Crunchy-oatmeal-wholesome "monster" cookies from Jefferson Market and Cakery slot in at almost but not quite guiltless. The $1.75 treats are baked twice a day--once in the morning and again in time to be warm for the after-school rush from Bach School. Careful driving down West Jefferson Street around 3:45, 'cause the kids (and parents) aren't all looking as they cross. Owner Mary Rasmussen leaves a big tray of the cookies on the counter by the door, and it's hard to make it past their winking M&Ms, even if you know hunks of layer-cake slices and scones await further in. The half-tennis-ball-size monsters are gluten free, Mary says, and peanut butter helps make them hearty.
Tea Haus on Fourth Avenue has been a classy addition to Ann Arbor's culinary landscape. Every table was taken at three on a recent sunny afternoon. Try the French-style macarons ($1.75). Quite different from familiar coconut macaroons, these tiny sandwiches are made of fragile meringue bound by gooey-good icing. Ecru-colored gingerbread macarons had white-chocolate smiley faces and molasses to balance sweetness. Your other bright-colored options might include orange pumpkin chai and green caramel apple--all gluten free, according to owner Lisa McDonald, as is the real rosemary-leaved cranberry bar ($3.50), topped with a generous plop of barely sugared whipped cream.