Thursday, August 23, 2012
Sander's Cream Puff Sundae
My very dear friend Fran joined me on a girls' day out recently. (You might remember that I featured an interview with Fran last year, in which she offered an amazing recipe for Chocolate Pecan Pie.)
The primary goal of our adventure was to go to the Sander's store at a mall about half-an-hour away from Ann Arbor. It's the closest we were going to get to reliving one of Fran's best childhood memories:
"Another favorite treat was going downtown and having lunch at Sanders. It always consisted of their amazing tuna sandwiches (who knew they could be good?) and Sanders had a yellow cake with buttercream frosting that also had crushed nuts on the outside. It was heavenly .... (My) favorite treat as a kid was the Sanders hot fudge cream puff ...."
If you grew up in Detroit, as Fran did, or if you had relatives in Detroit who would bring presents when they visited, as I did, then you know about Sander's. It was a very special luncheonette and candy store, noted for an assortment of sweets and - in particular, for me - the hot fudge sauce that my grandmother would bring as a gift when she came to see us in New York.
So, why order a salad or a sandwich or something nutritious while enjoying our day out??? Fran and I ordered cream puff sundaes for lunch! Anything else would have just been excess calories. The sundaes had been a significant raison d'être for our trip, after all.
When given a choice of ice creams, there was no reason to go with plain ol' vanilla or even one of my favorites, mint chocolate chip. Because the quintessential core of a Sander's cream puff sundae would, of course, be a variety of ice cream featuring another Sander's classic: the Bumpy Cake, a devil's food cake with rows of buttercream frosting on top that are then covered in chocolate. Sigh with me ....
The sundaes were enormous, and I couldn't even finish mine. While you might think this was excessively and cloyingly sweet, it actually was perfectly balanced - the cream puff seems to offer sufficient substance and breadiness to counter the sugar high of cake-infused ice cream with an abundance of hot fudge sauce. This was a pure, decadent indulgence!
So, although the beautiful new dress that I bought for Rosh Hashanah was a definite perk (a $100 dress on sale for $25!), the cream puffs - and spending time with my beloved Fran, of course! - were absolutely the highlights of the day ... :)
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