Sweet temptations at tiny Evanston bakery

EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- If you're a Metra commuter from Evanston, or even attend the occasional football game at Ryan Field, you've got a new option nearby to satisfy a sweet tooth. A tiny bakery has emerged along Central Street with several temptations.

There isn't a whole lot of room to move around inside the diminutive Beth's Little Bake Shop, which hugs a corner across the street from the Evanston Metra stop. That's because it's all of a thousand square feet, including the kitchen.

"I wanted to keep it as nice and small, tight menu as I possibly could, but be able to change things up seasonally," said Beth Welch, the bakery's namesake.

Welch managed the pastries at Everest, downtown, so you'll see hints of her French immersion, including macarons (not macaroons, by the way) that are delicate and indulgent.

"It's an almond-based cookie and we actually fill the majority of ours with a flavored buttercream and some of them have ganaches as well," said Welch.

This most popular flavor is birthday cake, which features vanilla buttercream with bits of vanilla cake inside. Apple spice is another popular option this time of year.

Her pastries run the gamut - from indulgent tarts and light meringues, to decadent cream puffs, made from scratch, filled with luscious vanilla bean-flecked custard, topped with fresh whipped cream. One of her truly unique creations: the butter cake, which comes either plain or with almonds.

"Kind of crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside and it's a combination of butter, cream cheese, sugar, eggs. It's very decadent; you can even warm it up for a little bit before you eat it, it's even better," she said.

Now obviously a lot of impulse buys here at Beth's Little Bake Shop, whether it's a college kid or a commuter getting back on the train. I would suggest something like a coconut-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie, or even just a last-minute gift.

The bakery is closed on Sundays.

Beth's Little Bake Shop
1814 Central St., Evanston
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