The Peckish Are Coming! The Peckish Are Coming!
August 27, 2009
It’s amazing how Boston is only a three hour drive away and yet I’ve only been there a few times in my life. Taste Tester and I visited this past weekend and had a great time. There are lots of fun things to do there like:
Thing #1: Walk the Freedom Trail and see some historic statutes. What’s up Georgie?
Thing #2: Stroll down some old cobblestone streets and wonder how much rent is there…
Thing #3: See lots - I mean lots - of old churches…
Thing #4: Sail or kayak down the Charles River and ponder if it’s dirtier than the Hudson…
[hands were too busy rowing to take pictures]
Thing #5: Shop the cute boutiques in Back Bay like Johnny Cupcakes and ogle some cupcakes… on t-shirts…
Thing #6: Catch a game at Fenway to heckle the Red Sox - ‘scuse me, Red Sawx*…
But let’s face it: all you people care about is where to find the chocolate and peanut butter. So here’s a few good stops for ya:
CPB Stop #1: The Boston Chipyard. We had some trouble finding this place since it was in the very large Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Maybe you can see why - it was kind of hidden in there. I guess some cookie-hoarders wanted to keep the goods hidden from the masses. Smart!
Thankfully, it was worth running around a bit to find it. The cookies were real tasty! I enjoyed reading the story on the back of the cookie bag about how the company got it’s start. It explained that two boys who were too young to get real jobs opted to bake instead. They wanted to make cookies from high quality ingredients that tasted like your mom would make. And so they did!
The cookies were small (about 2 inches across) but packed some great flavor despite their modest stature. The peanut butter was very mild, but it was there. They had a nice level of salt - just enough to help bring out the subtle peanut butter flavor - and good quality chocolate. We also got a batch that were warm and fresh, right out of the oven so they were falling apart in our hands as we gobbled them up. Taste Tester and I both agreed that they had a homemade flavor to them, as the back of the bag claimed they would.
CPB Stop #2: Beacon Hill Chocolates. Unfortunately, we stopped in this cute little shop on a very hot day, so we didn’t purchase anything with the fear of finding a melty mess in our bags later on. We intended to return but never made it back. It’s a shame because their collection was really impressive - with a beautiful truffle case and other adorable gift items, all from various gourmet chocolatiers, both from the US and elsewhere. I noticed at least a couple chocolate peanut butter confections, and they even sell gelato. You should swing by …and actually buy stuff.
CPB Stop #3: If it’s one place in town that I did not expect to find peanut butter, it was Little Italy. Finding an Italian bakery that sells a peanut butter treat is a rare thing, but luckily Modern Pastry fit the bill.
I noticed a crazy egg-shaped chocolate peanut butter truffle in the case, but what really caught my eye was the Peanut Butter Torrone. Yes, that’s Torrone, a traditional Italian confection topped with none other than chocolate and peanut butter. I was mystified!
Seriously, is that not just a little confusing to see?
Whenever I walk into a bakery or any food retailer, the first thing I look for is a chocolate peanut butter treat. Since starting this blog, I’ve been in many an Italian bakery and have found that it’s rare to find CPB there. I’ve found peanut butter cupcakes at Carlo’s in Hoboken, but they don’t sell peanut butter versions of any italian pastries. Could you imagine a peanut butter cannoli or lobster tail? Me neither.
So how’d it taste? It’s like an Italian twist on a fluffernutter. The nougat is fluffy and a little sticky a la marshmallows, and also lends a faint butterscotch note. Then there’s the peanut butter and chocolate hitting it home. Genius.
By the trip’s end, we were only able to hit up two bakeries while in town, but that just means we’ll have to visit again soon! If you have any suggestions for places I missed - especially ones that sell chocolate and peanut butter, please let me know!
*Sorry to any readers from Boston, but I’m from the NY/NJ area. Go Yanks!