Cookies, doughnuts and bagels – even homemade marshmallows flavored with real vanilla beans. There are several new places in town to get these yummy treats.
For starters, Cookie Couture has taken over part of the Palatine building, that big fancy building visible from Highway 41 in north Fresno that used to house Slates restaurant (and then later Plates).
Cookie Couture, a former home-based baker, is selling baked goods, coffee and boxed lunches from the little cafe in the middle of the building at 7455 N. Fresno St.
Sugar cookies are Raven Masse’s specialty. They come in lots of different themes and shapes, from a detailed replica of a Fresno police badge complete with the seal of California on it, to Halloween cookies with images of Edgar Allen Poe hand-painted with a paintbrush dipped in food coloring.
“Everything is hand-piped, hand-designed,” she says.
Masse has been doing custom orders for years for baby showers, wedding favors, small gift boxes for teacher appreciation week and big catered events. Moving into the Palatine building allows customers to pop by for just one cookie – or more.
A new bakery case is loaded with goodies such as slices of pecan pie with a chocolate bottom, little cups of Oreo mousse with an Oreo on top, and multiple flavors of macarons, the brightly colored French sandwich cookie.
I want to offer something that no one else offers.
Raven Masse, Cookie Couture
The next big trend in baked goods (cupcakes and cake pops are old hat at this point) is handmade marshmallows. Masse makes them from scratch in flavors like vanilla, lemon and mint. The marshmallows are made from just a few ingredients: Sugar, water, gelatin and whatever she uses to flavor the marshmallow, such as lemon peel or vanilla beans.
“They’re time-consuming and it’s really finicky, but it’s fun,” Masse says. “They’re so different than store-bought marshmallows. They’re dense and they taste divine.”
They taste divine.
Raven Masse, about her handmade marshmallows
Boxed lunches are a new addition for Cookie Couture.
The lunches cost $12.99 and come with a drink and a dessert and usually a side of fruit. The Mexican grilled chicken Cobb salad with a side of strawberries and a little Mexican cheesecake is especially popular. They can be eaten at the tables in the cafe area or taken to go.
The Palatine building also has a banquet room upstairs for events that Cookie Couture can cater.
Details: CookieCoutureFresno.com or 559-273-6771.
Bullard Donut & Bakery
This business, at 1779 N. Bullard Ave. at Fowler in Clovis in the former Ruben’s Bakery, is old-school. They don’t even have a Facebook page.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of deliciousness to be had. There are all kinds of doughnuts here, from glazed to ones smothered in bright sprinkles.
Bullard Donuts also sells pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and bierocks every day. There are giant cinnamon rolls, croissants stuffed with ham and cheese, and jelly rolls – a cakelike dessert with strawberry filling rolled into it and coconut on the outside.
Bullard Donut & Bakery is open from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Charlotte’s and Drop Box
Charlotte’s BakerEatery has closed, but fans can still get some of its gluten-free and vegan food from Drop Box Bakery. This is the monthly service I told you about in February where customers subscribe to a monthly soup and bread service with optional dessert.
Rocha is making an organic tomato-basil soup and sourdough bread for $30 in April. And for dessert, a dark chocolate brownie with walnuts brings the price to $38. An optional three-pack of bagels costs $8. All of this is gluten-free and vegan. (You can also get your Charlotte’s fix from Rocha at the Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday.)
The deadline to order is April 19 and customers pick up their food at April 23 at Fresno Art Hub 2024 N. Van Ness Blvd. at the corner of Weldon Avenue. See the rest of the menu and order online or by calling 559-246-4841 (forms can be emailed or mailed to customers).