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Treat to Try: Smidgen

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Treat to Try: SmidgenPhoto by Miriam Bowers Abbott.
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A good-looking macaron is impossible to pass by. The treats are so prissy and dainty, and yet . . . so packed with flavor. Too often, pretty food and delicious food share too little space in Venn Diagrams. That said, macarons are treats that occupy that shared space.

So the house macarons are the initial draw to Smidgen Small Bites & Cakes. Based in Gahanna, it’s been making central-city appearances this summer at the farm market scene in Pearl Alley, Clintonville, and Franklin Park Conservatory.

The pastel colors and the perfectly uniform, puffy circular shapes of Smidgen’s macarons are eye-catching. From a foundational perspective, they meet all the classic sensory expectations: the outer shells are fragile, but still manage to survive a trip through a crowded market unscathed. Those shells crush and dissolve in the mouth, letting the filling do the heavy lifting in the flavor department. And the filling does deliver. In the center of each macaron hides a concentrated blast of flavor. You won’t see it coming from the outside, but it’s waiting to shake things up a bit. It provides an especially lovable, sweet zing in the Lemon Pie version.

While the meticulously shaped sandwich cookies might lure you in, there are plenty of other treats on Smidgen’s menu. Case in point: an oversized sugar cookie. It delivers a purist’s old-fashioned pleasures with its even texture, and sweet icing on top.

Ingredient-wise, it won’t come as a surprise to see natural stuff on the bakery’s labels; the house attention-to-detail extends into full-disclosure ingredient lists on all the baked goods. The offerings are based in sugar, almond flour, butter, egg whites and appropriate oils (as in, strawberry or lemon oil in the macarons).

Shoppers will also find petit fours, little tarts and cupcakes, all carefully constructed to provide treats that taste as good as they look.

For more information, visit smidgen-smallbites.com.

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