Kringle, Take Me Away!

Eve M. Tai
Comfort in a pastry.
The next time your boss or a Japanese nuclear power plant threatens to melt down, don't get into the fetal pose--get into a kringle. Heavy on the fat and light on pretense, kringle is the Danish grandma who believes there's nothing like the healing balm of butter and sugar to soothe frayed nerves. A Danish pastry by way of Austria, kringle reigns as the top biller at Larsen's Bakery in Loyal Heights (a neighborhood within a neighborhood, if you will, but that's Ballard).

The Cheesehead in me yelped at the sight of kringle piled cozily inside a display case. (Kringle is a big deal in Wisconsin, where I used to live.) These babies gleamed with high-octane sugared almond paste slathered over flaky, sugar-encrusted pastry. Sliced almonds and raisins added the finishing touches.

Nothing about Larsen's would ever appear in Artisan Baker or Dwell magazine. But that just ups the comfort factor. Cafeteria-style seating, scalloped paper plates, and half-and-half (not organic) straight from the carton are the norm here. That and oodles of buttery/sugary pastries, cakes, and cookies coated in bright frosting. It's all as reassuring as a Norman Rockwell painting.

And speaking of the boss, get the large, pretzel-shaped kringle to share at the office. Your colleagues will thank you for putting them--and your boss--into a dreamy, happy stupor.

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