Although Jane’s Sweet Buns is known for its booze-embellished sticky buns, I was swayed on a recent visit by the sight of the bakery’s sandwich cookies, sitting plump and pretty under a glass cake lid.
They’re available in two varieties: chocolate with peanut-butter filling and oatmeal-pecan with banana filling. The latter won, and as a result, so did I. The cookies are soft, a bit cakey, and redolent of brown sugar and vanilla. The silky banana filling tastes like it originated with some seriously overripe bananas, meaning it boasts that robust, almost boozy flavor that so many banana desserts lack.
Everything at Jane’s shares the sandwich cookie’s reassuringly zaftig proportions and slightly homey appearance. Although the bakery initially drew press for its bakery-as-bar approach, it is, in both ambiance and offerings, the furthest thing from the slick, gimmicky faux-speakeasy I feared it would be.
Instead, it’s a cheerful, laid-back little place, gently retro in the way that Magnolia was before it became Magnolia. It’s the kind of storefront there used to be a lot more of in the East Village, before everyone started obsessing about their “brand” and how to best lure in slumming yuppies and their slumming wallets. It’s the kind of place, in other words, that I hope will keep selling its banana oatmeal-pecan sandwich cookies for a good long time.
Jane’s Sweet Buns
102 St. Marks Place