At Bridgeville's Batter & Dough, delicious choices make for a sweet dilemma
With 14 to 18 styles of cupcakes to choose from, the problem for customers at Batter & Dough Baking Company isn't finding something they want. It's deciding which to leave for a return visit.
Should you choose Mocha Chocolate Covered Cherry and leave Strawberries and Cream for another day? Or take the Chocolate-Chocolate-Chocolate instead of the Almond Torte?
Even those prudent decisions come with a downside risk.
Baker Tracy Kuhn rotates the menu at least weekly.
So, the cupcake you leave behind may be off the roster on your next visit.
That's also true of her biscotti that come in an equally dazzling array of flavors that go way beyond traditional anise or vanilla. Her repertoire includes imaginative, appetite-rousing choices such as Key Lime, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Trail Mix 'n' Yogurt and Smore.
“There's something new every week to keep it lively,” says Kuhn, who owns the bakery with her husband, Zachary. “That's the fun of it.”
Kuhn has been baking since she was old enough to see over the kitchen counter. Her mother was the family baker, who even made wedding cakes for family and friends' weddings. “We never shopped at a bakery,” Kuhn says.
Early on, she learned how to make biscotti, which became her specialty. “I would make them through the holidays, and people would ask to buy them,” she says.
Eventually, she and her husband started selling them at area festivals and filling orders from friends, family and people who found her through word of mouth.
When she ran out of space at home, the Kuhns started looking for a place to bake on a larger scale.
That's when they stumbled on a tiny, vacant storefront on a Bridgeville side street.
It had been occupied by another bakery that went out of business and left all the baking equipment.
After a fresh coat of paint and the addition of a crystal chandelier and some decorative accessories, Batter & Dough Baking opened last December.
Most of the space in the display cases is taken up by biscotti, cookies and cupcakes. But pies and cakes make appearances during the holidays, and there are plans to add caramel apples and caramel corn for the fall.
“We opted not to do larger cakes because the space is small,” she says.
But Kuhn happily turns out cakes and pies or specific flavors of biscotti or cupcakes as special orders.
Biscotti ($2 each or $18 a dozen) was the inspiration for the store and customers come from as far as Ohio to stock up on them. They freeze well, Kuhn says.
Chocolate chip cookies (75 cents or $8 a dozen), made from her mother's recipe, disappear quickly, too.
What surprised the Kuhns is the popularity of the cupcakes.
It shouldn't have.
Each one is an imaginative pairing of batter and icing, and many contain a fruity or creamy surprise hidden in the center.
The chocolate cupcake overlaid a generous swirl of peanut butter-flavor buttercream frosting could easily become a guilty pleasure. The same could be said for the Almond Torte, a vanilla batter cupcake with a vanilla pudding center and white buttercream icing generously topped with thin slices of toasted, sugar-crusted almonds.
The one drawback to Batter & Dough's location — aside from not being next door to where I live — is that there's almost no space to linger. The small, two-person table is mostly used for special-order consultations.
But there's a metered parking lot on Station Street, just beyond the store where you could savor your sweet treat before the drive home.
Batter & Dough Baking Company, 344 Station St., Bridgeville. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Details: 412-319-7445 or www.batter-and-dough.com