Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Macaroon/Macaron, Shortbread/Sugar Cookies, Meringue | 3 comments

Two Tarts Bakery
2309 NW Kearney Street – Portland

I’ve had it in mind to talk about Two Tarts for ages. I’ve been enjoying them ever since they first started plying their tiny wares 3-4 years ago at The Portland Farmers’ Market. They’ve since opened a small retail shop on NW 23rd Avenue, and continue to sell at the market, as well.

The problem is this: if I am to tell you about about Two Tarts, I am required to talk about not less than 10 different cookies at once.  And it turns out that as much as I love to talk about cookies, I’m pretty lazy.  So I’m compromising and talking about only three different Two Tarts cookies.   It’s a start.

The deal with Two Tarts cookies is that they are small – and that’s the point.  They’re like cookie tapas.  When you go here you don’t buy one cookie.  you buy two. Or two dozen. Several different varieties are available at any given time; the cappuccino cream sandwich (pictured above beside a U.S. quarter – for scale), is probably my all-time favorite of the bunch, the cinnamon butter cream being more stiff and sugary than greasy, as butter cream tends to be. See cross section below.)

Also included in the regular line up are marionberry linzers, hazelnut baci, pecan tessies, and a homespun riff on an Oreo.  The fleur-de sel chocolate chip cookie, which I’ve heard many people tell me I must try (I have) is their least flavorful product. (I’m sorry, but merely sprinkling fancy salt on an otherwise bland cookie does not make it interesting. They need to start with a more compelling ccc recipe, imo.)

Another standout is the lemon bar, which is not only a very respectable lemon bar with a crumbly, streusel-like topping, but ounce for ounce, the best deal in the house. (What I’m saying is that it’s definitely bigger than tiny.)  A more complete list of flavors can be found on the website.

When I stopped by the shop this week for the first time in several months, I was faced with not one but THREE seasonal rhubarb offerings: rhubarb macaron, rhubarb thumbprint (both pictured in top photo), and a third rhubarby number that I did not buy, and which I now totally cannot remember.

Here’s what I have to say about the rhubarb macaron:  J’approve.  The almond meringue shells had a crispy exterior, yet remained chewy and somewhat moist inside.  The butter  cream rhubarb filling was perfectly sweet-tart. I liked it very much and my only regret was that I had bought only one. One teeny tiny macaron.

Here’s what I have to say about the rhubarb thumbprint: Not bad, per se, but relatively unremarkable.  The butter cookie base, being made with unsalted butter and no detectable added salt, was bland.  The sweet rhubarb puree nestled atop the base was delicious and bright -both in flavor and color.

These two will be on offer only as long as the rhubarb is hangin’ around, so if you’re freaky for the tart ruby stalk, act fast.