Just because I didn’t bake this weekend doesn’t mean I was willing to go without the good stuff for four days. My trip afforded me the opportunity to visit a spot that I’ve been curious about every since it opened in June: the Lovely Bake Shop in Chicago. Friends, I was not disappointed. It’s just the kind of stripped-down American-style baking operation that I really go for. The above to-go box contained, in clockwise order: ginger-chocolate chewies, pain au chocolat, dotties (a.k.a. seven layer bars), and best of all two of their blueberry muffins…which they do in interesting little kugelhopf-like molds. Fortunately for the wife and girls, I put it all in the distant rear of the car so I couldn’t reach it while I drove.

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