Sugar High: Hi Rise Bakery

UPDATE: Check out our interview with head baker Sammy Marquez and catch his recipe for raspberry shortbread bars.

Oh, my. This beauty of a sticky bun, studded with pecans and glazed with a crème brûlée-like shell, is certainly one way to start off your morning at Hi Rise (2162 Larimer Street). But there are many more ways to sweeten your day at the bakery, which opened its doors eight months ago.The pastry case offers up a selection that ranges from breakfast fare to light treats to splurge-worthy desserts.

Though the sticky bun lives up to its name, it can be a bit dry and benefits greatly from a brief warming, which the staff will do for you. The brownie, however, is nothing if not moist and tender.  It's owner Doug Anderson's favorite and, while he admits he likes whatever is new, "I can't turn my back on the brownie," he says. "It's about as much sugar as I can stand in one sitting!"

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The brownie has a miraculous composition that allows it to be insanely, melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey, without turning into a dense brick. The frosting contains a healthy dose of salt, which compliments the sweet and keeps it from becoming an all-out sugar bomb.
Many of Anderson's recipes are "based on a guy in Paramus, New Jersey," he says, hand-written and full of idiosyncratic directions ("half a coffee cup of salt"). Anderson toyed and tested them all until the results were to his liking.

Though he's not from the East Coast, the flavor of the region is present in many of Anderson's baked goods. The shortbread, for instance, is a delicate, buttery square with a raspberry filling under a lattice top -- the closest thing you'll find to a New York linzer tart in Denver.

"I like traditional, homey-type stuff," Anderson says -- a broad sentiment that covers airy, pecan-laced rochers and giant lemon cookies drizzled with tart icing. Given the array of choices, it's safe to say there's something for everyone at Hi Rise. And if you come on a Monday, when the pastries and desserts are 2 for 1, everyone can get a couple somethings.

Sticky bun $2.50
Brownie $2.50
Shortbread $1.50
Lemon cookie $.99
Rocher: $.75

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