Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Baker's Wife

Graham Cracker Sandwich
A Baker's Wife, $1.19

If I hadn't had a local herding me towards the door, I might have taken one look at the kitsch-cluttered windows of A Baker's Wife and walked right on by. Thank goodness I didn't have to learn that lesson the hard way.

If I hadn't been on my way to the airport, I might have ordered one of everything. Just visible over the thronging crowd and between the large hand-written signs were all sorts of tempting treats, from glistening buns and glossy iced cookies to meticulous but unfussy pastries.

Owner Gary Tolle opened A Baker's Wife in 1987, when he returned home to Minneapolis after years as a professional baker in New York. I imagine the fruit tarts, tea cakes and palmiers were the kind of things Tolle perfected while a student at the CIA and a pastry chef at New York's Plaza Hotel. Perhaps he'd already had some experience with doughnuts, sheet cakes, danish, and cookies as a kid growing up in the unassuming neighborhood where he know works.
The graham cracker sandwich displays both down-to-earth baking ability and rigorous pastry skills. A pair of fresh, housemade crackers mortared together with intense chocolate fondant and thick pastry cream, then finished with a sifting of confectioner's sugar, the graham cracker sandwich couldn't be simpler--or better.

A Baker's Wife
4200 28th Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

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