Sue Zelickson’s Twin Cities Picks

Spring is the perfect time for sweet indulgences, and pastries are popping up all over the place. John Kraus—voted outstanding pastry chef at this year’s Charlie Awards—and his team of master bakers create the best of everything at Patisserie 46 in south Minneapolis. When the weather warms, look for seasonal fruit tarts and cakes in the bakery cases, and keep an eye out for the return of sorbets and ice creams (

Frozen Ruhland’s Strudel Haus strudels, handmade by Tom Ruhland in St. Paul, are the perfect take-and-bake item for a dessert or main course. Try his traditional apple or blueberry-lemon for a sweet treat, or heat up a spinach-feta-artichoke or brat-and-sauerkraut for an easy meal (

Top off a flaky pastry with Minnesota-made jams and jellies. Dorothy Stainbrook’s HeathGlen spreads use organic berries, and her cranberry-hot-pepper jam makes outstanding sandwiches when paired with sliced turkey and cream cheese. Other tasty flavors include heirloom-tomato jam and blueberry-pomegranate jelly ( Duluth Preserving Company jams made by Mary Dragich include a refreshing apple-lemon-ginger and my favorite, rhubarb-cinnamon—which I serve with goat cheese on crackers or on top of ice cream or yogurt (

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Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.