As a food editor, eating all kinds of things — both delicious and disastrous — is part of the job description. Not everything that goes into my mouth ends up in a review or article, but some things are just too good not to share.
This week I found myself deep in residential Tempe in, you guessed it, a strip mall. I was there to check out the hand pies at Squarz Bakery & Cafe, but something in the pastry display distracted me from my savory assignment.
The colorful, icing-slicked croissant was the last of its kind. Sitting alone among an army of other puff pastry confections. I pointed to the baked good, and asked the owner-baker, Steven Gerner, what it was.
"That's our latest creation, the Cosmic Croissant. We made it in honor of the eclipse," he told me.
I didn't wait for further explanation. I needed to taste that joker.
The short story: It was so f-ing good.
The delicate, chewy interior of the croissant was studded with colorful gems of sugar. The outside was crisp, shellacked with a caramelized sugar and thin ribbon of chocolate.
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It was breakfast Nirvana.
Special croissant creations, like this one, are a regular occurrence at this small bake shop, along with their permanent croissant creations, like kouign amann (caramelized croissant), cinnamon roll croissant, chocolate croissant, and lemon croissant.
I came for a hand pie, but this unplanned, rainbow flecked pastry ended up being the best thing I ate all week.
The shop is closed on Saturday and Sunday, so stock up on croissants tonight for a killer Saturday morning breakfast.