Francesca Bishop, owner of Franny Bakes, doesn’t sell a single cookie at her new booth at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market until she knows it’s fantastic. One look at the assortment of exquisite vegan and vegetarian baked goods will tell you that she knows what she’s doing.
“Food should not just be scrumptious; it should be a feast for the eyes,” she said as she proudly showed off picture-perfect Franny Bakes offerings. Using ingredients that impart deep, warm flavors like ginger, cinnamon and citrus, Bishop has created an array of treats that delight the eye as much as the tongue.
Bishop has been cooking professionally for 30 years. She has worked in restaurants, served as a personal chef, and written cookbooks for a fitness celebrity. Over the years she developed a great selection of sweets that she gave to friends as gifts. Now she has taken their advice (and compliments) and turned it into a business.
So what will you find when you visit Franny Bakes’ booth on the first Sunday of each month? Take your pick from these incredible confections:
Vegan cinnamon apple cookies with dried organic apples on top, or gingerbread decorated with pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries start off the list of wonderment. Follow that with a Hawaiian coconut mud torte or Triple Whammy gingerbread with a combination of crystallized ginger, raw ginger and dried ginger, and that should satisfy all of your friends with lactose intolerance (read: you can’t tell they’re vegan). I tasted the Triple Whammy gingerbread and it was perfectly fantastic.
Try a salted hazelnut caramel torte or the Tahitian lime macarons with festive sprinkles, followed by a few Deep Chocolate cookies, which speak for themselves. You can bring home a lemon pecan tea cake, dusted with powdered sugar, or take the road less traveled (or whatever excuse you can come up with) and start in on the fudge.
Choose from chai hazelnut or green tea ginger fudge, made with an imported matcha tea from Japan. I dare you to resist the pull of mocha almond fudge or Franny’s Himalayan fudge -- a cardamom-scented orange and pistachio fudge with organic hand-candied pansies and tangerines.
Children of all ages will delight in Franny’s Arabian camel or elephant-shaped gingerbread cookies, ornately bejeweled with frosted saddles. Her rosemary lemon shortbread is available in both vegan and vegetarian options, along with an assortment of jam-filled shortbreads including almond, raspberry, and pineapple-apricot. She also has chocolate shortbread with a generous dollop of chocolate in the center of each cookie.
If you haven’t gone into a sugar-coma yet, be sure to take home a few packs of individually wrapped toffee or Old World raspberry rugelach. They make great gifts. Can’t decide? Franny Bakes has gift baskets ranging from $40 for a beautiful selection of treats to $155 for a basket with 75 servings.