Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Love Scones from Betty

I know what you're thinking. For someone who's not really into baked goods, I sure am blogging a lot about them lately. I think it's winter and the holidays. Something about the cool air that makes you feel like cuddling up with a nice cup of tea and a scrumptious scone.

I feel lucky that one of the best places to find scones is just a 10-minute walk from my home. Bakesale Betty is this cool corner bakery in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood, right at where Telegraph Avenue meets 51st Street.
I say it's cool because it's one of those places that can attract a crowd even though it doesn't have its name visibly plastered outside it's chic black wood-framed shop. When it first opened more than a year ago, I kept wondering what it was because it hardly seemed opened. Then I realized it wasn't opened because it kept selling out their goods so quickly.

Bakesale Betty follows the simple rule of using seasonal ingredients and focusing on what they do well. So when you go in, you won't find glass counters filled with an assortment of baked goods. Instead, you just find the few items people crave for. During the summer, it was the shortbread with fresh summer strawberries. Then it was the fantastic banana bread with crumbling brown sugar top. Of course, right now it's everything pumpkin, from bread to pies.

Still, I feel Bakesale Betty is best with its scones. And again, they just focus on maybe three varieties. My favorite is the pear and ginger scone, but you also have lemon and apricot or whatever is in season (right now you can get cranberry).

Unfortunately, Bakesale Betty is only open Tuesdays through Saturdays. So when you want a nice scone with your morning coffee and Sunday New York Times, you have to plan ahead. Or make the trek to the farmers' markets. Bakesale Betty started by selling at the market in Walnut Creek, and they continue to go out to the farmers markets on Sundays. You'll find them at the Walnut Creek market and the new market at Temescal.

If you go to the shop, you also want to go early before all the selection runs out by early afternoon. One warning, though, some people find their products heavy on the sugar toppings. Their scones are topped with a glaze and the banana bread, for example, has a crumbled brown sugar top. I think this makes it special, but if you eat all of it at once, you'll feel it in your stomach. So like everything that's addictive, take it in moderation! But really, you'll only need one scone and you'll be satisfied. Slightly crunchy top and the moist center will keep you happy this winter, and the rest of the year!

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