In Somerville, Lyndell’s bakery has been baking up treats in Ball Square without frills and all the charm of classic-Americana.
Walking into the vintage shop, the scent of icing, chocolate and butter envelops your taste buds pulls you toward the glass cases of cakes, doughnuts and pies. The counter help floats from customer to customer pulling from the shelves of butter cookies behind them and filling white cake boxes and bags. With the assistance of a special machine, the boxes are quickly tied up with string.
Bakers continue to appear from secret back rooms with trays filled to replenish the rapidly disappearing stock and restore order to this bakery ballet.
A woman in the back of the room hides behind a tower of Pizzelles slathering and swirling chocolate icing onto a small chocolate cake. She can’t hide from me. I know she has what I came for…Lyndell’s famous Half Moons.
It is moon madness at Lyndell’s and an icing lover’s dream. The bakery offers six varieties of the cakes, including the classic half chocolate and half vanilla. All are slathered either rich fudgy chocolate or light pillowy vanilla icing…or both making them black and white. The six-inch disk of moist cake base, on which the icing rests, is fluffy in either chocolate or white.
With so many options, it is hard to choose just one variety. I leave this visit with a dozen mixed variety. The magic of the moon is the ability to have both chocolate and vanilla. Why fight it?
The half moon is also known as the black and white cookie in some circles (i.e. New York), though the classification of the drop cake as a cookie is controversial.
Jerry Seinfeld makes reference to the magic of the black & white cookie in the ''The Dinner Party.” While trying to purchase chocolate babka, Jerry eats a classic moon. He reflects upon the powerful message of racial harmony that the dessert projects.
''Look to the cookie,'' he says.
I am amazed to find such high quality without a steep price tag. Lyndell’s Moon pies are a whopping $1.75 for the size of a side plate.