DINING OUT: Leske’s Park Slope

March 13, 2013 Heather Chin
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Now we can get all the deliciousness of Leske’s homemade cookies and cakes a few stops higher on the R train.

On February 12, the 50-year-old Scandinavian bakery that made homemade black-and-white cookies a famous holiday – and every other day – staple opened up its second location at 558 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, just a few miles north of its sister site near 77th Street in Bay Ridge.

As explained by owners Stephen Howe, Steven DeSimone, and Kenny Grande, the new store has all the tried-and-true charm and baked goods from Leske’s (Kringles! Danishes!), plus a few new items, such as Whoopie Pies from fellow Brooklyn-born baker Paige McCurdy-Flynn of Cookie Fairy Sweets, and Leske’s version of “Hostess” cupcakes and Twinkies, which are now also available in the Bay Ridge shop.

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To the uninitiated, here are a few of our recommendations for you to try on your trip to Leske’s.

First, no trip to Leske’s would be complete without trying their black-and-whites ($2.05). Made fresh daily with vanilla and chocolate fudge icing instead of the harder fondant you might find elsewhere, the larger-than-your-palm cookie is moist yet firm, soft yet slightly crunchy. They are like cupcake tops without being overwhelmed with icing, and also hold up well after a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Then there is the Raspberry Kringle ($11), a giant heart-shaped pastry made of almond paste, dotted with raisins, draped in vanilla icing, and decorated with a raspberry jelly line in the shape of a pretzel. This traditional Scandinavian pastry is flaky and not too sweet, and pairs well for a small party with Leske’s Pecan Ring ($11), which is a giant ring-shaped Danish also made of moist almond pastry, covered in icing, and studded with roasted pecans.

Don’t forget to pick up some donuts, particularly the Boston Crème ($1.25) which is filled with Bavarian Crème inside, and the PB&J – the peanut butter icing and jelly filling tastes just like childhood memories and are a favorite among Brooklyn Sanitation Department workers.

Feel free to sweeten the pastry box with a few “Hostess” cupcakes and Twinkies ($1.50), as well: they taste even better than the convenience store kind, and are probably a little healthier for you, too. Add a couple of The Cookie Fairy’s Whoopie Pies and classic chocolate-chip cookies (both $2.50) – light, creamy, chocolaty, and surprisingly filling – and you’re good to go.

And if you’re looking for a birthday cake or a just-because cake, try the Layer Cake ($11.50), which alternates yellow cake with chocolate buttercream, and chocolate icing, or the Blackout Cake ($11.50), which might possibly be every chocolate-lover’s dream: chocolate cake surrounded with chocolate pudding, that manages to be rich and dense without making you feel guilty afterwards.

There is also a rotating variety of free samples daily, as well as free coffee for customers. One of the specials is a small coffee and donut for $2.25.

Leske’s Park Slope is the first in an ongoing expansion effort for the Leske’s crew, said co-owner Grande, who noted that they’re hoping to eventually add outposts elsewhere in Brooklyn and in Staten Island.

But don’t wait that long to try the goods because Leske’s Park Slope has the fantastic product we’ve come to expect, the uber-friendly service from the staff – led by store manager Yanira Garcia, who started out in the Bay Ridge store – and also the affordable prices that seem to be out of style in Brooklyn.

It also has the excitement of the new, less busy location, although the crowds are sure to pick up as word spreads and the weather gets warmer.


558 Fifth Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets


Open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily


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