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Cupcake craze comes to downtown

PLATTSBURGH - The long-awaited opening of DeLish by Irises Cupcake Bakeshop and Gourmet Deli will soon be here.

DeLish is set to open Friday, Oct. 1, in the newly-renovated former Oasis location next door to Irises Caf and Wine Bar on City Hall Place. When the vacancy occurred last winter, Irises owner Carol McLean knew she could pair the nationwide popularity of cupcakes with the locally-loved confections of Irises.

"They're cupcakes. They're fun. It's a feel-good business," said McLean. "And, it's really worthwhile seeing people smile when they see all the different cupcakes."

One of McLean's staff, pastry chef Adrienne Dionne, has been using her baking degree from the American Culinary Institute at Hyde Park to create delicious desserts for the staff and patrons of Irises for the past two years. Dionne's cupcake creativity is one of the main reasons behind McLean's decision to open a bakeshop right next door.

While the logo cupcakes are the "stars of the show," McLean knows the importance of offering variety. The menu at DeLish also includes pastries of all sorts, freshly-baked bread, breakfast pizzas, gourmet deli sandwiches, paninis, and salads. The drink menu is simple, but superior, with a sampling of locally-roasted coffee and loose leaf teas. The weekend menu will feature select gluten-free desserts. Seasonal offerings will also have a presence on the menu. For the harvest season, for example, Dionne has been developing an apple cider cupcake.

Dionne, another fan of variety, has no shortage of cupcake flavor combinations, nor any shortage of cupcake testers. The bakeshop manager and head baker has been hard at work, trying new flavors for her signature baked good, of which the staff at Irises has very willingly sampled.

Some favorites? A classic choice, the chocolate peanut butter cupcake, with peanut butter frosting; a twist on a seemingly simple idea, the almond joy cupcake, which uses a creamy almond filling; and after-dinner cocktail varieties.

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