Author Archives: Erin Jackson

Hidden Treasure: Coconut and Chocolate Mochi

San Diego Sugar | Coconut and Chocolate Mochis

Ok, so I know that technically, there’s nothing magical about mochi. As a snacky dessert item, it really couldn’t get more simple. It’s really just sweet rice flour, sugar, water, more sugar (in the form of corn syrup) and whatever is in or on it. The logical part of my brain gets that this basically means it’s a marshmallow, but the magic-loving, 12-year-old lobe is totally enchanted by mochi. I’m always on the hunt for good ones, like these coconut and chocolate versions. Find out more, including where I got them, after the jump.

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Hidden Treasure: Chocolate Mochi from Marukai

San Diego Sugar | Chocolate Mochi

A lifetime of loving sweets has taught me a few valuable lessons: always use a tiny spoon when eating ice cream, and a truly decadent slice of chocolate cake should be enjoyed in **absolute silence**. Extending the proverbial “moment on the lips” before the inevitable “lifetime on the hips” is key. Maybe my efforts to prolong the experience of eating sweets is one of the reasons I love mochi so much. The chewiness of the glutinous treats requires a lot of chewing, and a lot of time to reflect on just how delicious they are.

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Taste Test: Regular, Gluten Free and Red Velvet Cupcakes from Sprinkles

San Diego Sugar | Sprinkles Red Velvet Cupcakes: gluten-free vegan regular

I feel bad for anyone whose dietary restrictions limits their intake of baked goods and other sweets. Vegans and those with gluten intolerance have it the hardest, but Sprinkles has created three variations on a classic cupcake flavor that lets more people experience the pure joy of partaking in a frosting-covered single-serving cake. This morning, I taste tested all three versions of their red velvet cupcakes to see how they are different and which one’s the best.

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Grocery Goods: Filled Chocolate Bars from Trader Joe’s

San Diego Sugar | Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Chocolate Bars

If you missed your chance to stock up on cookie butter at Trader Joe’s, there’s now an even better option: dark chocolate bars filled with cookie butter, one of three new chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s (all of which are 43 grams and 99 cents). There’s also a dark chocolate bar filled with chocolate buttercream and a milk chocolate bar filled with caramel. Naturally, I had to try all three.

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Acai Bowls at Swami’s Cafe

San Diego Sugar | Swami's Acai Bowl

My instinct with breakfast is always to go with something sweet, like pancakes or french toast, but the though of having a brick of syrup-soaked carbs weighing me down isn’t always appealing. That’s where acai bowls come in.

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Old School Sugar High at Star Dust Donuts

San Diego Sugar | Donuts from Star Dust Donuts

For me, eating donuts is like time travel. As soon as the glaze hits me, I enter a nostalgic time warp where I experience the same level of joy as I did as a kid, munching on a donut and getting sprinkles all over the back seat of my parents’ car. In San Diego, donuts aren’t nearly as plentiful as my homeland, but there are some gems. And last weekend, I was lucky enough to have a tour guide to one of the longest-standing fried dough emporiums in the county: Star Dust Donuts.

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Baked Goods Galore from Village 631

San Diego Sugar | Blackberry Bar from Village Cafe

In my area of San Diego, chain coffee shops outnumber independent cafes, but one advantage that the Village at 631 has over the competition is a kick-ass pastry chef. The baked goods in the display case are so vastly superior to the mass-produced items at Starbucks that making the comparison between the two almost feels mean.

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Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

San Diego Sugar | Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Even though I don’t venture out for cupcakes, ice cream, or sweet eats every day, there is one thing I indulge in on a daily basis: homemade cookies. Over the past year, I’ve experimented with several different recipes, and found some favorites. This recipe for peanut butter chip cookies is one of them.

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Sweet Eats: The Mission’s French Toast

San Diego Sugar | French Toast from The Mission

French toast is like pizza: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. And while this breakfast and brunch staple is tough to really get wrong, there’s still a gulf between the eggs, imitation vanilla, and Wonder bread version I whipped up as a kid and legitimately well executed versions like the cinnamon french toast at The Mission ($7.95).

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Neenies from Neen’s Cheesecake

San Diego Sugar | Mini Cheesecakes from Neen's Cheesecakes

Committing to an entire cheesecake is tough. If you’re not buying it for a party, you’re faced with the knowledge that, whether it’s over a few days or a few weeks, you will consume the entire thing. That mix of shame and guilt has kept me from buying whole cheesecakes (or making them at home) for years. Still, a life without cheesecake is too sad to contemplate, and that’s where mini-sized cheesecakes like “Neenies” from Neen’s Cheesecakes come in.

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