Blondie's Bake Shop
90A Washington Dr. Centerport, New York
Talk about good confectionery karma. Blondie's Bake Shop is on the same quiet block where Azure Chocolat got its start in 2004. That fine chocolatier decamped for Greenlawn in 2010, but now Centerport has another delicious destination.
Jess Kennaugh is the Blondie in question (actually, more of a strawberry blonde), and she's been baking since she could reach the kitchen counter. In high school, she started working at A Rise Above, the venerable Huntington bakery, staying there for 12 years before a short stint with Sweetie Pies on Main in Cold Spring Harbor. In December, she opened Blondie's.
"I always wanted to be a baker," she said. "I love putting flavors together, and I love talking to people about food, especially cake." Even the mundane aspects of the job appeal to her. "Honestly, there is nothing more fun than frosting a cupcake."
Kennaugh's cupcakes are low key -- no crazy flavors or elaborate headdresses of frosting. Of her 30 varieties, about a dozen are available daily. I was particularly taken with an elegant almond cupcake filled with raspberry preserves. (Regular cupcakes are $2.25, minis are 95 cents.)
Blondie's makes a terrific eponymous blondie. In fact, Kennaugh has a gift for overstuffed bar cookies (all $2.25) including "ugly" brownies, topped with marshmallow, chocolate chips and peanut butter, and "triple-threat" brownies, with Oreos and chips.
Stop by in the morning for a tender, not-too-sweet scone and a freshly pulled espresso. Blondie's is open Tuesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Picture: Jess Kennaugh loves nothing better than frosting cupcakes. (March 29, 2012)