For 2013, here's a baker's dozen-plus of treats from locally owned eateries. They'll do your soul good, and the damage to your diet can be ameliorated afterward by an hour's penance on the treadmill, with the wondrous taste of chocolate, fruit, rosemary, or thyme--and probably sugar--lingering to fuel you forward.
Chocolate croissants are among the best-sellers at Pastry Peddler, the little bakery tucked away in plain sight on the Packard hypotenuse of the busy triangle with Hill and State. Two thick lines of high-quality semisweet chocolate fill each flaky, buttery square. Chocolate ribbons dance across the baked brown top, for a world treasure well-executed at $2.95 each. (And they make pasties!)
Twinkies may be fossilizing into memories as Hostess plays its rich-get-richer-and-everyone-else-goes-home card, but ding-dongs live on at Big City Small World Bakery at 500 Miller. (They also make pasties!) Big City's ding-dong is smaller and taller than the Hostess novelty, with an exquisite thin chocolate coating that, thank goodness, has little in common with its namesake's waxy shell. Inside, creamy and quite delectable frosting binds two layers of chocolate cake. I liked the raspberry version best, with its real food pedigree confirmed by an occasional tiny seed. All are $3.95. See also: Zingerman's "cosmic cake," most decadently delicious in burnt sugar flavor.