After 14 years of turning out delectable baked goods for The Classic Catering People, pastry chef Robert Gonzalez traded his corporate apron for a piece of his own pie in Carroll County. He and his wife Julia opened a bakery four years ago in the hinterlands of Hampstead, turning out temptations like almond raspberry cake, swirled cheesecakes, and fresh fruit tarts. Recently, they expanded their venture to a bigger location and included a coffee shop. But, before you roll your eyes and say, “Who needs another java joint?” we’d like to counter that this is a pleasant detour from the usual cookie-cutter brew house. Besides offering top-of-the line Orinoco coffee and espresso drinks ($1.50-3.75), Snickerdoodles Bakery & Coffee House (903 S. Main St., Hampstead, 410-239-6077) has pastries to drool for. On a recent visit, the lemon-poppy-seed scone ($1.50) and cinnamon twist ($1.75) caught our eyes and taste buds, but you may also be tempted by the huge selection of other, just-made delicacies, including turnovers, Danish pastries and fruit-filled croissants. Grab a seat on the comfy leather love seat by the gas-lit fireplace and lose yourself in a book and latte. It’s about a 45-minute trip from Baltimore, but you’ll feel the tension of the city melting away as you drive by pastoral farms and rolling hillsides. Of course, on the way back, maneuvering the Beltway and JFX may cause a jolt. But that could just be the coffee kicking in.
Baked goods and coffee make for a sweet detour.
Issue date: February, 2008