Many were tasted, but there can be only one
Credit: Photo courtesy of Supermoon Bakehouse

I used to be such a rude treat boy. When I was 4 I had a treat-related meltdown. This is an embarrassing story, but here we go. We were taking a family photo, and I was told that if I got dressed up, stood there patiently, and behaved I’d be given a treat at the end. In my idiot-kid brain, I dreamed up the magnificent treat that I wanted. It was something sweet and elaborate, and for some reason it was purple. I didn't know what it was called but I knew what it looked like. It was a tall, purple fanciful creation, and I needed one. After the picture was taken, my mom asked me what sort of a treat I wanted—maybe ice cream or a cookie? I said I wanted a big, purple treat, but couldn’t articulate what it was. My parents were like, what does this kid want? Purple cotton candy? Purple frozen yogurt? No, neither of those would do. I remember throwing a fit in the car because they couldn’t procure for me the exact treat I wanted, and nor could I tell them what it was. Maybe I’d seen a nondescript purple dessert in a cartoon and thought it was a thing you could eat in real life. They’d say, Do. You. Want. A. Grape. Popsicle? And I’d cry, nooo, I want a treat. I don’t think I ended up getting any treat whatsoever because I was being such a dick.

Now, many years later, it’s my professional obligation to seek out and evaluate treats. As a mature treathead I no longer pine for made-up treats. I live and thrive in the concrete world of tangible treats that actually exist. This story has been a year in the making. I’ve been sampling treats all over New York all year, as well as many of the ones we get sent to the office. My health is deteriorating rapidly. I eat more salty snacks and dessert throughout the workday than anyone should. I need to drink more water and eat far fewer novelty foods. This may be both the first and last Best Treat of the Year story I do.

Credit: Photo by Rebecca Firkser

Since January 2018, so many wonderful treats have come on the market. There’s not enough room to list all of them, but here are some of the hits: Thanksgiving Pringles, Sour Patch Kids cereal, these halva bars, Mega Stuf Oreos, chocolate ghee, Savoursmiths chips, Glens of Antrim chips, stuffing chips, lobster roll chips, Dippin’ Dots cereal, chickpea butter, spicy Skittles, apple pie doughnuts from The Doughnut Project, Krispy Kreme’s banana pudding doughnuts, Tim Horton’s Snowbits, Arcade Bakery’s speculoos babka, and every single new ice cream at MilkMade.

While all of them were lovely treats that I enjoyed tucking into between meals, there can be only one Treat of the Year. That honor goes to Supermoon Bakehouse’s lox, cream cheese, and everything bagel spice croissant. They call it the NYC (New York Croissant) and it is a hefty, perfect treat.

Supermoon opened in 2017, and by April 2018 they were being called a “new-school bakery you need to check out now” by my fellow treat scouts at Bon Appetit. The ubiquitous Instagrams of their colorful stuffed croissants helped spread the good word, too. Known for sweet inventions like their matcha-lemon and banana split sundae twice baked croissants, they can also skew savory. The NYC is like three treats in one: a lox and cream cheese bagel with capers, an everything bagel, and a croissant. Everything is thoroughly proportioned without being sloppy—often a pitfall when making a complicated, stuffed treat like this. Supermoon offers a few other savory croissants, like the spinach pie and croque monsieur; but the way the lox, the everything spice, and the flaky croissant play off each other is truly special and unrivaled by any other treat I tried this year. Yes, it’s on the large side for a treat and could be considered a borderline meal. Yes, it’s not cheap: $7.50 is a lot for a croissant, but honestly not bad considering what a lox bagel goes for. Go ahead, treat yoself.