Hey, Sugar: 4 Northside Sweet Spots

TREAT YOUR SWEETIE TO PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF CONFECTION

written by JENNIFER TAPLEY OF “ADVENTURES OF A DESSERT QUEEN” with special reporting by COLLEEN ANN MCNALLY| photography courtesy of HEIDI GLAUDHAUSER; SAMANTHA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY; DOUCEUR DE FRANCE

THEY SAY THAT MONEY CAN’T BUY happiness. It can, however, buy dessert, and I’m pretty sure that’s the same thing. I’m not exactly proposing wild abandon, but a little indulgence from time to time is a necessary part of a happy life. So go ahead, choose the salad and do the workout, but, by all means, eat the dessert too.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will want to venture to our very own (ahem, only) après-ski destination in the heart of Buckhead. Yep, you read that correctly. Last fall, Yebo Beach Haus traded its sand-and-sea mindset for its winter counterpart and the West Paces Ferry restaurant got a makeover for the pop-up concept’s inaugural debut. Yebo Ski Haus’ cozier, lodge-like interiors — complete with outdoor fire pits, blanket throws for cuddling and low candlelight — as well as an Aspen-meets-Vail menu lasts through the end of this month.

In other words, time is running out to crack two spoons into their S’mores Crème Brûlée, made with Italian meringue and honey crackers. Other seasonal sweets include Bon Fire Chocolate Cake (vanilla gelato, almond Florentine, red wine berry coulis, sugar glass), Amarula Cheesecake (fresh whipped cream, cocoa nibs, caramel sauce, chocolate Nougatine, almond Florentine) and, perhaps hardest not to smile at before even taking a bite, scoops of gelato that are fashioned á la Frosty the Snowman. yebobeachhaus.com 

MEANWHILE, DOUGHNUT LOVERS need to look no further than Bon Glaze. With the main location in Brookhaven and a trendy walk-up window in Buckhead, this gourmet doughnut bakery is sure to have something for everyone. Owners Kelly and Kenny Keith feature flavors that go far beyond glazed, like the Salted Caramel Balsamic or the best-selling Blueberry Sour Cream Cake, along with traditional favorites.

Made from scratch daily, each doughnut is artfully designed. They can even create wedding towers, words, custom logos and designs. If you can dream it, they can do it. Be sure to sample some of their wood-smoked bacon, especially the candied or chocolate-dipped options, and order one of the artisan espresso coffees to round out your experience. They do run out quickly, so get there early. bonglaze.com

THE THIRD STOP ON OUR DESSERT tour takes us to my favorite French bakery, Douceur de France. At both the Marietta and Roswell locations, you will feel as if you’ve wandered into patisserie heaven. Owner and pastry chef Luc Beaudet grew up in France, where he received extensive pastry training for many years before finally moving to the United States. From the most decadent macaroons to a vast array of chocolate masterpieces, Douceur de France, which means “sweets of France,” has offerings as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate. Beaudet and his wife Danielle also serve a delicious breakfast and lunch menu. Take one of their cakes or other fabulous desserts to your next gathering and you’re sure to be the hit of the party. It just doesn’t get much more authentic than this. Bon appétit! douceurdefrance.com

CHEESECAKES, LAYER CAKES, PIES, cookies, pastries, truffles, oh my! For a sophisticated spin on an old-fashioned variety bakery, pay a visit to the divine Alpine Bakery and Trattoria. It certainly makes for a kid-in-a-candy-store experience. It can be a little overwhelming and will definitely require more than one visit, but don’t they all? A little tip: take a date or group with you so each person can order something different to share. That way you can build your own sampler platter. The Crabapple location is a full restaurant with wonderful lunch and dinner selections. Just remember to leave room for dessert. Or, do as I do and start with dessert. Don’t worry — Italian leftovers heat up well. The second location in Woodstock is takeout only, but has an amazing 60 feet of confection displays. With high-quality ingredients and impeccable attention to detail, this bakery does not disappoint. alpinebakeryandtrattoria.com

To follow along with more of Tapley’s delicious outings (she would love to hear your favorites as well!), check out “Adventures of a Dessert Queen” at facebook.com/dqadventures.