Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cookie Monster would be proud

The day after the fondue party, I took a long stroll up Steinway Street, hoping the walk would help burn off some of that cheese. But at 28th Avenue I found Laziza Sweets, a bakery with an enormous assortment of Middle Eastern pastries…and I ended up walking out with a styrofoam tray of picks from the display cases. I don't know the names of any of them, but here's what I got, clockwise from top:

1) a pistachio-filled, honey-soaked nest of shredded wheat
2) a nut-filled cookie
3) a plain cookie with a soft, sweet, smudgy coating
4) a doughnut-shaped, date-filled cookie
5) a date-filled cookie that reminded me of a Chinese mooncake
6) the same nut-filled cookie as above but with powdered sugar dusted over it
7) a plain crescent scented with cardamom
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I ate these over several days. Like the Moroccan-ish cookies I had made several months ago, all had that particular tender texture that comes from using oil in the dough instead of butter. Excluding the pistachio pastry, they had good level of sweetness too. The one pictured on the right surprised me, as the filling was really a nutty, crumbly dough—something like a cookie wrapped in cookie. Everything I bought tasted very fresh, so if you're looking for some quality Middle Eastern sweets, Laziza is a good bet.

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