Door County, the sweets edition

Door County foodsWith a tween daughter at home, I’ve given lots of thought to friendships: how they’re made, how fragile they can be, what makes a good one, and so on. While I didn’t especially enjoy those middle school years myself (though it was junior high back then, remember?), I take great solace in knowing that on the other side of 40, I have the best friends I’ve ever had and few of them go as far back as high school or even college. Kids and work have brought me together with those who share interests (food!) and views on life in general.

my fairy tale home

my fairy tale home

It is to one of these friends that I dedicate this post. Mary (might be her real name, then again it might not πŸ˜‰ ) recently invited me to share a cottage with her in Door County, Wisconsin. She knew it as a haven for foodies and figured (correctly!) that I’d enjoy its culinary scene. So I made arrangements to get the kids to and from games, lessons, playdates, etc, and hopped in her car for the road trip to a Goldilocks-like cabin in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Four days later, we turned around and came home, but in that time, we found plenty to eat.

First stop was Door County Confectionery, which was much like any small town touristy candy store. But I’m a sucker for cute (and candy), so I didn’t leave empty-handed.

brilliantly clever way to sell salt water taffy

brilliantly clever way to sell salt water taffy

It wasn’t too many minutes later that I was unable to resist The Singing Donut, a made-to-order donut shop. Any guesses what my Kevin Bacon donut was topped with?

If you tell me you could walk buy a shop called The Singing Donut without stopping in, you are lying.

If you claim you could walk by a shop called The Singing Donut without stopping in, you are lying.

Starting the day with candy, then following it with a donut? The next “meal” could only be pie topped with frozen custard. (In my defense, I spotted this sign on my morning run, so at least burned off a few of my vacay calories.)



I went whole hog and ordered the Sweet Matilda pie, which blew me away with its pretzel crust topped with layers of ganache, peanut butter, bananas, vanilla cream, and whipped cream. Not adding a scoop of frozen custard from a shop named Not Licked Yet Frozen Custard seemed wrong.

Every bit as dreamy as it looks.

Every bit as dreamy as it looks.

Speaking of pie…

how sweet is this?

how sweet is this?

This cute shop was as homespun as they come and I was sorry to miss the local farmers’ market held in their parking lot one morning each week.

Sweetie Pie display

Sweetie Pie display

Cherries are a big Door County draw (as seen above) and they also turned up in the pie served after The Fish Boil (more later on that).

Door County cherries were everywhere

Door County cherries were everywhere.

Coffee and a sweet seemed a bit of a theme as we traveled.

Blue Horse's coffee and nutella scone rocked.

Blue Horse’s coffee and nutella scone rocked.

Door County Coffee & Tea Company: Americano and sea salt caramel decadence

Door County Coffee & Tea Company: Americano and sea salt caramel decadence

With the mention of coffee, I’ll put this post on hold until next week when we’ll talk about the Beverages of Door County. A sneak peekbeverages in Door CountyAnd, Mary? Looks like there will be a few more posts dedicated to you. Thanks for a fine trip, my friend. I am lucky to know you.

66 thoughts on “Door County, the sweets edition

    • Thanks, Princess. It was totally a Snow White cottage–expected to see little birds, squirrels, etc coming in the doors and windows to start sweeping, etc πŸ™‚

  1. how lucky you are to have a friend like mary aka mary, and to have had such a wonderful getaway with all of these special treats. it’s like a foodie fairy tale.

    • yes, too much sugar! And also too much alcohol, but that will be the next post πŸ˜‰ “Mercy yum” has a nice ring to it πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming by.

    • You’ll only need to drive 5 1/2 more hours to find me once you’re in Fish Creek, Fannie. Call me when you’re on your way πŸ˜‰ Door County to Boot seems a good phrase to use, though not sure in what way. Flows nicely πŸ™‚ Thanks for coming over. I still have it on my “to do” list to circle back to your peanut redux.

  2. Looks like you had a great time! Funny how I never spent time in Door County despite growing up in Wisconsin! There is something about touristy places having yummy food, especially sweets and drinks! Looking forward to more posts.

    • Thanks, Gretchen. It was a hike from where I am in Minnesota, but definitely worth it even just for the scenery. Though as long as there was food to eat, I was there πŸ™‚

  3. What? How many days did you have to pack all this food in? You are definitely my kind of traveler!! πŸ˜‰ That Matilda pie looks heavenly, and I’m not even one for pie. I need to get up to Door County!!

    • We were there four days, two which were half travel and two were flat-out culinary marathons. I ignored the voice in my head that tells me when I’m full, that’s for sure. Holler when you head to Door County–I’ll meet you somewhere! Better yet, pick me up on the way πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks, Ada. I loved the name The Singing Donut and the donuts were good, but they could’ve used better signage. Good thing I zeroed in on the word “donut”! And the pie was killer.

      How’s things on your end? Busy summer for you!

      • Haha people like us would never miss the word “donut”!

        I’ve been pretty busy! Mostly due to job searching the past few months. And still wedding planning, of course. I’m glad I finally posted a new recipe this week though!

  4. Nice job spotting your next treat while on a run–sounds like something I would do. I guess I do frequently plan my next meal or baking adventure while running….
    Anyway, that Sweet Matilda pie looks to die for. I really want some! Pretzel crust for a pie….hmmm…I may have to play with this.
    And yet, amongst all the sugar in this post…sometimes the sweetest thing is having a true friend. πŸ™‚ How is that for sappy?

    • Thanks, Jenny. I was thinking about trying to recreate that pie, too. The layers were brilliant–each complimenting/contrasting with the one above and below.

      And your sentiments are lovely–hadn’t thought of it that way (too busy stuffing my face, haha). I’d trade all the sweets sin the world for a good friend. Sappy schmappy πŸ˜€

  5. Oh, my goodness! Such beauty! The art of food. I want to take a fork to these pictures. I think your friend was really Paula Deen and she led you down a pre-diabetes path to sugary goodness. Who could pass up pie and Kevin Bacon donuts and Sweet Matilda pie? Good thing you ran!

    • Yikes, I did pull a bit of a Paula Deen with all the fat grams and calories and such. The next post isn’t going to redeem me, either. But as you say, passing on anything was never an option. Yep, the running is non-negotiable, even if just to clear my head from food comas.

  6. OMG what a beautiful house. Wisconsin eh? I think I could take a lovely break from NYC and enjoy all of those wonderful sweets. It looks like you had a wonderful time and I’m glad you tried all those delicious local desserts. There is something really special about an enduring friendship and it’s interesting to see your daughter going through the fits and starts of where it really all begins. Great post.

    • The Wisconsin culinary scene is a far cry from that of New York! “Quaint” is the word I’d use for what I saw on this trip.

      You’ve hit it exactly with the phrase “fits and starts” as that’s what I see her going through. Sometimes things go smoothly, others not so much. And my heart breaks for her when it does not. No idea how I’m going to make it through the next six years!

  7. What is that sea salt decadence? I want! It looks like you had a great time with Mary (if that is her real name) in Door County, Liz. I think all vacations should be full of coffee and sweets. Friendships are renewing and energizing, and I’m glad you got to spend a few days away with your friend!

    • Thanks, Ngan. Not remembering specifics on the caramel sea salt bar. (Partly because we had just had a tasting at Door County’s distillery and I purchased a red solo cup (!) of vodka lemonade. πŸ˜‰ ) Chocolate layer on top, some sort of chocolate cookie crust on bottom, and in between layers of sea salt caramel, a lighter chocolate, and custardy whipped cream. Went very nicely with the espresso drink.

      Heartily agree that all vacations need to include coffee and sweets–there should be a rule about that πŸ˜€

  8. So far it looks like you had an amazing trip! I am trying to take a mini-vacation with my best friend but it’s been hard to plan the time and money. We’ve been friends since we were about 4 years old, but I haven’t seen her in 7 years. Thank goodness for Skype! Anyways I am totally jealous of your girlfriend get-away and I am crazy jealous about all those sweets. That Sweet Matilda pie looks incredible — can’t wait for the beverages. =)

    • Thank you, J πŸ™‚ This trip just happened for me and I was so grateful. With kiddos, it seems impossible to get away. Love that you still have a friend from so early in life. Hope you get to see each other again soon.

    • It was a pretty area for sure, though all towns have their pockets of culinary innovation! Am certain you’ve been finding yours what with all those diners and all πŸ™‚

  9. You had me at a town called Door County – it sounds like something from a fairytale, and then you post a picture of that adorable cottage! Squee! What a fab time you must have had. Good on you for managing an escape with a good friend – we all need to do that more often x

    • Glad you were intrigued πŸ™‚ The cottage was definitely out of a fairy tale. Was certain I’d see Snow White and her merry band of housecleaning forest friends sweeping the hearth! Thanks for your kind words.

  10. Pingback: the drinks of Door County | food for fun

  11. Hi Liz! I thought oh I like that donut, but then I scrolled down an also liked the cherry pie and the coffee an sweets and suddenly felt hungry and full at the same time πŸ™‚ It looks like you had a fun trip xx

    • Thanks, Sofia. It’s a dangerous post, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, the cherry pie (after the fish boil) was not so great, but didn’t matter as everything else was amazing. Still trying to work off all of the calories!

    • Thanks, Kloe. Your support is much appreciated πŸ™‚ Now what I’d like to hear about are YOUR road trips. Can you even fit your family all into one vehicle?

      • Yes, but it is so crammed! On the road down from Michigan to Arkansas we fit all twelve of us and three pets plus a bunch of luggage! It was so squished, but we survived the 16+ hour trip. Haha, it is funny to tell but not so funny to happen to! Haha!

  12. Wow Liz! This whole Door County extravaganza makes me want to get up and go get me some pie! Didn’t know much about Door County and am glad you have enlightened me. Thank you πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Shamin. I wouldn’t have headed over to DC had my friend not mentioned her trip. Hadn’t realized it was so much a foodie destination. Hope you got some pie πŸ™‚


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