate cake and chocolate ganache topped with cream cheese icing and chocolate swirl. The House Cake from Keys Cafe is a classic winner. Vanessa and I have both enjoyed this beautiful dessert at many a birthday, cast party or your average Sunday night. We are both partial to the Forest Lake or White Bear Lake locations, but lucky for you, there are Keys Cafes all over the cities!
- Chocolate Dipped Cannoli – In my opinion, there is only one place to get the perfect cannoli in the city and that’s at Cossetta’s on West 7th Street. We are talking perfectly whipped, sweetened ricotta inside a crispy, golden brown shell then dipped in dark chocolate. They even have mini version of this sweet treat if you are just craving a bite of something delicious. Go pick some up. Right now. They are waiting for you. And while you’re at it, pop into the market side of Cossetta’s and pick up all the fixings for a perfect homemade pizza. It’s Italian night in!
- The Patticake – Now, you can get the full cake, a slice of this cake or a cupcake version of this chocolaty, pillowy, cloud of deliciousness. This cake, from Yum! Kitchen and Bakery on Excelsior Blvd consists of beautifully light and airy layers of chocolate cake filled with the silkiest, creamiest buttercream frosting you have ever tasted. The slices are generous, so you can share them…or not. Up to you. I know what I would do…
- Chocolate Chip Cookies – Believe me when I tell you, there is one place in the city to get perfect chocolate chip cookies and that place is Rustica Bakery on West Lake Street in Minneapolis. Their Rustic Chocolate Chip cookie is without a doubt, hands down, no questions asked, my perfect chocolate chip cookie. It is chewy and crispy and probably the size of my face (that may be an exaggeration). It boasts ideal cookie to chip ratio and it is oh so buttery. It is basically butter with some cookie in it. Buy them by the cookie or by the six pack. Oh, and for you double chocolate lovers, don’t forget to try the Bittersweet Chocolate Chip cookie. We are talking double chocolaty goodness wrapped up in a perfectly chocolaty but not too sweet morsel of happiness. Now doesn’t that sound good?
- Flourless Chocolate Cupcake (GF) – Salty Tart (Minneapolis) – Lovely and decadent. Perfect for gluten-free and the non gluten-free alike!
- Hot Cocoa – Daniela’s (Forest Lake, MN) – Recently won a WCCO viewers choice poll for best hot cocoa around. View the story here. If you’re in the cities, you may have to make it a little afternoon adventure, but we promise it will be well worth it.
- Diam Chocolate Toffees – Ikea (Bloomington) – Simple, portable treat. Who doesn’t need a chocolaty snack while contemplating all the furniture you’re gonna have to assemble yourself?!
- Chocolate Gelato – Cossetta’s (St. Paul) – It has been described to me as “rich and delish, almost like eating frozen brownie batter.” I’m not sure why one wouldn’t want that.
- Milk Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzels – Trader Joe’s (Various Locations) – Perfect chocolate to peanut butter to pretzel ratio. Sweet and salty and fits in your bag.