Though it still has America in its sugary headlock, we’re so over the cupcake frenzy. Instead, we’re pushing for a revival of chatter about a world’s worth of classic pastries and savory baked treats. Literally. We even made up a list of global goodies to serve as your conversation starter.— J.S.
We know the Doughnut Plant’s namesake treats are huge. But trust us: Don’t share your sweet treat — even with your kids. You’ll just end up cranky having given up half of your indulgence, which comes in flavors from the familiar to the exotic, including Valrhona chocolate, ginger, and lime. So take your pick, and guard it carefully. 379 Grand Street, New York, (212) 505-3700, www.doughnutplant.com
While we think the crumbs up top are, well, tops, we’re ever-so-grateful to the bakeries that put as much work (and imagination) into the cakey bit as well. And the lemon-lavender coffee cake at Seattle’s Macrina Bakery … well, there aren’t words to describe it. 2408 First Avenue, Seattle, (206) 448-4032, www.macrinabakery.com
Is it a snack or a meal? Take your pick. Thanks to an ever-growing variety of fillings in empanadas around the world, you could eat them at every meal and never get bored. Start with a jamón y queso at El Noble Repulgue in Buenos Aires, and you won’t look back. Av. Mitre 1002, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 011-54-810-333-4444, www.elnoblerepulgue.com.ar
Flaky crusts and bursts of sweet fruit make us bubble over with delight. Zurich’s Café Schober is renowned for serving up top-notch tarts. Plus, a visit to the café serves double-duty as a sightseeing stop — it’s the oldest confectioner’s shop in the city. Napfgasse 4, Zurich, Switzerland, 011-41-1-251-80-60
Some might take issue with us putting the delicate and oh-so-French macaroon into the behemoth “cookie” category, but so be it. Ladurée’s almond-based treat serves up layers and layers of flavors and textures. And the pretty pastel ones prove that style and substance can go hand in hand. Five locations in Paris, France, including Ladurée Royale, 16 rue Royale, 011-33-1-42-60-21-79, www.laduree.com
The swamp tour can wait. For a truly memorable experience in Lafayette, Louisiana, try a slice of Poupart Bakery’s divinely crusty French bread smothered with a lemon-tinged fig preserve, made by Madame Poupart herself. 1902 West Pinhook Road, Lafayette, Louisiana, (337) 232-7921, www.poupartsbakery.com