I was at a Boat and Home show recently and was walking through the local food and crafts tent when I ran across some Crazy Clams and after tasting a sample I realized I was bobbing my head and hopping up and down with pleasure. Have you ever had that happen? You taste or eat something and realize you like it so much that you are bobbing up and down on your toes or in your seat and have a big 'ole grin on your face, maybe even dancing in place a little bit? I love when this happens and it is really rare for me when it is something sweet, since I don't eat much in the way of cake or dessert.
These cakes are called Island Gingerbread back on Cranberry Island on the coast of Maine where the hundred plus year old recipe originated, even though they don't have any ginger in them. But on the Maine mainland they're called Crazy Clam Island Buttermilk Cakes, and the main spice is nutmeg. The little cakes made by Cranberry Island Kitchen are about the size and shape of a large clam, and are rich and creamy from the buttermilk and local farm made butter; and have the distinctive taste of nutmeg, rounded out with organic vanilla, and just the right amount of local Maine Sea Salt to balance the sweetness.. You can see the specks of ground nutmeg liberally scattered throughout the cake as you break one open. They also make a wild blueberry version that is just as tasty with the added tang and sweetness of those tiny dark purple berries. I like the plain ones best, but they're all good.
Cranberry Island Kitchen also makes lobster shaped shortcake from an old family recipe, and mussel shaped gourmet Maypole Whoopie Pies, which are the best tasting whoopie pies I have ever had. I tried them in several styles with different cream fillings like Mint Julep which has Crème De Menthe in the filling, The Regatta with Cointreau and fresh orange zest, The Captain with Myers dark rum, The Sunrise with espresso, the Jibe Ho with double chocolate, and the Dressed Ship with champagne in the filling. Each was better than the one before until I didn't know which was my favorite and I had to start sampling them all over again. Mmmm, these are really some tasty little cakes. I ended up buying a pair of Crazy Clams and grabbing their card so I could go to their website and get a bunch of the Maypole Whoopie Pies and Crazy Clam Island Buttermilk Cakes shipped to me for the holidays.
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