Kissed by a Cajun

Be careful what you ask for at The Acadian Bakers (604 West Alabama, 713-520-1484). A request for a Creole kiss (95 cents) might be met with pursed lips and a smack on the cheek from owner and chief baker Sandy Jean Bubbert. Originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, Bubbert discovered the recipe for these delicacies while going through her grandmother's papers; she estimates it to be well over 100 years old. Imagine a domed meringue the size of a baseball, the outside baked until it's hard but the inside unbelievably gooey. Sweet pecans mixed into the meringue add some crunch. Cracks and fissures appear all over the irregularly shaped confection, making it easy to break off small chunks. But no matter how you eat it, you'll always make a mess.

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Paul Galvani