Good baked goods?
September 9, 2009 1:56 PM   Subscribe

What great baked goods would make a coffee shop/cafe AMAZING for you?

I've got a friend who has an opportunity to bake for a coffee shop that has an emphasis on local, organic, and sustainable stuff (as all good coffee shops should). They're wanting her to come up with some cool and off-the-beaten path baked goods that will work well in display cases and taste great. (And old standards as well!)

Thoughts and recipes and experiences with fun baked-goods selections at coffee places would be great. It'll be relatively limited space and smaller batches, so not a HUGE production, but in general, throw it at us!
posted by disillusioned to Food & Drink (82 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
posted by grateful at 2:01 PM on September 9, 2009

Oh, my god, a really good pecan tart. Or lemon tart. Yummy things with seasonal/local fruit - plum crostatas, peach anythings, etc.

Savory stuff is nice at a coffee shop, too - things like little cheese cookies and savory scones with local cheeses and produce would do well.
posted by peachfuzz at 2:02 PM on September 9, 2009

I'm thinking pumpkin gingerbread. It's seasonal and at this very moment it sounds to me like the most delicious thing imaginable with a cup of really good coffee. I don't have a recipe but I bet your friend, who must be an experienced baker to land such a great gig, could whip something up easily enough. And, hey... if they've got a way of doing it at the coffee shop, a blob of cinnamon whipped cream on top of that pumpkin gingerbread would be beyond perfect.
posted by rhartong at 2:03 PM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I always eyeball the different kinds of quiches at our local little coffee shop. They make some amazing versions, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. And the owner has a superb biscuit recipe, big and light and fluffy and buttery. The good thing about both options is that they are flexible enough to serve for breakfast, brunch OR lunch.

For example, in the morning you might serve cheesy / eggy / sausagey biscuits, but as the day wears on, switch to sandwich type biscuits - ham / turkey / eggy / cheesy combinations.

A mushroom / bacon quiche I'd eat at any time of the day. Most options sell for about $3-$4 each, so they make great impulse buys and they always seem to sell out.
posted by HeyAllie at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Something regional from a different region. Whoopie pies? Bearclaws?
posted by JoanArkham at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2009

pain au chocolat. But something chocolate is always good and can go from decadent to just sweet enough to satisfy. Oh, let's say a dulce de leche chocolate cupcake.
posted by jadepearl at 2:05 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Baklava's great.

Our local neighborhood coffee shop has these jam-filled nut triangles that are really good.
posted by reptile at 2:06 PM on September 9, 2009

I've always loved savory baked goods. One of my favorite bakeries these days, Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, carries delicious cheese and scallion scones. Also, focaccia can be made with all kinds of good combinations of toppings, like potato, cheese, and rosemary. On the sweet side, I love Russian tea cakes, apple turnovers, mini chocolate loaves, pecan rolls, corn blueberry muffins, etc etc (many of which can be found here at Arizmendi.
posted by JenMarie at 2:06 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

A cafe across the street from my office makes these "pretzel rolls"... basically, whatever they use for soft pretzels, kind of braided together in this approximately 1.5" x 5" roll, lightly salted. It's amazing and it's the perfect not-sweet breakfast pastry.

Also, good croissants that use a lot of butter.
posted by olinerd at 2:07 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

brownies and blondies FTW
posted by citystalk at 2:07 PM on September 9, 2009

Something savory would be awesome. I often find myself wanting to power through mealtime at a coffeeshop when I'm working on something, but have to leave because I'm hungry and sweets rarely look appealing to me when I'm that hungry and caffienated. Maybe quiche?
posted by lunasol at 2:10 PM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm going to second pain au chocolat, and put making it again on my "to do" list for this weekend. Nrom.

I'd also like to give my vote to anything almond croissant-related. One of the coffeeshops here in town makes a couple of varieties of almond-stuffed croissants, and the stuffing is some sort of sweet almond paste, although it's not marzipan. It's soooo good.
posted by scarykarrey at 2:10 PM on September 9, 2009

The problem is that most coffee shops don't have great baked goods let alone amazing. If I could get a well made butter croissant, I would be ecstatic. A good fruit or lemon tart? I would pay a lot of money to get something better than the chilled pile of poo that the old local coffee shops called a tart (I think they got them from Whole Foods). Same goes for a cheese danish, though I did get a properly excellent one at the Dane County Farmer's Market last weekend. First time in 3 years. Too bad their croissants sucked.
posted by mrmojoflying at 2:11 PM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

Rainbow cookies!!

They are somewhat of a novelty in some parts of the country, they are pretty and colorful to display, and even gross ones are delicious. And they go great with coffee. And they're good when you don't want a big monstrous muffin to explode all over your nice shirt.
posted by amethysts at 2:12 PM on September 9, 2009

I am a sucker for a good maple and oat scone, optionally with cinnamon or walnuts.

Also, good muffins - I'm a fan of corn muffins, personally.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:12 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cake balls!
posted by firei at 2:17 PM on September 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

If I ever found a local cafe that had gluten-free baked-goods (even one menu item!) I would go there every day.
posted by geekchic at 2:17 PM on September 9, 2009

two words: funnel cakes
posted by bunny hugger at 2:18 PM on September 9, 2009

You might get some ideas from my local coffee shop Bea's of Bloomsbury. They're pretty well-known bakers and creative (see Cookie Monster cupcakes).
posted by vacapinta at 2:18 PM on September 9, 2009

Good croissants, lemon bars or tarts, almond poppyseed cake, and almond lace cookies. Soemthing with jalapenos, either jalapeno cornbread or japaleno cheese bagels.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:19 PM on September 9, 2009

1) an array of both savory and sweet stuff,
2) Good lemon bars. really, really good lemon bars. They're surprisingly hard to find...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:22 PM on September 9, 2009

Response by poster: These are ALL PERFECT AND SPOT ON. Thank you so much and keep them coming!

(How sad that I don't "best answer" any of them because I'm scared that will keep new people from responding!)
posted by disillusioned at 2:23 PM on September 9, 2009

Cornish Pasties. I wouldn't use that as a basis for your business model though.
posted by Fiery Jack at 2:27 PM on September 9, 2009

Clafouti: custard, fruit and heaven in a dish.
posted by maudlin at 2:29 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

n'thing savory food items. Every bakery has sweets but many people (myself included) prefer non-sweet snacks.

Also, egg sandwiches are amazing. Obviously a little more complicated than baked good (which can be made in advance) but very helpful in building a morning crowd.
posted by coolin86 at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2009

Mini offbeat shortbreads where I could mix and match. I usually get overwhelmed with the GIANT MUFFIN sorts of things at a coffee shop and want something teeny yet tasty and I'd often pay a bit more to eat a bit less if it was delicious. Shortbreads take flavor well and you can do offbeat things with them like lavender, curry, cheese, rose, bacon, whatever. Cut them small and then offer an ssortment like 3 for $2 or something.
posted by jessamyn at 2:31 PM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

What great baked goods would make a coffee shop/cafe AMAZING for you?

Um...if they started serving MY homemade biscottis. THAT would be amazing to me.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2009

Cinnamon rolls. Especially if you have some way of keeping them warm and putting the icing on when ordered so it doesn't get all congealed.

Where will this amazing-sounding place be located?
posted by dayintoday at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by electroboy at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2009

If the shop is able to heat food for customers, good savory pastries would be awesome. I'm thinking something like this rustic onion tart or this spinach and mushroom pastry.

Seasonal fruit tarts or or bars hand pies would be nice as well.
posted by Meg_Murry at 2:34 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I like stuff that's plain. I like plain shortbread cookies with my tea. For a heavier treat if I am hungry I like bread pudding, plain old ordinary nothing funky freaky done to it bread pudding.

Some people like intriguing flavors and ingredients, then there are those people like me who just want a an old-fashioned simple plain sweet snack with no funking freaky flavors or toppings. Sorry, I am letting my pet peeve about "just leave the food alone, it's fine just like it is, plain and simple and sweet" run away with me, but that's one big turn-off about pastry shops around me. Fru Fru this and Fru Fru that with this fru fru that..... Just give me a plain shortbread cookie, damn it.
posted by goml at 2:35 PM on September 9, 2009

CANNOLI! Also, pizzelle. Abruzzo represent! Or cannolli made from pizzelle! Mmmmmmm...
posted by raztaj at 2:41 PM on September 9, 2009

Blueberry muffins. Good ones are surprisingly hard to find. It's remarkably easy to find crappy ones.
posted by gyusan at 2:42 PM on September 9, 2009

My love for apple fritters knows no bounds. If a coffee shop has one, I buy it and eat it. I have no control over this.
posted by shesbookish at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2009

What I'd like best would be options that were simple, made with good ingredients, and FRESH, as in baked that very day. More specifically, I'd love a good pecan roll or a not-gooey cinnamon brioche somethingorother. Almond croissants are fantastic. All (good) croissants are very good.
posted by redfoxtail at 2:47 PM on September 9, 2009

Custard tarts, anything with cornmeal. A simple sweet bread to go with coffee in the morning (brioches).
posted by Wendy BD at 2:54 PM on September 9, 2009

When I was a kid, a local bakery sold something called a "cream slice". Puff pastry layered with cream filling, cherry jam, more cream filling and topped with chocolate icing. One of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. A quick google comes up with a variety of recipes for similar pastries so apparently it wasn't unique to my little Ohio neighborhood, but I've never seen them since so it might be something sort of "different" to most people.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:55 PM on September 9, 2009

If the coffee shop has really good coffee, they might not appreciate having the coffee upstaged by super sugary, in-your-face baked things. I second plainer but extremely well done croissants, pound cake, short bread, etc. These are so often done poorly that they really stand out when done right.
posted by slow graffiti at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would love to see a variety of small cookies/cupcakes/fruit tarts in my local coffee shop's baked-goods display. It's fairly standard for coffee shops to have muffins the size of both my fists and cookies the size of CDs, and I never need that much pastry in one sitting. If the mini-treats were interestingly decorated/garnished it could be very visually appealing, and you could offer a larger variety of flavors in the same space. Maybe some sort of "any four for the price of three" offer would work.

Savory pastries are an excellent idea, too. I like the pretzel suggestion, and a tomato-basily biscuit could be great. Maybe rosemary?

I steer clear of refined carbs whenever I can - it's probably pretty hard to make baked goods without white flour or sugar, but I will seek out and pay more for those made with 100% whole wheat flour. Perhaps some sort of flourless oaty-multigrain-granola cookie could be pulled off?

Personally, flavors/pastries I'm a sucker for are ginger, toffee, caramel, carrot cake, banana bread, and just about anything with frosting. I'd be really excited to see flavors like lavender or rose, or orange or lemon cream.

What I'm not a fan of is scones. It could be that I've just never had a good scone, but on the few occasions I've tried scones they've always been a dense, dry hockey puck of flour and disappointment.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

Seconding focaccia, slabs of it with peppers, tomatoes, onions, roasted garlic, olives, etc. Don't skimp on the olive oil in it. Also a really first-rate all-butter croissant, as already mentioned.
posted by jocelmeow at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2009

Good scones. Not the horribly dense, heavy, oversized, glazed, cookie-like monstrosities that one finds in certain corporate chains, but real, honest to goodness, light fluffy slightly sweet scones with currants. Lightly browned on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. They won't last for days in a display case, so small batches are a necessity.
posted by fogovonslack at 2:56 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Things made with whole-wheat flour.

Sweet things that are not too sweet. I'll keep my tooth enamel, thanks very much.

Poppy-seed hammentashen.

Nthing anything with cornmeal.
posted by jgirl at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also maple, maple, maple.
posted by jgirl at 3:03 PM on September 9, 2009

posted by wens at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2009 [4 favorites]

As someone with food allergies, if I could find a cafe that served something that was safe from nut and soy contamination, I would get it all the time. Food allergy sensitivity has become better in recent years, but in cafes that usually just means putting up a label that says that I can't eat there.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 3:04 PM on September 9, 2009

nthing almond croissants and shortbread cookies.

Chocolate cupcakes, especially made with a not-so-sweet chocolate (go well with coffee, too).

Spinach, rosemary, parmesan, mushrooms, a good bread--anything involving a combination of some of those ingredients works for me when it comes to savory.
posted by misha at 3:11 PM on September 9, 2009

Cinnamon pastries (buns, scones, whatever) that don't include raisins. Also, almond croissants.
posted by thisjax at 3:12 PM on September 9, 2009

The only cafe baked good I ever, ever crave is Quack's (Austin, TX) crunchy millet muffins.

However, I approve of savory and think a place that would serve me an ever fluctuating menu of hand-pies would earn my eternal loyalty. Pasties, patties, empanadas, whatever hand-pie you got, I'll eat. Put huitlacoche in it and I will kill for you. kill. really. I'll have to, 'cause no one else will buy the empanadas de huitlacoche. I might also kill for a curried lobster pattie, but I would definitely knee-cap someone for one.

And good Hungarian Kolach. not the little stuffed Czech kolaches, but the rolled loaf. Poppy seed, walnut, apricot or prune is ok.
posted by Seamus at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't see lavender creme brulee nearly enough.

And vegan cupcakes haven't made it on this list yet...
posted by letahl at 3:14 PM on September 9, 2009

SCONES. I like ones with almond flavoring in them the best. Serve them with clotted cream.

Also (and this doesn't answer your original question really, just a side note), I'll totally go out of my way to go to places with good tea made from leaves (not bags). With interesting flavors.

A couple of places I love here in Albuquerque are the NM Tea Bar and the (really expensive) St. James Tearoom. Check out their menus on their sites for inspiration.

I especially like places that rotate their selection regularly-- it's worth coming in regularly to see if they have anything new.
posted by NoraReed at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2009

Tip: The greater variety your friend offers everyday, the more she will steal sales from herself, and the more the shop will throw out/run out of good product. Rotate selections daily (specials of the day) if she's got a lot of options good choices.

If this is really pushing local and organic consider thinking fruits, jams, berries and cheeses which are local. Also consider incorporating a bit of the house coffee into one or two recipies as well (tiramisu, chocolate covered cofee beans, etc.).

In terms of fruits: I'd really focus on jams and preserves over fruit; meaning, danish beats fruit tartlet because when fresh fruit looks nasty even before it starts to go (unless she wants to coat them in preserves like an apple glaze). Gallettes are a great way to display the beauty of the fruit and give a nice rustic hand-made feeling (think sort of a high-end Hostess Snack Cake).

I'll definitely second the following:
- pretzel rolls - especially if you have a local flour mill
- lavender creme brulee - but only if there is a fridge case and there is sufficient downtime for a barista to be lost for 2 minutes in cooking the top of every order.
- muffins - refer to the fresh fruit mandate.
- push the savory.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:22 PM on September 9, 2009

Savory: Cheese scones, soft pretzels

Sweet: sugar cookies with seasonal flavors (lavender, anise, orange zest...), shortbread tarts, turtle bars, parisian macaroons (the colorful kind with butter cream in the middle)
posted by Alison at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2009

Something besides chocolate and donuts.
Stuff not over-sweet. (no, you don't need 3T of sugar in a muffin, dammit!)
Good plain (raisin, ginger, currant) scones.
Biscuits or croissants, with butter and good jam.
Citrus-y things that aren't super sweet.
Stuff where the flavor isn't lost in fat and sugar.
Ginger. Clove. Anise. Cardamom. A light touch with the cinnamon and the raisins.
Not-sweet fruit muffins. (apple spice where apple, not sugarsweet, is the dominant flavor)
Cranberry muffins.
Good shortbread -- usually it's tough (overworked) or overbaked or heavy. Once it was both heavy and tough.

Standard (home) size cookies/muffins/cupcakes. I don't *want* a muffin the size of my dog's head (she's a 60# mutt), or a cookie the size of a saucer.
posted by jlkr at 3:27 PM on September 9, 2009

What does "local" mean for your friend?

My favorite coffee shop ever is back in the U.K. -- I LOVE the English flapjack. I can't find them in the U.S. It's like a thick moist oatmeal cookie with chocolate on top. I also like shortbreads, made with delicious goopy caramel and a slab of chocolate on top.

I'd say anything will be memorable if it's unique but simply and very well made.
posted by motsque at 3:51 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Another vote for pain au chocolat!
posted by scody at 3:52 PM on September 9, 2009

Cheese Straws.
posted by shmurley at 3:54 PM on September 9, 2009

Pumpkin bread/muffins.
posted by candyland at 4:10 PM on September 9, 2009

I once had little shortbread cookies. Slightly sweet. With a little bit of rosemary in them.
They were amazing.

My husband loves shortbread. And he loves rosemary. But he does not believe me.

He will never know this simple pleasure.

And neither will I again if I don't find a bakery that makes them.
Are you in L. A.?
posted by SLC Mom at 4:17 PM on September 9, 2009

I would like pastries that have some protein in them. A coffee shop in my town used to make these little pastries with Danish dough, and the inside was some kind of delicious egg and hash brown concoction. I miss those. But really, any kind of savory, proteinish pastry (i.e., featuring eggs, cheese, sausage, tofu, etc.), would be a Godsend for people who don't care for straight sweets.
posted by HotToddy at 4:18 PM on September 9, 2009 [3 favorites]

Pound cake. Really really good simple plain pound cake with a light icing on top. And Nthing savory stuff, I rarely find salty deliciousness in coffee shops, so a small but good selection of cheesy or oniony or bacony biscuits/rolls/whatever would surely knock my socks off.

Oh and peanut butter balls (I know, I know, not baking but still...peanut butter is freakin sweet!)

Also, lemon bars...I can never EVER find a good store bought lemon bar.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 4:25 PM on September 9, 2009

I am also in the savory treats camp. Too often at cafes they have only sweet options. nthing cheese scones. I almost wonder if you could make sausage rolls or frittata.

I also like simple shortbread, lemon bars, and simple, well made madeleines.

And just to repeat what's been mentioned above, waste and batch size are paramount here. I worked for many years in cafes and saw a lot of wasted food.

Also, I am really hungry.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:56 PM on September 9, 2009

My favorites at the local bakery are cherry cheese danishes (which they always run out of damn them!), good blueberry scones (in both mini and full size), and their awesome good crossiants (which the above posters are right, are hard to find done well). Cheese biscuits/scones sound awesome though.
posted by katers890 at 5:04 PM on September 9, 2009

Almond bread!

Easy, so tasty and light. Biting into the crispy slice of almond bread (when cut properly and beautifully thin) is wonderful. Great with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
posted by latch24 at 5:24 PM on September 9, 2009

If you're going to do something vegan, which would make all vegans and all those who love vegans love you, forever -- please don't make it cupcakes. A) at least one of the most famous vegan dessert cookbooks in the United States is all cupcakes, so yeah, we get a lot of cupcake action already, thanks; and B) cupcakes are gross and overpriced consider that no matter what, they taste like they came out of a box mix.

Vegan carrot cake is delicious and stores well (any fruit/veggie-bread style baked good is delicious in vegan form, actually -- zucchini bread, corn bread, banana bread, I could go on and on... and this makes it particularly easy to do the local/sustainable/seasonal/organic thing).

Also, I nth the request for savories -- and obviously would advocate for vegan savories, perhaps something like samosas?
posted by obliquicity at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2009

Go to the Polebridge Mercantile in Glacier National Park, Montana. You know, for research. THey do a number of savory breads and such. And cookies. Yummy cookies.
posted by notsnot at 5:28 PM on September 9, 2009

Things that taste savory, rather than sweet - particularly if you have a non-vegetarian option. I would be in heaven if my local coffeeshops carried simple (non-sandwich) things like ham-and-cheese croissants. Various sorts of cheese-breads, pastie/pot pie dishes, etc. would be even more awesome. I feel like it's easier to go wrong when it comes to sweet dessert-y things. Combine that with the fact that most of the time I'm getting coffee or tea near breakfast or lunch time, and am not looking for dessert, and I end up never buying baked goods at coffee shops.
posted by ubersturm at 5:28 PM on September 9, 2009

Almond Croissants. Really good ones, with gooey frangipane filling.
posted by lottie at 5:29 PM on September 9, 2009

French macarons. (Filled almond cookies, different than macaroons.)
posted by sageleaf at 5:45 PM on September 9, 2009

I've seen shortbread with rosemary already in this thread. However, it needs to be said again: Shortbread with rosemary.

Also, if I found a place in the States that made yo-yos, I would be heaven.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:32 PM on September 9, 2009

Moon pies are delicious and amazing when homemade. The Alcove here in LA makes them with chocolate chip cookies, marshmallow middle, and covers them in delicious chocolate, with pretty multi-colored chocolate drizzle on the top. I would frequent any coffee shop that had them.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2009

Really good cupcakes - soft texture, rich flavor, not too sweet - which are NOT obscured by massive quantities of frosting. There's a cupcake wave a-cresting, but it's got too much frosting on it. Yes, frosting is decorative and festive-looking, but geez, people, we can only eat so much butter and sugar!

Also - there's something I've had called "French breakfast puffs" which is basically a nutmeg cupcake/muffin with the top rolled in melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Awesome, unusual, and simple to make.

Really good cream puffs that aren't too sweet: just the puff pastry and the cream filling-that's-mostly-cream.

In other words, keep it simple and good and don't overdo it with the froofy. The right people will find you!
posted by amtho at 6:55 PM on September 9, 2009

Cheesecake cupcakes. I just made some for a party the other day, and they were a huge hit. I used mini-cupcake tins so the cupcakes were of the two-bite variety, a tiny taste of something very decadent, and cute to boot.

I made raspberry cheesecake cupcakes, but you can have a whole variety - strawberry, chocolate, in the autumn I know an amazing pumpkin cheesecake recipe. Anything you can bake in a big cheesecake. Just make sure to keep a tiny graham-cracker crust!
posted by shaun uh at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2009

Ooh, I'll second the request for anything savory and vegan. Not just for the vegans: most savory coffeeshop offerings, and breakfasty offerings in general, contain some combination of eggs, cheese, and bacon/ham/sausage. There are many people who can't eat pork products for various reasons, and eggs and cheese seem to be among the most commonly-disliked foods out there (just off the top of my head, I can think of three friends who won't touch cheese).

On the cupcake issue, I'm the opposite of amtho - I like mine to be at least 40% frosting by volume - but to each his own.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:07 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cheese danish with pineapple. I'd mail order them if I could as no one here makes them any more, sob. I like coffee shops with really sweet sugary things and not really sweet at all things (dark, dark chocolate cookies and gingersnaps with a bit of snap in them) so I can suit my mood and things that are real food when sugar just won't do. And lemon anything as it's hard to get lemon, or lemon curd. And nthing the suggestions for things with a bit of substance, and vegetarian, too. Anyone who can make real pastry and not that bounce off the floor without a scratch in it stuff that's all too common would have me coming back for more.
posted by x46 at 8:44 PM on September 9, 2009

Carrot cake. Cream cheese frosting for the non-vegans. Yum.

Also nthing muffins the size you make at home, whole wheat/bran, in blueberry and some other natural fruit (depending on season).
posted by crazycanuck at 8:51 PM on September 9, 2009

nthing savoury options and cannoli. Also, it matters less what you offer and more that it be of the absolute best quality, and fresh. Bonus points for attractively displayed. And chocolate baked goods - brownies etc. are always welcome.
posted by Bergamot at 9:25 PM on September 9, 2009

Banana bread or carrot cake/bread that's moist without relying upon a ton of oil/grease to provide that moistness. Also, if I have a choice of whether there's nuts in there or not is a bonus (and I'll always choose the nut-less breads when they are available). I'll nth the savory options request and the shortbread+rosemary/lavender/etc.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 10:04 PM on September 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Really healthy breakfast choices. A whole grain muffin with bran, and some daily combination of: pumpkin, apple, orange, date, carrot, pineapple, apricot, ginger, raisin, cranberry, cherry, walnut, pecan, almond, molasses, and not too much grease and sugar.

I love the Panera breakfast mini-quiches except they're high in fat. They're an easy breakfast on the go.

Breakfast pizza with some varying combination of veggie topping, or bacon or sausage.

I'm not a health food nut, but so much pre-prepared food is crazy high in fat and sugar.

Yeah, good traditional scones, not junked up with icing.

Really, really great breads. Focaccia, olive bread, baguette, sourdough. I'll make a special trip to get great breads.
posted by theora55 at 6:31 AM on September 10, 2009

cheese croissants.
posted by janepanic at 4:14 PM on September 10, 2009

Breads. Think about it, this stuff will go along with almost every meal in a fundamental way. Think about the menu - any sandwich meat on freshly baked whatever. I love having a variety of choices with my bread. Or, how about nice popover on everyones table while they decide what to eat. I did eat at a coffee shop that did this named Pie in the Sky, and yeah, they blew my mind.

Found it. Eat your heart out:
posted by xammerboy at 6:41 PM on September 10, 2009

My favorite breakfast stop is a bakery that happens to double as a coffee shop. They offer different flavors of muffins, scones and quiche every day. The best part about this place is that they do those three things really, really well - so well that it almost doesn't matter what flavor it happens to be that day, because you know it will be good. They also have homemade marshmallows in different flavors to melt into your hot chocolate or coffee and little wafer cookies that come in lavender and green tea flavors. The most amazing thing I've ever gotten from there was a lemon-ginger scone. Ahhhh.

Other things that I've seen people going wild over are the aforementioned whoopie pies and a regional favorite, Special K bars.
posted by bristolcat at 8:00 PM on September 10, 2009

savory vegetarian baked goods. go to liberty cafe's bakery on cortland st. in sf for some ideas...

e.g., rutabaga & onion croissants, goat cheese brioche, etc.

dana st. roasters on dana street in mountain view, ca, sells potato knishes
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 2:15 AM on September 11, 2009

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