From Blondie to Brunette

The slightly sweet sweets of Short Cake

The sugar rush brought on by a blondie or magic bar baked by a classmate's mom for a grade-school bake sale was an almost illicit thrill.

That wholesome high immediately came to mind when we visted Short Cake, the late Amy Pressman's newly opened bakery.

Updated bake sale classics like crumble bars filled with sticky strawberry-thyme jam ($2), those chewy Cashew-Butter Cookies we featured in our 12 Days of Cookies (pictured; $1.25 for two), and fudgy brownies ($4) are all stacked high at Short Cake's Original Farmers Market stall.

But unlike the rampantly sweet nostalgia that's fueled the cupcake trend for years now, the sweets at Short Cake won't leave you with the jitters of a sugar high. The treats baked by Anisette vet Ramon Ramirez and Hourie Sahakian are sweetened sparingly and often involve savory touches that might not have thrilled our grade-school selves–which is to say, the treats are wonderfully balanced.

The Brunette ($2.50), which is far more than a blondie with a dye job, was the standout sweet. Molasses-like muscovado sugar gives this sweet its richer color and rum-leaning flavor, but don't expect a Caribbean confection: The pine nuts and thyme paving the top make a Sicilian Brunette out of the American blondie.

Short Cake, 6333 W. 3rd St., Stall #316, Mid-City; 323-761-7976 or shortcakela.com