It may not quite be the most wonderful, but there’s undoubtedly some magic to the time of the year when you can get fall and winter themed desserts. Right now, you can get a little bit of both at J&B Bakery in Burlington (Burlington County).
If you go in the morning, I highly recommend a classic daily special: coffee and a doughnut (get the peanut butter and jelly one if they have it). I went a little later in the day (although not right before closing, which I try to never do!), but I learned that Sunday is one of their busiest days. There might have been a few more flavors earlier in the day, but they still had a fair selection of pies and pound cakes ($3 each or two for $5) on a table inside, next to the window.
I got a gingerbread pound cake. I always like to eat pound cake with a healthy spread of butter on top, but this cake is also moist enough to be enjoyed alone. Based on my personal baking (mis)adventures, ginger is hard to get exactly right: sometimes, I can hardly taste it and others it’s overpowering. This gingerbread pound cake, however, has exactly the right amount of ginger. You can taste the fresh ingredients they are committed to in every bite.
If you’re still not ready for winter, though, you can get its sweet potato counterpart or try one of their pumpkin cream muffins:
J&B has pastries from all over the world, like the Central European pastry rugelach. There’s really no wrong move when it comes to their cookies, either, so I just asked for a small assortment. One of my favorites was the Italian wedding ricotta cookie cake, which had a light, lemony taste. I’d also recommend dipping the shortbread cookies with sprinkles in tea.
The other pastry is a raspberry horn. I love any combination of fruit compote and pastry dough, and it was a close call between the horn or a raspberry pretzel. The horn was raspberry compote stuffed into a flaky, football-shaped pastry larger than my hand, topped to nearly three inches high with more compote and a thin lattice of frosting.