Ah, the sweet days of summer. A dessert splurge coupled with a splash of coffee or tea can put the grand finish on a perfect August afternoon. The combination of carbs and caffeine adds some spark for enjoying what’s left of our summer days.
So stay out of your kitchen. Instead, go out and indulge in a hand-crafted cookie, bar, cake, pie, pastry or some ice cream. Add a delicious cup of coffee, espresso or tea to accompany your dessert. The contrasting flavors—sweet and earthy—perfectly complement each other.
Worry about the diet later and enjoy some of Edina’s most delectable desserts. After all, the dog days of summer won’t last forever. What better time to live it up with a scrumptious treat and a coffee date? Here are some of our favorite sweet summer temptations.
Coconut Cream Pie
Fresh toasted coconut and painstaking preparation turns this homey dessert into a true pie lover’s dream. Even people who usually don’t care for coconut swoon over the coconut cream pie at 50th Street Cafe. Made from scratch, the rich, pudding-like layer of coconut cream fills a light, flaky pie shell. Shreds of toasted coconut add a chewy, nutty texture to the creamy filling. Bright white clouds of real whipped cream are piled high with a sprinkling of crispy brown coconut on top, like stars of heavenly flavor. Coconut from the top down with a good dose of cream makes this pie a hefty dessert choice. Priced at just $2.50, this slice of sweet coconut indulgence won’t break the bank, either. A bottomless cup of coffee alongside encourages long conversations. 3808 W. 50th St.; 612.927.4464.
What would summer be without a little strawberry shortcake? Better yet, make it a big one. This traditional American dessert shines with true star quality at Eden Avenue Grill. As the super-sized shortcake bursting with colorful bright red berries and fluffs of cream whisks by tables, envious patrons gaze in jaw-dropping awe. “It’s massive—definitely an item you want to split with two or three people,” says Brett Johnson, co-owner. A 10-year summer menu staple, the strawberry shortcake can’t help but make friends. Homemade shortcake with a dense crumb comes warm with all the trimmings: saucy fresh strawberries with mounds of whipped cream and a bonus layer of vanilla ice cream. Dining in the four-season porch with a retractable roof can turn your strawberry shortcake experience into an indoor picnic. A cup of freshly brewed True Stone coffee mellows the rich sweetness. The better-than-Mom’s strawberry shortcake and sustainably produced coffee top off any summer meal with a big wow! Strawberry shortcake $8, coffee $2.25. 5101 Arcadia Ave.; 612.581.2227.
Coffee and dessert really do mix—literally. A double shot of Makers signature fresh-roasted espresso and a surge of sweet frozen vanilla yogurt puts the best of both worlds into one dessert. Makers updated take on the traditional affogato Italian dessert features healthier frozen yogurt instead of heavy cream-based gelato. “We took that theme and used our frozen yogurt and northern Italian-style espresso to create a perfect pairing of rich and bold, hot and cold, smooth and creamy,” says Laura Radewald, chief marketing officer at Dunn Brothers Coffee. Makers’ partnership with Dunn Brothers Coffee assures fresh roasted, hand-pulled espresso every time.Minimal ingredients pack a powerhouse of flavor. If one shot of espresso is good, two can only be better and the affogato gives you just that. The bittersweet affogato comes with extra spoons to share. “We encourage slurping, spoon scraping and second helpings,” Radewald says. Treat yourself and your friends to an all-in-one ice cream and caffeine fix. $4. 4920 W. 77th St.; 952.417.6566.
Ice Cream Kabobs
Look out, Minnesota State Fair: Ice cream ball kabobs have arrived at Sparrow Cafe. “Who doesn’t like something on a stick?” asks Sheila Rajendren, owner. Add ice cream for the ideal go-anywhere summer treat. The near daily sell-out success of doughnut-hole kabobs inspired this lighter warm-weather ice cream creation. A sweet sticky-rice flour paste called mochi, pounded thin, encases the ice cream balls for the perfectly formed frozen confection. The mochi seals the ice cream into perfect circular shapes. Three Japanese mochi ice cream balls come stacked like a symmetrical snowman on a wooden stick. Green tea (“matcha” in Japanese), mango, strawberry or chocolate—pick your favorite flavor combination. Pair your mochi ice cream kabob treat with an Asian-themed beverage. The jade latte, a hot drink original to Sparrow Cafe, whirls a mix of traditional Japanese powdered matcha and milk (regular or soy) for a one-of-a-kind green tea experience. $3.75 per ice cream pop, $3.75 jade latte. 5001 Penn Ave. S.; 612.353.5177.
Throughout August, Patisserie Margo features a seasonal fruit-filled pastry that’s positively peachy. The warm bliss of summertime radiates from every morsel of the peach galette. A rite of summer, fresh peaches stand apart as a delicate stone fruit with a subtle, flowery taste. Orchard-fresh, tree-ripened true peach flavor makes this galette a special treat. “The fruit has to be the best,” says Margo Bredeson, owner. Tender peaches get dressed up in a cloak of flaky, butter-rich crust. A whole peach is sliced halfway and placed in the middle of a pastry shell. “When we put it in the oven it looks like a pastry purse,” Bredeson says. As the peach galette bakes and caramelizes with syrupy peach juice, a layer of custard is poured on top. The peach galette has its own loyal following. “People call and ask when we will have it,” Bredeson says. A steaming mug of coffee, made with roasted aromatic beans from Tea Source Limited, makes this dessert a true Euro-style café experience. Peach galette $5.95, coffee $1.85. 5133 Gus Young Lane; 952.926.0548.
Chia Seed Brownie
Move over, Betty Crocker—the new-millennium sensible, chia-seed-frosted chocolate-free brownie is here. Not only made from scratch, this updated healthier version of the classic bar has organic gluten-free flours, chia seeds and carob. “It is unique because it is gluten-free and vegan, but tastes more like a dense chocolate cake,” says Juell Roberts, owner. The super-moist brownie has what appears to be a good peppering of slightly large poppy seeds on top, but look closer: They are really chia seeds. Leave it to Peoples Organic to turn an ordinary brownie into a health-food-style baked good. “Chef Ray Roberts made the recipe. Chia seeds are great for many health benefits including energy boosts and omega-3 oils,” Roberts says. Want a little caffeine charge with your chocolaty chia seed brownie? An iced caramel sea-salt latte makes the perfect accompanying beverage. Chia seed brownie $4, iced caramel sea salt latte $3.75. 3545 Galleria; 952.426.1856.
Key Lime Pie
When life gives you limes, it’s time for some Key lime pie, and no one does it better than Turtle Bread. The Linden Hills location has a changing selection of daily pie features, and Key lime tops them all as an end-of-day customer favorite. Pure artistry in pie form, the Key lime is capped off with huge piped swirls of whipped cream ever so lightly sweetened. The acidity of fresh lime juice shines through with a pleasant pucker in this delightfully undersweetened pie. A crumbly fall-off-your-fork graham cracker crust adds a layer of contrasting salty savoriness. Wash down this tangy-lime sweet cream dessert with a dark French roast. Key lime pie $4.95 per slice, $22.99 for a whole pie ($3 refundable for returned pie plate). Coffee $1.75 12 oz., $1.95 16 oz., $2.25 24 oz.; 3421 W. 44th St.; 612.924.6013.