By Julia Howard
Beneath a dozen eggs and some carrots with sprawling greens lay some of the most delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted. The Chocolate Spoon was the last stop on my list this past Saturday, and the farmers’ market crowd was beginning to swell. Once the cookies were safely tucked away in my basket, I headed for my car.
Indulging in a sweet treat has become a part of my Wednesday or Saturday shopping ritual – a reward for working hard all week. The rewards vary. Last week, it was applesauce from Saratoga Apple. The apples, slowly and gently cooked, have the perfect chunky consistency and balance of sweetness and tart. With no sugar added, I felt like I was doing something good for myself. The week before that, my treat was Mrs. London’s famous buttery almond croissant. And, the week before that, I fondly recall rich, creamy chocolate milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery.
Whatever farmers’ market sweets I choose to indulge in, they are always fresh, delicious, and an ode to quality, local ingredients. Perhaps that’s why they have become my shopping tradition. And, they are treats that I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing myself.
Market sweets come in a variety of sizes to accommodate any desire or occasion. Satisfy a small craving with a honey stick from Slate Valley Farms or personal-sized Sweet Greek yogurt from Argyle Cheese Farmer. Looking for a larger quantity to share? Perhaps a pie from The Food Florist or cheesecake from Grandma Apples Cheesecakes. Tiramisu from Giovanni Fresco is some of the best you’ll try, and baklava from Euro Delicacies is authentic and sweetened with local honey. Dickinson’s Delights’ Nutella crepes are filled with seasonal fruit and make for a decadent and gooey dessert that could be eaten for breakfast.
Looking for gluten-free or dairy-free options? Farmers’ market vendors have those too.
What about the unique chocolate craving that we all succumb to? Saratoga Chocolate Company has a variety of handmade cocoa creations to satisfy that specific desire that must be met.
The next time you’re shopping at the farmer’s market, make time for something on the sweeter side. You’ll be glad you did.
For this week’s recipe, I leave you with chocolate chip zucchini muffins. They are cake-like, sweet, and satisfying with a healthy touch.