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  • Photograph: Daniel Krieger

    Chunky sorella at Stellina
    The heat of an NYC summer justified our daily ration of this exquisite gelato, but long after the cold arrives we'll still be coming back for more. Condensed milk and kosher salt crystals season an ultracreamy caramel base. The massive scoops are laced with rich, earthy drizzles of Valrhona fudge and stippled with crunchy bits of chocolate-dipped Snyder's pretzels. 95 Allen St between Broome and Delancey Sts (212-274-9555). Single scoop in a cup $3, single scoop in a cone $4.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Cassis macaronat La Maison du Macaron

    This West Side confectionary nails the magic of a well-made macaron. The airy French cookie is composed of two almond-based meringues encasing a luscious cream filling that's brightened with tart cassis (black currant in Yankee parlance). The delicate, jewel-toned domes shatter with the first bite, giving way to a soft, slightly chewy interior. 132 W 23rd St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-243-2757, maisondumacaron.net). $2.50 each.

  • Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

    Shaved ice at Wooly's Ice
    Two great shaved-ice traditions come together in this curbside treat. The ice itself is prepared Hawaiian-style, shaved to order to create a fine, delicate powder. A sweet kiss of condensed milk comes by way of Taiwan, as does the kitchen-sink approach to toppings, including mochi, diced kiwi and homemade brownies. 79 Elizabeth St between Grand and Hester Sts (917-885-3919). Mon--Fri noon--7pm. * DeKalb Market, 332 Flatbush Ave Ext at Willoughby St, Downtown Brooklyn (dekalbmarket.com). Sat 10am--7pm. * $4 and up. Available through Oct 31.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Brooklyn Bootleg S'mores at Blue Bottle Coffee
    You'd have to go camping with a pastry chef to find anything close to this inspired s'mores riff. The cultish coffee roasters tweak each detail of the classic fireside snack: Instead of Nabisco, Hershey's and burnt sugar, find house-made fleur de sel--speckled graham crackers; rich Mast Brothers chocolate ganache; and springy, moonshine-spiked slabs of marshmallow. 160 Berry St between North 4th and 5th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-387-4160, bluebottlecoffee.net). $3.50 each.

  • Photograph: Daniel Krieger

    Black-grape sorbet at Il Laboratorio del Gelato
    This gorgeously refreshing sorbet (one of 70 flavors on rotation) packs a clean yet potent ripe-fruit punch. Seedless grapes are blended and partially strained before freezing---around 20 percent of the skin remains to deliver a tangy aftertaste and a challenging, chewy texture. 188 Ludlow St at Houston St * 95 Orchard St between Broome and Delancey Sts * (212-343-9922, laboratoriodelgelato.com). Small $4.25, medium $5.50, large $6.75, 20-ounce "rectangle" $10.50.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Toasted coconut cake at Miss Lily's
    On days when this beauty is in the dessert rotation, it sits on a stand by the kitchen as if it were at a roadside diner. The homey appeal continues when you dig into a slice of the exceptionally moist, fat-crumbed white cake, which is slathered in a vanilla icing that has the soft, sticky consistency of marshmallow fluff. Gigantic curls of toasted coconut finish it off with a crunchy, tropical flourish. 132 W Houston St between MacDougal and Sullivan Sts (646-588-5375, misslilysnyc.com). Slice $8.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Key Lime Pie at Culture
    Fro-yo doesn't usually catch our eye, but the stuff doled out at this Park Slope storefront is not your average Tasti D-Lite clone. The secret to this house-made soft-serve is a proprietary recipe that gives the yogurt the tangy, thick quality that we love at breakfast, but that always seems to be replaced with watery sugar when dessert rolls around. Dressed up with tart key-lime custard and crumbled graham crackers, it's good enough to compete with any ice-cream sundae in town. 331 Fifth Ave between 3rd and 4th Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-499-0207). Small $4.75, large $6.75.

  • Photograph: Noah Devereaux

    Ba Si at Fu Run
    Deep-fried taro, sweet potato and apple form the starchy base of this funky, interactive Northern Chinese dessert. Ba si translates as "pulling strings"---a reference to the threads of caramelized sugar that trail from your chopsticks as you pull a chunk from the platter. Dip your piece into the provided bowl of water to solidify the coating just enough to get the lush, candylike morsel into your mouth with minimal mess. 40-09 Prince St at Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, Queens (718-321-1363). $12, mixed $13.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    The Sundae of Broken Dreams at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain
    Soda jerk Pete Freeman's addictive dessert combines classic ice-cream-parlor comfort with a voguish sweet-and-salty flavor profile. Two scoops of Adirondack Creamery's vanilla ice cream come topped with warm and silky caramel sauce from Brooklyn's Nine Cakes bakery, a dollop of airy homemade whipped cream and---the defining trait---crunchy bits of broken Bachman pretzel rods. 513 Henry St at Sackett St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718-522-6260, brooklynfarmacy.blogspot.com). $8.50.

  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Pretzel cake truffles at Momofuku Noodle Bar
    Plenty of ink has been spilled about pastry chef Christina Tosi's high-and-low--brow confection. But she's outdone herself with this cheeky treat, which spins bodega pretzels into supremely moist cake balls. Tosi grinds a bag of Snyder's into a flour and folds it into a buttery, molasses-spiked batter. She then coats the baked orbs in a thin white chocolate shell and rolls them in crumbled pretzels for a crunchy, addictive finish. 171 First Ave between 10th and 11th Sts (212-777-7773, momofuku.com/restaurants/noodle-bar). Three for $4.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Grasshopper dessert at Tipsy Parson
    It's easy to picture the pinafore-clad Southern hostess who might have called this Day-Glo dessert her signature confection back when Eisenhower was in office. But the version of the bright-green treat served at Tipsy Parson still has plenty of appeal in 2011. Owner Julie Taras Wallach's creamy mousse---enhanced with a bright mint extract---is served in a miniature canning jar with alternating layers of salty, crumbly streusel and a lush whipped-cream cap. 156 Ninth Ave between 19th and 20th Sts (212-620-4545, tipsyparson.com). $8.

Photograph: Daniel Krieger

Chunky sorella at Stellina
The heat of an NYC summer justified our daily ration of this exquisite gelato, but long after the cold arrives we'll still be coming back for more. Condensed milk and kosher salt crystals season an ultracreamy caramel base. The massive scoops are laced with rich, earthy drizzles of Valrhona fudge and stippled with crunchy bits of chocolate-dipped Snyder's pretzels. 95 Allen St between Broome and Delancey Sts (212-274-9555). Single scoop in a cup $3, single scoop in a cone $4.

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