When pastry chef Dominique Ansel was preparing to open his own bakery, he toyed with the idea of baking cupcakes. Then cheesecake. Finally, he chose to forge his own way with a few French pastries underrepresented in American bakeries. And the star of his efforts are the adorable religieuses
, essentially stacked cream puffs. It's his American spin on the pastry that sets these apart — he decorates them, in the most sophisticated way, as pumpkins, bunnies, and Santas. You have to see these!