The art of baking has been the easy part for Stephanie Crocker -- the fragile shortbreads, the dainty minitarts, the coconut snowballs that make a customer's knees buckle in pleasure.
That joy fills a particular niche in Seattle, where one of the crumby realities is that most coffee shops have lousy pastries -- dry, plastic-wrapped, shortening-filled mouthfuls of wasted calories. Few can offer what Crocker's Sugar Bakery and Cafe (1014 Madison St.) creates: the savory scones tenderized by buttermilk and flavored with goat cheese and scallions, tasting like a slice of quiche magically converted into pure pastry; the mini "snowballs," a gut reaction to Crocker's childhood disappointment at finding chocolate in the middle of a Hostess Snowball. Her retaliatory invention was a round coconut cake topped with thick coconut pastry cream, brushed with coconut glaze and rolled in a blizzard of white shavings.
Check out the link above for the rest of the story -- and a recipe for some of those scones.