Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Second Look at Ugly Cakes

Now I’m a realist, so I partially expected Ugly Cakes’ last order of snickerdoodles (previously reviewed) to be an overly delicious fluke. Anybody can make a one-hit-wonder, the hard part is maintaining that level of accomplishment consistently. And now that they've set the bar so high, I'm willing to be slightly disappointed this time around.

So to celebrate my recent healthy weight loss, figured I’d order another dozen snickerdoodles. Because, you know, I’m worth it and I deserve nice things.

A quick message left on Ugly Cakes’ Facebook resulted in a quick response, having the cookies ready by the very next day.

And this time, ohh this time, they’d be brought by Cindy the Baker herself.
Ugly’s headquarters is on the opposite side of town from me, so Cindy and I met up halfway. I arrived right on time, but she was already there early. Like a professional.

Cindy the Baker is a modest woman, very friendly, even slipped in a colloquial “Dude” when she spoke to me. I’m not sure if she’s actually this hip, or she’s just very good at speaking to me in words I can understand. Cindy explained that the recipe was still the same, but a slight adjustment had been made. I can’t reveal this adjustment. Just know that it’s absolutely diabolically genius.

I have to insist upon giving her some extra money for driving closer to me, she accepts it graciously.

We say our goodbyes, but it turns out we’re both parked in the same area. Walking in the same direction, she keeps chatting away with me, and I try to respond, but I’m too entranced by the idea of me and these new snickerdoodles being alone together.

It was the longest drive back home in recent memory. Every red light seemed deliberately insulting.

Now in my room with the door and blinds closed, I look over the package.
Some changes have been made here. The small easily-torn paper bag has been replaced with a hefty tote. Instead of three groups of six cookies wrapped together in sticky paper, they’ve all been placed evenly in a single covered tray. This method is slightly more costly, but a welcome improvement from my perspective.

The same adorable graphic design is present, with a handwritten “Thank You & Enjoy!” on the business card for that personal touch.

The $19 got me 13 cookies this time, not 18. Regardless, I’m technically paying for a dozen cookies, so 13 is still a pleasant surprise. This was a reasonable choice on Ugly’s part to save on cost and maximize the profit margin- a sign that Ugly is gaining steam as a serious business.

Removing the first cookie, I notice this new batch’s babies are thinner. The same diameter across, but about half the thickness. Where the first snickerdoodles sat sinfully heavy in my hand, this new model seems to have spent the last two months at the gym. This one’s leaner, more honed and perfected.

Now the moment of truth.

Upon taking the first bite, more like a first kiss, all my doubts melt away. By the second and third bites, I’ve forgotten about bills, the war, our economy, hippies and depression.

Initially welcoming and lightly sweet, this cookie gets softer the more you get to know her. The center is moist yet firm, doughy but responsible… it’s just right.

There are few things that deliver this many smiles per dollar. And although a bit different than the first batch, these snickerdoodles have somehow figured a way to surpass my expectations all over again.

Well done, Ugly Cakes.

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