Happy Birthday America. Let's eat some sweets.
Personal-sized apple pie from Angel Food Bakery (photo by Joseph Storch)
As you fire up your grills, make your grocery list and check to see if you have enough gas to make back from the Indiana fireworks stores, don't forget about dessert, America. ‚ I realize the good folks at Chevy (or is it Chevrolet?) have forever ingrained the images of "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and..." into our subconsciousness from the 1970s, and so even though apples aren't really going to be in season for another month or so, it's this iconic pie that I always gravitate toward whenever I'm feeling patriotic. ‚ Stephanie Samuels has a thing for all things retro at her Angel Food Bakery in Ravenswood, and while the pies (and cakes) are made with the utmost care, it's her little tongue-in-cheek sweets that I always find myself grabbing on the way out the door.
Whoopie pie from Angel Food Bakery (photo by Joseph Storch)
Take whoopie pies, for instance. ‚ They're not quite at macaron-level popularity yet, and they haven't jumped the shark like cupcakes, but these cakey, soft sandwiches are done just right at Angel Food, without being too cloyingly sweet (or, God forbid, to crumbly) and always maintain the proper ratio of cake to filling. Samuels also makes homemade Twinkies she wraps in tinfoil (called Airstreams, for legal reasons) as well as her own versions of Girl Scout thin mints and even Zingers. Good luck trying to get out of there with just one item. Note: the bakery will be closed both Sunday the 4th, as well as Monday, for the holiday.