Midtown Houston has just gotten fluffier. The May 28 opening of Rebecca Masson's Fluff Bake Bar has Houstonians rushing in to get a taste of the pastry chef's ever-popular dessert concotions. Masson has long been known in the city for her homemade versions of Hobnobs and Fluffernutters, but it's the opening of the charming bake bar that showcases seasonal plated desserts and full-sized cakes as well as a highly anticipated coffee and wine bar.
One of the best features of the bakery is its ideal location in the heart of the pedestrian-friendly Midtown neighborhood where West Gray meets Bagby. Passersby can gaze into large windows facing directly into the kitchen, always bustling with baking activity, and stroll right inside for a fresh-baked treat. An added bonus is the shared courtyard behind the restaurant where customers of Russo's New York Pizzeria and Fluff can spend an extended period of time with a bottle of vino. While in its soft opening phase, the bakery is open to customers until 10 p.m. on weeknights and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. You can easily cure a sugar fix of any capacity at Fluff Bake Bar, but if you happen to be a self-proclaimed dessert fiend like myself, you will be happy to know there are some very extreme, very delicious selections at this little shop.
The Couch Potato
Call me boring, but I grew up thinking cookies were made with flour, butter, sugar and chocolate chips. Little did I know that Masson grew up knowing that the best cookies were in fact made with every sweet and savory morself you can get your hands on. For the extreme cookie monster in you, I recommend the Couch Potato Cookie at Fluff Bake Bar. Expertly made with Ruffles potato chips, pretzels, corn flakes, chocolate chips and marshmallows, every bite of these sweet and savory rounds will have you sinking deeper and deeper into the couch, hence the name. Baked fresh daily, the cookie has—to me—the perfect texture, with a crisp bite to the exterior and a soft center. In addition, the cookie does you the favor of not making you choose between the world's greatest back-and-forth of sweet or savory?
As all of the desserts at Fluff Bake Bar are hard to resist—I am personally addicted to the Unicorn Snickerdoodles and the Sugar Hooker Oreos—Masson goes to great lengths to assure quality goods using fresh ingredients and seasonal fruits. Her version of a cupcake, the Cake in a Cup, spotlights layers of cake in a cup between spoonfuls of housemade jam. The jam of the day on my visit was strawberry, but keeping in line with the theme of freshness and what's available at the farmer's markets, the flavors of this adorable inside-out cupcake will change with the seasons.
When I visited today, on National Donut Day, I found the Risotto Zeppole were an overwhelmingly popular choice: fluffy donut holes served piping hot in a brown paper bag, to be emptied onto your plate at your discretion, with cold vanilla ice cream and fresh berries. Perhaps one of the most simple yet significant desserts on the menu is the Antonio, a perfect peanut-butter cookie dipped in dark chocolate delicately garnished with a tiny red heart. Masson promises that proceeds from each cookie sold benefits the National MS Society, a cause near and dear to her heart.
Set apart from other bakeries in that it is more than just a dessert-on-the-go joint, Fluff invites guests to stay and savor the flavors of their sweets. Drinks, wine and coffee are meant to be paired and enjoyed with each treat. Lounging and leisure is a way of life in Midtown, and the ambience at Fluff encourages people to do just that. As Masson prepares to launch a dessert tasting menu complete with pairings, Fluff Bake Bar will offer Houstonians a place to go where dessert is indeed the destination.