Gingersnap Sweets Opens In North Center

Gingersnap, a new North Center bakery to know

"I can do pretty much anything," says Jen Templeton of Gingersnap Sweets assuredly when asked about her specialties.

Templeton's new North Center bakery isn't packed with displayed pastries, as much of her business is wholesale. But the former Julius Meinl pastry chef can easily whip up layer cakes, mousse cakes, tarts and pastries when given at least a day's advance notice.

She stocks her storefront with sweets of a simpler sort, like bacon-cheddar scones, crumbly Breton cookies and whirlaways, sweet bread dough twisted and studded with dark chocolate.

Take home a loaf of airy pain de mie to use for BLTs during the final stretch of tomato season. The miniature loaves are the perfect size for two sandwiches. And don't leave without asking what's in the cooler; on a recent visit, pistachio Napoleons and caramel-topped shortbread squares were hiding from the heat.

Templeton also makes syrups for flavoring coffee: vanilla, hazelnut, cinnamon and walnut, with caramel on the way. Jars of house-made jam are in the works, and come winter, she'll have chocolate blends for hot chocolate and mochas.

Next up: pastries for the buzzy upcoming restaurant The Boarding House.

Gingersnap Sweets, 1416 W. Irving Park Rd.; 773-697-8529 or