Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Red velvet doughnuts and more at PattiCakes Bakery.

HEAVENLY EDIBLES:  Pumpkin Spice & Red Velvet Doughnuts
  • HEAVENLY EDIBLES: Pumpkin Spice & Red Velvet Doughnuts
Dropped by PattiCakes Friday morning. It’s terrible, I know — not the bakery, of course, but the fact that I haven’t been able to get up any of these fantastic photos of the place in the meantime. I entirely blame my lack of a reliable computer (sent it off to HP for a fix, this is my backup and my backup is one slow 1GB machine).
Of course, that means I’ve sorta kept a secret to myself, and that’s not right. It’s my job to share the little treasures I find along the way, even if I want to keep a helluva good Red Velvet cake doughnut to myself. Darn it.
Because that’s one of the magical items I found in the cases at PattiCakes Friday morning. Patti herself (that’s Patti Stobaugh, wife of Stoby’s founder David Stobaugh who also dropped in while we were there) allowed us to come back behind the counters and shoot away at the baked loveliness that awaited there, all while handling a steady stream of customers.
I’m familiar with many of the products; the Colossal Cinnamon Rolls the Russellville bakery’s been providing to that store are a must-have any time I’m up there for breakfast; the fudge I am required to pick up and share with my out-of-town friends during the holidays. Opening up a second bakery next to Stoby’s in Conway was a no-brainer, and I am so glad there’s one within an hour’s drive now. I mean, I love Russellville, but it’s not always easy to get away and hit the road just for fudge, ya know?
For its second day (PattiCakes Conway opened on November 11th), it was rolling. The new building is a cottage on the back end of the Stoby’s property, a lovely sage green and painted hardwood interior and a long bakery case full of fudge, pastries and cold salads through the center. The customer space is larger at this location, and the entire kitchen is open. There were several ladies working hard behind the counter, kneading dough and exchanging sheets of pastries from the oven.
Grav got back to the croissants, big six-inch or better crescents of golden buttery goodness that smelled powerfully wonderful; these are used for Stoby’s sandwiches and such in the restaurant
Of course, all the photos in the world can’t compare to having some of the fine and fantastic pastries actually sampled. We were on a very tight schedule - at least, we intended to be. We found ourselves in conversation with Patti and David for a half hour or more before we had to pull away and head to our next assignment. Coffee is available to go along with those pastries, four different varieties along with the traditional add-ins like half-and-half and sweeteners and cooler things like a choice of one of three flavored syrups. There are also soft drinks available. It’s a self-serve operation.
Grav tried out a blueberry scone and pronounced it finely textured with more than enough blueberries and enough heft to conquer breakfast. We both tried the two featured doughnuts of the day — a Pumpkin Spice doughnut and a Red Velvet doughnut. The Pumpkin Spice more than settles the craving for that particular flavor that’s been so hot recently. It’s more spice than pumpkin in my honest opinion, but that’s good, more of a spice cake doughnut with pumpkin overtones.
That Red Velvet cake doughnut, though… oh dear Lord. Wow. I love Red Velvet Cake and figured it was either going to be a red doughnut or a cake in doughnut form. Instead, it was the consistency of a good cake doughnut with all the sweet cherryish flavor you get with Red Velvet Cake. Best of all, the icing was influenced with cream cheese rather than heavy with it, so you get the flavor of the cake all through each bite without anything being covered up with “OMG it’s CREAM CHEESE!” stickiness.
So that would have been good enough, but I have to tell you about the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Scone. It is unlike any scone I have ever had. It’s like a scone married a coffeecake and had sweet, buttery kids. Served up hot (the scones were still oven-hot when we got them) it was ideal and yet so different, a firm crispy crust on the outside and biscuit soft within. The only think I could think to make it better would be to apply fresh butter — I bet if you asked nicely that could happen.
Actually, what would have been better would have been to have had a photo of the scones. They had just come out of the oven, and the smooth motion of scones from baking sheet to cake plate to counter to bag to us was so smooth, neither of us got a good shot. And once we got them we couldn't keep ourselves from eating them. Wowsome.
So I’m gushing over the place. Yeah, I am. I’m sorry, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to fine baked goods and I found two things at PattiCakes I have been craving ever since my visit. I want to go back up there, just wish my schedule would permit it. Sometime soon, yeah.
Anyway, PattiCakes’ Conway store can be found at 2106 Robinson Avenue (at Donaghey). You can call (501) 205-1969 or check out the website.

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