Sweetly Curated: Gourmet Desserts – C&I Magazine
We have found the best of the West when it comes to gourmet specialties and desserts.
After asking friends and colleagues, we tasted as many Western gourmet desserts as we could. Given the prevalence of mail order and takeout options these days, we couldn’t help but consider the specialty options available. And whether it’s cookies or caramels from Colorado or California, the West does not disappoint.
Biscuits from the mountain of Mary
Fort Collins, Colorado
After tragedies caused her to leave her home state of Michigan, Mary Johns got back to her feet by riding on the back of a horse. She made a living for herself and her two children in Colorado – she also baked cookies. While working at the Cherokee Park Ranch in northern Colorado near the Wyoming border, Mary developed her ranching skills and her âmountain-styleâ cookies. People loved cookies so much that they couldn’t get enough of them, and Mary was finally convinced that her creations were truly something special. They turned out to be special enough to become a national sweet chain.
Fan favorites: There are over 25 varieties and flavors, but we especially love S’mores, Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Chip, Caramel Sea Salt, and Buttercream sandwiches. There are also gluten-free cookies and homemade ice cream sandwiches.
Fun facts: Edible cookie dough! And check Marie’s story and cookbook for recipes and his uplifting stories of overcoming adversity.
To order / buy: 970.226.9091, marysmountaincookies.com, and in person at the original Fort Collins location in the Front Range Village and other locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, Montana, Indiana, and the South Dakota (and more will be available soon).
Lingonberry is sourced from the state of Idaho, but one of our favorite lingonberry suppliers is just outside of Kalispell, MT. Montana Bounty Foods devotes an entire section of its shopping to âeverything blueberries,â as well as its award-winning Deep-Pit Seasoning, Sugar Plum, and Fried Indian Bread. We can attest to deliciously different items in the blueberry department, including jams, jellies, preserves, honey, syrup, drinks, dessert toppings, fudge, biscotti, breads, cookies, cakes, waffles, scones, pancakes, cakes the plancha, vinaigrette, mixers and sauces. Everything is handcrafted by hard-working Montanians at their Lonesome Dove Guest Ranch, a real working ranch that’s also a bed and breakfast. bountyfoods.com, lonesomedoveguestranch.com
Lonely star love
If you are looking for made in Texas, GO TEXAN offers its online market at shop.gotexan.org. Of course, among the many products in this magical market you will find food, and among the foods, sweets. Here you’ll find Frosty’s Candy Barn and the nutty treats they’ve been making for years using the 80-year-old family recipe. Pecans, peanuts, jalapeÃ±o peanuts, ghost pepper and cashews. We can’t get enough of Jolly Acres Farms either, because who doesn’t love salted goat’s milk caramels, slow-burning Cayenne goat’s milk caramels and apple-dappled goat’s milk caramels. And don’t get us started on Susie’s South Forty Confections Texas Trash and Joy Bee Baking’s Original Cinnamon Sugar Coffeecake in small Texas-shaped pieces. Are the toothbrushes ready, everyone? shop.gotexan.org
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Rocky Mountain Foods
Colorado Crafted hosts all kinds of Centennial State goodies, and you can even make your own gift box. There is a lot of winning food here, most of which is deliciously satisfying. The Continental Divide Tote has a selection of sweet and savory items, with a cool tote to boot. On the savory side, there’s everything from Seed Ranch hot sauce and On Tap pretzel bites to Bubba’s snack mix. But let’s list the sweet things: Anellabees Honey Candy, Hammond’s Midnight Snack Chocolate Bar, Panza Chocolate Sea Salt Sticks, Chocolove Mini Chocolate Bar and Peanut Butter Cups, and Enstrom Almond Caramel and Milk Chocolate. coloradocraftedbox.com
I scream, you scream
For more than 70 years, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams of Santa Barbara, Calif., Has strived to make the world a little sweeter than it found it to be. McConnell’s started in 1949, and today – a third generation family business – they continue to focus on the finest ingredients and insane quality control, with ice cream made entirely from scratch, starting with pasteurizing their clean milk and cream grazed with grass. They like to say, “Keeping it simple is the hardest thing we do,” and you can taste it in flavors like Toasted Coconut Almond Chips, Eureka Lemon, and Puppet Berries. , Turkish coffee, double peanut butter chips and sea salt cream and cookies. mcconnells.com
There are so many great chocolate makers in the West, choosing your own treats over other people’s treats is as impossible as saying no to a brownie, bar or cookie. So we decided to present Monsoon Chocolate, based in Tucson, Arizona, which has a few International Chocolate Awards to its name. Some of their winners: Caramelized White Chocolate Truffles, Blueberry Oatmeal Candy, Pink Pepper Bon Bon, Mesquite White Chocolate Bar, Mezcal Caramel, Prickly Pear Caramel, Strawberry Candy basil, Whiskey Del Bac Dorado Bon Bon. And then there’s former saddle rider Tim Kellogg of Meeteetse Chocolatier in Meeteetse, Wyoming (meeteetsechocolatier.com), who uses local ingredients like sage, bilberry, prickly pear, sasparilla, whiskey from the Wyoming and craft beer and whose range of truffles gets high marks. monsoonchocolate.com
From the October 2021 issue
Photography: (All images) courtesy of the sellers