For The Sweet of Tooth

Madison's New Baked Bounty
By Rachel Werner

EAT WELL, LIVE WELL or so the saying goes. Take it to heart this festive season and call upon these pastry aficionados to make hearts—and tummies—sing to sugar’s sweet tune.

At Humble, all seasons are pie season. Owner Jennifer Mans doesn’t shy away from experimentation or unfamiliar pie styles. Formally the chief baker for the storefront’s previous proprietors, Mans adapted the cozy space into a mini pie tutorial lab complete with a chalkboard pie guide depicting the difference between a galette, hand pie, pinch pie and her innovative N.F.Y.T.T—a modern throwback to pop tarts with the clever moniker ‘Not For Your Toaster Tarts.’

“The inspiration to buy the business came from within. I come from a family that carries a deep appreciation for authentic food. My mom has been taking me to farmers markets since I was little, and gave me the framework for how to eat seasonally. My dad, with his Italian background, taught me to treat myself—especially to cheese, but also to filling, satisfying meals that a family can gather around,” reflects Mans.

Also stretching the local treat trolley is Kristine Miller, pastry chef by trade and now girl boss at Dough Baby Bakery. Though her husband, Tory, may be top dog of Madison’s gastronomic scene, Dough Baby is a solo venture for Miller. “The inspiration for Dough Baby was both the bakery I grew up going to in Milwaukee, and my desire to bring something a little different to the Madison bakery scene. I wanted to make American pastry classics with organic and local ingredients—the things I like to eat”—donuts—“and the things I love to make for my family”— cookies, pies and cake—she says. And though the addictive mini doughnut holes flecked with cinnamon and sugar are the official “dough babies,” the forthcoming ‘Drunkin Doughnuts’ for the after-hours State Street crowd shouldn’t be passed up either.

If your sweet tooth demands a bit of properness, give Lady Forward Tea Celebrations a ring. Packing a bit more party in the to-go box, founder Lindsay Bessick hosts pop-up tea parties around town and for private events. Her fresh British scones, house made lemon curd and Devonshire cream are just a few of the traditional samplings featured in her repertoire, providing guests an authentic experience for an affordable price. “Because we want our food to be as fresh and flavorful as possible, I always craft menus based on what is in season. From the fresh fruits atop our vanilla
pastry cream tarts to the herbs used in our cucumber finger sandwiches, we always go with what looks great at the market or in the store,” she explains.

Mutually motivated by seasonal ingredients, Tart Baked Goods co-owners Ana Luyet and Carissa Mangerson do the heavy labor of rolling, mixing and assembling pre-delivery so their customers simply have to bake their delectable small-batch cookies, sweet and savory tarts and double-crusted pies at home. “Our main goal is to make food for our customers to the same standard we make food for our families, so all of our products are delivered unbaked and frozen,” they say. “This allows flexibility to bake the goodies whenever they choose, and therefore end up with a super fresh, hot-from-the-oven product—with the added benefit of some wonderful smells wafting through the house!”

With all these great sweet bites to try, you can think about the season this way: A treat a day will hopefully keep the winter blues at bay.

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