They always say it's the little things that make a big difference—and that is especially true when it comes to sweets. The smallest bites can turn a bad day better, and a good day amazing. When it comes to baking, grandma’s recipe is always best. Somehow answering the age-old secrets of how to get that perfect pie crust or to how to keep your cookies from looking like a pancake is harder than it looks. We decided to find out who’s making the most wonderful, most delicious pies and cakes in the kingdom. So grab a napkin to control the druel and feast your eyes.
What IS a gooseberry pie?!
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at this beautiful custard-looking pie and thinking, “What IS a gooseberry pie?!” Well, I’ve got the scoop. Sharon Penrod, the heart and soul of The Pie Safe, explained that gooseberries are tart, similar to rhubarb, and make for a very old fashioned pie that farmers traditionally create using groceries found around the house, i.e. milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. This recipe was passed down to Sharon from her father-in-law, much like most of the recipes Sharon offers in her bakery/cafe.
It seems that Sharon can make almost anything...I promise her skills will impress.
One of her great passions is restoring old recipes for new-age diners, baking custards, using homemade whipped cream and making everything from scratch—of course. She offers about four to six baked goods a day and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sharon began selling jams and jellies at a local farmer’s market, but has since expanded to offering light lunch and dinner options of soups and sandwiches with a special every week, whether that be meatloaf or chicken and dumplings. It seems that Sharon can make almost anything, and sells full pies by request only, just give her a call at (573) 833-6743 and a few days’ notice, and I promise her skills will impress. Located at 146 County Road 530.
I eat a lot of salad, a little meat, and some fruit. That's all. But I like sweets.
Relatively new to the area, Mandy Potter opened MAB Cupcakes in June of 2014. She offers a variety of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecakes, candies, bars and pies. With more than 35 different flavors of cupcakes, a few of the MAB favorites are Very Vanilla, Cookie Dough (pictured), Gooey Butter and Chocolate Lovers, but Potter says any flavor is possible with a few days’ notice. MAB is a combination of Mandy’s three kids’ names, Madeline, Alex and Benjamin. The store is located at 752 Maple Valley Dr. in Farmington and is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
...scrumptious chocolate cupcake with Oreo crumbles!
You really haven’t experienced downtown Cape Girardeau if you haven’t had a cupcake from Socials Café and Coffeehouse. Every year I wait patiently for the pumpkin spice cupcake to emerge from hibernation, and it has never disappointed. Open Tue., Wed., Thur., and Sat. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Socials proudly admits it does not serve fast food. Serving an array of sandwiches, soups, salads, and desserts, most everything is made fresh and homemade on site. But trust me, the wait is worth it. This week the baked goods ranged from Tiramisu cupcakes to Pineapple Upside-Down, while every day offers multiple options, including a scrumptious chocolate cupcake with Oreo crumbles! Socials has been a staple in Cape since 2007 and with free Wi-Fi and relaxing atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Located at 31 N Main St., Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701.
Featured is their pecan and sweet potato pie topped with a lightly whipped heavy cream mixed with vanilla and powdered sugar.
The Depot Café is new to the Fredericktown area, and is in the business of mixing beautiful desserts with historical ambiance. Owners Gary Turner and Ken Connelly moved into the historic Missouri Pacific Railroad Station that was built in 1917 and have since made it a fully-functioning restaurant. Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays, the Depot offers a variety of soups, salads, stews and many hearty dinner options. For dessert Gary is transitioning into some lighter options for spring, with a lemon cake and a white cake infused with white wine and a selection of berries. Featured is their pecan and sweet potato pie topped with a lightly whipped heavy cream mixed with vanilla and powdered sugar. Located at 406 Villar St.
Pictured is her berry tart with blueberries, raspberries and cheesecake...
When Café Rust began it was a pour-over coffeehouse. Now, it’s a coffeehouse, bakery and coveted lunch spot all in one. Co-owner, barista and baker extraordinaire Shannon McBride operates the café from inside Rust, a locally-owned business in which Sam Conlon creates incredible luminaire metal works. On average, Shannon has seven to nine desserts in her display case, including tarts, pastries, nosheries and her “mini” treats. Pictured is her berry tart with blueberries, raspberries and cheesecake, but another popular favorite is the strawberry cheesecake almond crisscross, which starts with a pastry base, is filled with cheesecake and strawberry filling, and then crossed along the top with dough and sliced almonds. Shannon makes everything homemade, including her full lunch menu featuring many delicious soups and salads. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day but Wednesday. Located at 122 N Main St.
Featured is the Coconut Meringue Pie.
The Pie Bird Café opened its doors along US Highway 61 on the Jackson/Fruitland border 11 years ago, and after some modifications to their hours now serves lunch and breakfast. The café is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday from 6 to 11 a.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. until noon. As a pediatric nurse for 30 years Diana, the owner, isn’t shy to admit operating the restaurant is the hardest thing she’s ever done, but visiting with her family (also known as her employees) and enjoying the quaint atmosphere, there’s no denying the pride she takes in her establishment.
I tried the chocolate pie with a meringue chocolate-chip topping, one of 10 different options on this particular Sunday. But if you’re not an early bird, there are plenty of other sweet treats available. Featured is the Coconut Meringue Pie.
No matter what you are craving, there’s something perfectly sweet waiting for you in the 573. Get out there.