by Mabel Suen
Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.
Spoon Baking Company (4 East Broadway; Alton, Illinois; 618-374-6098) opened on December 22, fulfilling the long-time dream of Alton resident Diana Schuler, who co-owns the business with her husband Ryan. The bite-size, 350-square-foot bakery is reminiscent of a homey Martha Stewart set piece, featuring a bright white interior accentuated with fresh flowers, dainty bows and a small counter top filled with from-scratch baked goods. Among them is the shop's namesake specialty, the "Spoon Cookie."
Ryan Schuler says he created the oat, walnut and coconut-centric cookie nearly fifteen years ago. Like everything else at Spoon, the base is simple and sweet -- in this case, a classic combination of flour, sugar and butter. The chewy cookie gets its texture from the addition of those nutty ingredients and an extra coating of sugar, and each batch bakes up in the oven until it has achieved those picture-perfect, golden-brown edges.
Besides the "Spoon Cookie," visitors can find benchmarks of homemade, American-style baking, including cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, brownies and more at the petite storefront. The Schulers own 30 acres of land outside of Alton on which they've planted 80 fruit and nut trees, so look forward to the the fruits of their labor in upcoming seasons.
Previously on Sugar High: - Insomnia Cookies' S'mores Deluxe Cookie - Living Room's Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookie - Stimulus Baking Company's Pad-Thai Cupcake - La Bonne Bouchée's Strawberry-Mousseline Cake - Pie Oh My's Pumpkin-Maple Pecan Pie - Annie Moons' Banana-Split Muffins - Cyrano's Carrot Cake - Whitebox Eatery's Cheese Pastry - Comet Coffee's Mousse Cakes - Whisk's Apple-Cinnamon "Pop Tartlets" - The London Tea Room's Blueberry-Lemon Cake - Corner 17's Fluffy Ice - The Fountain on Locust's "Banana Bourbon" Sundae - Vinnie's Pinwheel Baklava - Red Fox Baking & Catering's Lemon Tart - Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie - Russell on Macklind's Coconut Cake - The Kitchen Sink's Sweet Potato Fries - Giovanni's Kitchen's Panna Cotta Trio - Crepes Etc.'s Crepe Cake - Cafe Ventana's Beignets - Frida's Raspberry-Chocolate Avocado Mousse - India Palace's Gulab Jamun - Melt's "Violet Beauregarde" Waffle - Brevan's Patisserie's "Brendan" - Winslow's Home's Chocolate Cake with Espresso Meringue - La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclair - Black Bear Bakery's Raspberry Oat Bar - Gelateria's London Fog Gelato - 4 Seasons Bakery's German Cheesecake - Libertine's "Candy Bar" - Cleveland-Heath's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding
We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at email@example.com.