Anyone can quickly throw together an ice cream sundae or bake a halfway decent chocolate chip cookie. We were looking for truly unique desserts–the ones that are so amazing that you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Days of researching and sampling later (this job is so hard sometimes), the following is what we discovered.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Cheesecake Ice Cream Push Pops
Cheesecake is awesome. Ice cream is awesome. Push pops are awesome. So what evil genius would have the amazing idea to put all of these delectable components together? Well, none other than Steve Buresh's Cheesecake Store. Introducing: cheesecake ice cream push pops. The ice cream is so rich and decadent, with that awesome flavor of the cheese. And, hey, if you're one of those weird people who can't eat ice cream if it's not super hot outside, there are plenty of cheesecakes to choose from, including single serving cheesecakes in a jar. You've got to check this place out. Steve Buresh's Cheesecake Store is located in Plainfield, but you can order online and get delivery!
2. Chocolate Pretzel Cake
Hot Chocolate has been on the cutting-edge of the Chicago dessert scene for years. Mindy Segal, the chef, is amazing and has been nominated as an outstanding pastry chef by the James Beard foundation. Really, you can't have anything bad here and you certainly will not find anything pedestrian. But the chocolate pretzel cake has to be one of the best creations. The cake is moist and a little crumbly, but it has that salty component like a chocolate-covered pretzel does.
3. The Wonut
So, we all know the sensationalism surrounding the cronut (a croissant/donut hybrid). But here is the wonut--a combination of a waffle and donut. This was invented by, who else, Waffles Cafe of Chicago. Pictured above is the Intelligentsia Espresso Wonut with Mocha glaze. Because why go to the effort of dipping a donut into your coffee? Well, actually, you totally could. And that would be decadent.
4. Ice cream crepes
Who knew that they were doing some awesome crepes down in Carbondale? But apparently they are. Now, you have probably had a breakfast crepe before, and maybe you're enough of a foodie to have had a savory crepe. But a crepe filled with ice cream? What is this sorcery?
5. Whiskey Caramel Apple Galette
What is a galette, you ask? A galette is a French freeform cake, often filled with fruit. The result: a rustic-looking but super sophisticated tasting masterpiece. DESTIHL (Champaign) has a wide variety of desserts, most of which have an alcohol component. If you've never had whiskey and caramel apple before--yeah, great idea.
6. Raspberry Eclairs
Who doesn't love an eclair? But usually they are 1) not well-filled and 2) filled with artificial flavoring. But check out this raspberry eclair from Incredibly Delicious Cakes (Springfield). I spy actual whole raspberries! They use fresh ingredients and real butter, and the result is utter goodness.
7. Cookie Dough
Who doesn't remember being a little kid and eating the cookie dough out of the bowl after mom made cookies? Well, Cookie Dough Creations takes that to a whole new level. It's like an ice cream parlor, but everything is raw cookie dough. No, it's not ice cream with cookie dough sprinkled in--it's actually cookie dough. They have tons of flavors, from classic chocolate chip to cake batter. But if you are looking for extreme decadence, get the cookie dough cookie sandwich. It's two baked cookies with cookie dough in the middle.
8. Old-Fashioned Candy Cane Pie
When I think pie, I think of the traditional fruit filling and a buttery, flaky crust. And those are great pies! But why not combine the love of frozen yogurt with the pie concept. Enter: the old-fashioned candy cane pie. This is made by Cool Spoons (Marion). You will love the Oreo crust and the nice pepperminty cream. Delicious! Make a new holiday tradition.
9. Toasted Coconut Macaron
Macarons have to be one of my favorite desserts. And anything with toasted coconut is divine. But a toasted coconut macaron? These are absolutely amazing. You can find these, many other flavors of macarons, and cupcakes/cakes at Cream and Flutter (located in Champaign).
10. Vegan Cranberry Peach Pie
Trying to cut out dairy? Have visitors who are lactose intolerant or other dietary restrictions? Then it's super great to be able to get a delicious pie that is vegan. And I'll answer the question that all of you have: yes, it tastes good. One World Cafe (Peoria) has an incredibly decadent dessert menu, including plenty of stuff with dairy. But this pie is a nice change of pace, still very delicious, but just a little bit lighter.
Wow!!! These are so awesome. Does your favorite restaurant have a unique dessert? Be sure to let us know in the comments.