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Openings Tue Sep 25 2012

Katherine Anne Confections Opens Store in Logan Square

katherine.jpgLogan Square just got a little sweeter. Katherine Anne Confections opened its storefront this past weekend.

The formerly unmarked space on 2745 W. Armitage Ave. was being used as a kitchen to make decadent truffles and caramels, sold online and at Chicago's farmers markets for the past two years. The business' founder, Katherine Duncan, decided it was time to open a storefront after receiving calls from customers asking her how late she was open. One woman drove all the way from the suburbs wanting to buy truffles, only to discover there wasn't a shop. "Chocolate is an impulse buy; you don't think to buy it in advance," said Duncan, who grew up learning how to make confections with an "overachieving mom who made everything from scratch."

candies.jpgThe small space is elegant with its turn-of-the-century d├ęcor -- and the employees are charming, outfitted in robin's egg blue aprons and calico kerchiefs. But those details fall to wayside once you try the delicious treats. I had a Rosemary Sea Salt Caramel that was so transcendent, so stretchy and buttery with a sweetness accented by floral notes from local honey, I stopped paying attention to what Duncan was saying. It was the most sophisticated caramel I had ever tasted.

The truffles are equally fantastic. There are several clever and unexpected combinations of ingredients coated in chocolate, such as apricot with basil and white pepper with hazelnut. The Pomegranate Truffle I sampled combined a delicate balance of dark chocolate with lime, lemon and orange essence and a hint of sea salt.

A newer item for the business is beverages. Duncan didn't let me down. She served me a steaming cup of rich and thick hot chocolate (inspired by the legendary cafes in Paris), topped with pillowy marshmallows and a dusting of crushed toffee.

truffles.jpgWhat makes Katherine Anne so special is its commitment to social sustainability, using only local or organic ingredients: the cream comes from Kilgus Farmstead in central Illinois, the dried fruit come from Seedling Farms in Michigan, and the herbs come from the store's garden.

Katherine Anne is also giving back to the community with its charity truffles. Each month the shop will collaborate with a local chef to create a truffle benefiting a charity the collaborating chef chooses. This month it's the Bad-Ass Bourbon Bacon, created by City Provisions' Cleetus Friedman, and the proceeds go to the Scleroderma Foundation of Illinois.

Katherine Anne Confections is open from 11am to 7pm. Tuesday through Friday, and 10am to 7pm Saturday.

Kelly Connolly / September 29, 2012 7:50 AM

I'm a regular Gapers Block reader and it was a pleasant surprise to come to the site this morning for the usual reasons and see a review of Katherine's shop at the top of the page with a beautiful photo of my stands, trays, etc.
Everything she makes is awesome because it actually tastes like its name: passion fruit, carrot cake, apple cider, hazelnut...

Sam / September 29, 2012 9:38 AM

Do they have any vegan desserts?

Katherine / September 29, 2012 12:02 PM

Hi Sam - not quite yet, as we have a couple of ingredient quirks to work out, but we are aiming to have a vegan hot chocolate on the menu soon!

Cheers,
Katherine

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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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Editor: Robyn Nisi, rn@gapersblock.com
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