Last weekend, en route to the Red Hook Ballfields, we stopped at Baked and ordered a peanut butter-banana s’mores bar. The bakery was crowded and the lady behind the counter was slightly harried, so instead of the peanut butter-banana thing, we ended up with the almost-identical peanut s’mores bar ($2.50).
Baked excels at thoughtful, exuberant, and deeply comforting spins on standards of the great American dessert playbook — pretty much everything it sells looks and tastes like something your grandmother would have made, had she subscribed to Martha Stewart and dated a Williamsburg woodworker. The bakery’s bar cookies are one of its greatest strengths: Every single one we’ve eaten is sturdy enough to prop open a door, with steroidal flavor to match.
The peanut s’mores bar is no exception. Even if you just picked the plain, unsalted peanuts off of the top, you’d still get enough of a caloric payload to run from Red Hook to Astoria. But then you’d be denying yourself the pleasure of the the thick supporting layer of fudgy ganache, which is riddled with marshmallows, and the crunchy, buttery graham cracker crust that holds the whole thing together. Overload? Yes. Overly sweet? Miraculously, no, thanks in part to all the peanuts, which lessen the blow of the marshmallows. Also, the ganache is heavier on the chocolate than it is on the sugar. Meaning you’ll still end up high, but your teeth won’t hurt.
All of which doesn’t mean that it isn’t over-the-top, because it most certainly is — if something is called a peanut s’mores bar, how could it not be? As such, it sits firmly on the Sweatpants end of the spectrum — unless you really do end up walking to Astoria, in which case it’s merely the world’s best energy bar.
359 Van Brunt Street
Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 10, 2010