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Pastry Chef Nicole Plue Plays with Childhood Classics

Nicole Plue

Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Or Oreo cookies perhaps? So is pastry chef Nicole Plue, a James Beard award winner who’s feeding the craving for her favorite childhood sweets with a just-launched line of treats and toppings called Sideshow by Nicole Plue.

The 47-year-old Calistoga dweller made a name for herself with innovative desserts at Cyrus. At Redd in Yountville, Plue won over diners with her trademark Saltine Toffee—a simple cracker made sensational with salted butter toffee, bittersweet chocolate, and roasted almonds. The toffee is just one among five goodies in the new collection, which also has a little something for fans of chocolaty cereal. Bittersweet Cocoa Powder Poufs are prime for tucking into pudding or eating straight out of the jar (if you insist). And Terroir: Chocolate Soil—essentially gourmet Oreos crushed into a deep cocoa crumble—is a sweet sprinkling for ice cream.

Plue is a pastry star who understands texture and the balance of flavors like no other. Look no further than her Salted Peanut—milk chocolate and peanut butter-covered feuilletine—when your crispy-crunchy-salty-sweet tooth strikes.