I love to bake. I'll bake for birthdays, holidays, parties, and random Wednesdays — as long as I have time. Unfortunately, I don't always have 40 minutes to make from-scratch chocolate chip cookies or an afternoon to devote to making my famous pecan pie. But a gathering has to have a dessert, right?
There are plenty of times when things are just too busy and I have to fall back on the store-bought stuff. And honestly, no one ever seems to mind. For one, it's not like my friends and family would demand that I pull an all-nighter to make them a three-layer cake. I also have a roster of really good (like, really good) store-bought treats that always impress. I'll pull out a fancy platter and call it a day. (Note: I never take credit for the baking, though — that would be unethical!)
Here are some of my go-to store-bought treats.
- Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, $22 for 36: This may be the South Jersey girl in me talking, but there are few things better than a cellophane-wrapped pack of Butterscotch Krimpets. I've even tried some knock-off recipes and they paled in comparison to the real stuff. Sometimes I'll just pretend to be too busy so that I have an excuse to serve these fluffy, buttery treats.
- Pepperidge Farm Milano Mint Cookies, $3 for a 7-ounce bag: My grandmother always stocked her pantry with the original versions of these cookies. I was told they were special cookies and to be savored. She was right. As an adult, I still eat them slowly and find that the only thing better than a Milano cookie is a mint one.
- Original Plain NY Cheesecake, $41 at Junior's: I have made my own cheesecake plenty of times, and I usually end up wishing I had just ordered from this iconic New York institution. Randomly, the bakery outlet recently moved to my hometown, so it's super easy for me to get a cake (or three) when I visit my parents. Non-locals can order online, of course.
- Molten Chocolate Macarons, $4.99 for two at Trader Joe's: Because macarons are a pain in the butt to make! These are giant (about four inches in diameter) treats are half macaron and half gooey lava cake. They're meant to be heated and served warm.
Talenti Caramel Cookie Crunch Gelato, $4.99 for 1 pint at Target: If you can, always make your own ice cream (see: How To Make Classic Ice Cream at Home), but also supplement with this creamy, crunchy, salty gelato. Or really, any flavor from Talenti.
What are your favorite store-bought goodies?