Golden Pastry Shop may not look like much at first glance. The cake display case in the window of the Tompkinsville, Staten Island, bakery is empty, and the lettering on the door advertises a 20th anniversary that came and went years ago. But looks can be deceiving.
Inside, the little bakery has dozens of trays of delectable butter cookies dipped in chocolate and bright sprinkles as well as Linzer Tortes, oozing cannolis and fruit jelly Danishes on display. Rows of identical three-layer vanilla cakes slathered in snow-white frosting and embossed with sugary flowers crowd the shelves of a few of the refrigerators lining a corner of the shop.
But what really set this bakery apart is its mix of Italian and Mexican baked goods — a novelty, considering that the owners are Argentinean.
The conchas, a popular Mexican sweet bread, are not to be missed. The light pastry, which resembles a frosted roll, was only mildly sweetened with a pleasantly fluffy interior.
The besos (“kisses” in Spanish) are hearty concoctions stuffed with very sweet strawberry jelly and a vanilla-flavored, buttery, filling. Every inch of the pastry was covered in sugar, making more than a few bites impossibly messy.
The Pan de Muertos were much better. The buttery Mexican pastries, typically served on the Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), are available year-round at Golden Pastry. Light, airy, and dusted with sugar, they are the sort of unique indulgence rarely found in typical American bakeries.
The tres leches cakes were also a hit. The dessert is served in a plastic cup that conveniently traps the milk in the bottom layer of the dense, sweet, treat, giving it a rich, creamy flavor. The decadent cake also comes in an equally satisfying but lighter slice of multilayer cake. Fresh peaches mixed into the frosting between each layer gave the dessert a refreshing touch.
There is no seating inside the tiny shop, so plan to hover as you eat or, better yet, savor your luscious treats on the scenic ferry ride back to Manhattan.
— Clare Trapasso, City Spoonful