Dining

Best Bites: Caramel-Pecan Bars

February 2010

Living the Sweet Life, 1535 Central St., 303-477-8088, www.thesweetlifedenver.com. If bakeries have a shortcoming, it's usually the cookies. Yes, there's often a ready supply of chocolate-chip, sugar, and peanut-butter treats, but rarely is there anything extraordinary. The creativity, instead, seems to go into loftier goodies—the cakes, caramel rolls, and tarts—that are more fun to make and command higher price tags. This isn't the case at Living the Sweet Life, a six-month-old, artisanal sweet shop in Lower Highland. The daily offerings are ever-changing, but the menu mainstays are the cookies: crispy chocolate chip, buttery raspberry linzer, and fudgy brownies. The showstopper, though, is owner Erika Cunha's decadent caramel-pecan bars. These rich, nutty treats are perfectly balanced and bright, thanks to the subtle addition of lemon and orange zest. They're big, too, so buy one and share.