Big thanks to my friend Daisy for the heads up about Dessert Goals!
In sum, Dessert Goals is like Smorgasburg but for sweets specifically and with a time stamp. For $15 you gain entry to Dessert Goals for 90 minutes and the 20 or so vendors selling goods there. Yes, you still have to pay for items even after paying an entry fee. (Worth it for the price of admission.) There were also some classes (photography, how to brand yourself) for a higher price tag that included entry to the overall event. There were freebies at the Dylan's Candy Bar station, the Salt Bar (with salty snacks such as pretzels, chips, tortilla chips, and cheese balls), and some free coffee by Bodum and Intelligentsia. Plus they gave out free boxed water (they planned ahead well in this case).
Now, you know me and I love me some dessert. So when I heard about this and saw the price I was all in. About a dozen vendors were announced before the event and all 21 were housed indoors on Dobbins Street. A good thing since it was 40 degrees on the 2nd day.
Since my 2016 Dessert Places post is still pending (and pretty long) I did want to make sure to post about the hits and misses at Dessert Goals I experienced. I'm a person who loves substance over style. So I'd prefer a well executed sugar cookie to a razzle dazzle dessert with too many elements and not enough follow through. That said there were a handful of vendors at Dessert Goals who suffered from the latter and a few who succeeded. I didn't taste all 21 vendors for various reasons but I think I made a good dent in terms of what was there.
Silk Cakes: Anyone who has been following my Instagram knows my love of this local bakery knows no bounds. And may I say they might have been one reason why I moved to the area I did 2 years ago. Silk Cakes offered thai ice tea mini cupcakes, neopolitan bites and their strawberry chiffon petal cake (pictured). My friends Daisy and Ko loved the strawberry chiffon and it was quite popular at Dessert Goals. Light, well executed, the perfect strawberry flavor it all melds together and is a standout particularly among much heavier fare. If you have been to a fair and have seen Silk Cakes you need to get it. Don't think about it just get it.
Stache of Goods: French Macarons in fun shapes! Kitties! Burgers, Pokemon! In flavors such as black sesame, nutella, and chocolate. The black sesame was subtle and delicious and the macaron texture perfect with the slight crispness on the outside and the soft and chewy nature on the inside. Super good and one to watch.
Boananas: Banana pudding time! I was near my end point but I had to get this because banana pudding! I had the matcha banana pudding which they were kind enough to let me try first. Not a matcha/bitter overload. They did a good job of having it be part of the banana pudding but compliment and not overwhelm it. Good stuff.
Ring Ding Bar: This was a bit heavy but well executed. She had a variety of ring dings from PB&J (which I had and enjoyed), strawberry, raspberry, matcha, white chocolate, and so on. I'd recommend sharing one and not consuming a whole (especially one with peanut butter) but it's a good investment and more home grown so not as processed as the typical Ring Ding.
Boqueria: I was super excited for their churros s'mores but man was that a let down. I had 1.5 bites and threw it away. This was way too sweet and the churro is rock hard. Essentially they call it a "churro cookie" but for me a cookie should be a cookie and have essence of churro. Eating a tightly wound churro that is rock hard between some super sweet Hershey's like chocolate and a burnt (yes burnt) marshmallow does not a good mix make. And this is part of why I say substance over style wins out. Boqueria had one of the longer lines in the beginning due to gimmick, but I have to wonder how many people would come back?
Rare Bird Sweets: This was one of the last items I had because it looked interesting. I got the Blood and Sand (based on a cocktail of the same name). Again, two bites and I was done. The flavor profile was all over the place. The eclair was okay but the filling was butterscotch, there was a boat of vanilla mousse on top that had been out and was somewhat rubbery, there was a vial of cocktail that overwhelmed when you squeezed it in with the dessert, and there was a super salty and grainy cookie that was between the eclair and the mousse, as well as a candied cherry on top. (A) The design did not stand up well literally, (B) it was a salty, alcoholic, semi-sweet mess in my mouth and not at all appetizing put together. I guess deconstructed it may have worked but as a whole not good, hard to eat, but pretty cool to look at.
Call Me Caramel: This was a gruyere caramel. If you like gruyere this may be for you! It's definitely there in flavor and doesn't assault the senses or have an after taste. But it's not something I would buy in bulk, though I think everyone should try it.
The Brick Boutique: Based on traditional Taiwanese cookies that's a moister shortbread with a kind of preserve fruit filling (pineapple, lemon, etc) it was cool, solid and something that may take some back to their childhood. For me it was an interesting treat.
SOLID RECOMMENDATIONS (These are places I've had before so didn't try again at Dessert Goals)
Underwest Donuts: Good stuff. Had them last year and they do mainly cake (not yeast) doughnuts with various flavors and a good moisture that keeps the next day.
Taiyaki NYC: I had this on my birthday and I enjoy it. But it's also quite filling and has ice cream. Due to cold I purposely stayed away from ice cream which meant I didn't get to have 5 vendors food.
CoolHaus: Ice cream sammies! And big ones at that. So, again, this is pretty darn filling stuff. Their flavors range so I'd say see what combos you're into and go from there. Can't go wrong and I haven't yet.
Van Leeuwen: One of the first and most popular artisanal ice cream trucks in NYC and it stays visible. I'm a simple person for ice cream so their strawberry does it for me. And with the warmer months creeping up you may see their trucks a lot in the city.
Girl in the Little Red Kitchen: Cookies, pies, and other treats from Susan Palmer a local baker spreading her name and treats farther and farther. If you like homemade goods hers are some to get. Especially her cookies.
So all in all a good time and lots consumed in 90 minutes with some breaks. Had it been 20 or more degrees warmer it would've been ON with the ice cream (especially Mochidori 'cause I dig mochi in the summer time). I'd definitely recommend keeping tabs on Dessert Goals for next year. Bring some cash (or have your cards ready), eat light beforehand, go for one of the earlier sessions before vendors run out of food, and stay hydrated. It's a cool event and a nice way to spend an afternoon, especially if you have the balance of good vendors around with uniquely tasty and well executed treats.