Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bennison's Bakery

I like to get up. I’ve said it before (and to your annoyance, I’m sure I’ll say it again), I am a morning person. I love mornings. They’re the best part of the day. Steaming coffee, soft robes, the promise of a new day, a new start. There’s nothing better.

So, when a journalism assignment required me to photograph a series of events for a slideshow, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – photograph the opening of a bakery. But not just any bakery, oh no! I was going to Bennison’s Bakery.

I have been smitten (read: obsessed) with Bennison’s since I first stepped foot in the store last fall. My family was visiting and we stopped in to get coffee and doughnuts. Little did I know that a little pillow of yeasty, sugary heaven would create a love affair to rival that of Rose andJack’s. I had half of a maple bacon long john and a red velvet cake doughnut and washed them down with a cup of fresh-brewed coffee. I think that’s what love feels like.

Hello, Lover(s)

After that initial visit I have gone back again and again. Forget that it is a solid 30 minute walk away from my dorm. I justify it by saying that walking there is good for me, I get my cardio in and then I get a good post-workout sugar high snack for the walk back home. Totally logical right?

For the assignment, I had to be to the bakery by 5a.m. The sun was just beginning to poke its head above the horizon as I walked into the back door of the bakery, the smell of baking bread and cinnamon hung in the air. A thick layer of flour coated every available surface. I was home.

Layers of love. Love and butter.

I spent the morning in the kitchens of the bakery, as well as behind the counter. Not only is everyone that works there beyond nice, but the customers are so gracious. Even at 6 in the morning! The constant tinkle of the bell on the front door happily announces the next customer.

Guess which ones I did! Hint: the deformed looking ones

Efrain, the chief cake decorator, let me frost some cupcakes and even made me a personalized cupcake! It was almost too beautiful to eat…almost.

While anything you get at Bennison’s (and I do mean anything) will be delicious, their pastries and bars are top notch. I especially love their Bee Sting, which is an almond and honey layer cake slice. And for the chocolate lover there is the Opera slice, with layers of mocha and chocolate cake and cream. Bars with flavors like lemon, apple pie, and pumpkin capture the essence of the seasons perfectly.

A tart that's just my size, so I can have two!

Bennison’s has more than sweet items too! They have a wide selection of savory sandwiches (made with homemade bread and croissants, obviously), and their pretzels go over like gangbusters.

Confession? I’ve never gotten a savory item from Bennison’s! I always go in with the best intentions, telling myself, today will be the day I get a pretzel, or a sandwich, or a…oh…look at how cute that cupcake is!

Cupcakes: my anti-drug

And then before I know it, I am face down in a pile of fluffy buttercream – and there’s no turning back after that.

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