A Blind Taste Test of 5 Doughnuts Including Strange, World's Fair and, Yes, Schnucks

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The competitors. | Kelsey Meyer

Doughnuts are having a moment in St. Louis. From the crazy collaborations at Strange Donuts to the old-fashioned breakfast pastries at World's Fair, they've come along way from cops in coffee shops. Everyone has a favorite, but we decided to put some of the city's best doughnuts to the test -- a taste test, that is.

See also: First Look: Pharaoh's Donut's Traditional Doughnuts Downtown

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Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Goes Fair Trade

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Long-time local chocolatier Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate (112 North Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood; 314-965-6615) is now selling Fair Trade chocolate. Fair Trade is a nonprofit that helps make sure suppliers in places like the Ivory Coast, where Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate gets all of its cocoa, are paid a fair wage.

See also: Tour the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Factory! (Oompa-Loompas Not Included)

"We use so much cocoa now we study it as a commodity. We've really learned about our product and African cocoa farmers," owner Dan Abel says. "We learned that they're really not getting paid a lot of money. I said, 'We've got to do something.'"

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My Daddy's Cheesecake in Clayton Closed February 28

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       Inside My Daddy's Cheesecake in Clayton. | Kayci Merritte

My Daddy's Cheesecake Bakery & Cafe (6451 Clayton Road, Clayton) has closed up shop as of February 28. It was the only St. Louis outpost of the Cape Girardeau-based dessert company and cafe. There was no announcement, but customers apparently showed up and were dismayed to see that it was closed for good.

See also: Celebrate National Cheesecake Day Today

Franchisee Mike Schwarz tells Gut Check that the closure was due in part to a dispute with the landlord. And the other part?

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Sweetology Bringing Build-Your-Own Sweets to Ladue

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It's difficult to find a "new concept" these days that is actually new. But we really can't think of anything like Sweetology, a bakery (sort of) opening in Ladue this March. It's more like Build-a-Bear Workshop, but with cakes, cookies and cupcakes -- not to mention drinks from hot chocolate to chocolate martinis.

See also: First Look: The Cup Now Serving Its Sweet Little Cakes in Chesterfield

"I wanted to start my own company, and I wanted to do it around something that was just completely fun and whimsical," co-owner Kara Newmark tells Gut Check.

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Celebrate National Pie Day With the Best Pies in St. Louis

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       Pie Oh My, indeed. | Mabel Suen

We thought pie season was over, what with the holidays behind us and all. We were wrong! Today, January 23, is National Pie Day, and March 14, is, of course, Pi(e) Day. Plus, Tenacious Eats just did a whole movie-dinner built around pies last week. What more reason do you need?

See also: Best Pie St. Louis 2012 - 4 Seasons Bakery

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The 7 Best Eggnog-Flavored Treats to Brighten Your Holiday

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       Hey, it's OK if you don't like the liquid stuff. | Issac Wedin

Sometimes eggnog gets a bad rap. It may be an acquired taste, but there's more to enjoy besides those huge jugs of the pre-made stuff. Even if it's not your drink, plenty of bakeries and restaurants are offering eggnog-flavored treats to get you in the holiday spirit. It's basically the pumpkin spice of December. Check out our favorites after the jump.

See also: Local Holiday Gifts for Your Favorite Foodie

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Call for Submissions: Send Gut Check Your Gingerbread House Photos

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Gut Check has no life! | Jessica Lussenhop

Gut Check would like to introduce you to the official Riverfront Times gingerbread house. What makes the RFT version so special? Well, for one, it's covered in our logo but also, you can't tell from the photo, but our marzipan Santa is hammered.

We cheated a little and got ours pre-fab from La Patisserie Chouquette (1634 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935). For $25 you get the house already standing and a kit full of everything you need decoration-wise (in our case, peanut butter cups, Mr. Goodbar doors and an entire evening wasted cutting up old business cards not included).

Now we want to see what you've been working on.

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Baileys' Chocolate Bar Named in Top 20 Dessert Spots in America

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       A dessert cocktail at Baileys' Chocolate Bar. | Laura Miller

Last month Fodor's Travel named Baileys' Chocolate Bar (1915 Park Avenue; 314-241-8100), the dessert place owned by restaurateur Dave Bailey, one of the twenty best dessert spots in America. We called up Bailey to hear his thoughts on the honor and get the latest on Small Batch, his upcoming vegetarian restaurant.

See also: Dave Bailey Adds a Second Location for Rooster, Expanded Menu

"I always sort of had the hope that it would be regarded as a St. Louis institution," Bailey tells Gut Check.

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Buy a Thanksgiving Pie and Help a Family in Need with Operation Food Search

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Saving room for dessert is a very important (and very difficult) part of Thanksgiving dinner. But there are so many delicious pies to be had! Operation Food Search has teamed up with John Johnson, executive chef at River City Casino & Hotel, to offer homestyle Thanksgiving pies. The best part, though, is that each pie buys a family of four a Thanksgiving dinner.

See also: Best Pies in St. Louis: A Roundup

"The goal is to sell 1,100 pies this year -- it's a pretty lofty goal, but we thought this would be a good thing to do," Karen Klaus, director of development at Operation Food Search, tells Gut Check. "What we're seeing is a lot of people ordering pies but also ordering pies to give back to our pantries."

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Leftover Halloween Candy? Here's How to Deal

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All photos by Mabel Suen
Fudge brownies laced with Twix chunks and bourbon salted caramel sauce.
It's been an entire week since Halloween, and all the telltale signs of the passing holiday remain. Some stringy cotton cobwebs still stick to surfaces all over town, sad Jack-O-Lanterns droop on the neighbor's porch and that bowl of bite-sized candy bars sits on the counter, pecked at slowly for weeks.

Here in the Gut Check test kitchen, we have a better solution for the fate of that leftover candy that doesn't involve burying yourself in a shame-pile of empty candy wrappers. In fact, it's guaranteed to earn you some brownie points.

See also: 21 Worst Halloween Candies Of All Time

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