N.J.’s best bakery: These are the 10 finalists

Posted December 12, 2017 

Melissa Murphy (at left in photo) and husband Chris Rafano operated three patisseries in Brooklyn for 16 years before moving to New Jersey and opening Sweet Melissa Patisserie just off Route 31 in Clinton Township.

A whiff of baked wonder greats you as you walk into the bakery/cafe. Temptation is everywhere – croissants, eclairs, danish, donuts, pie. There’s even something called a Trouble Bun.

“I’m most passionate about the croissants; I roll them every day,” says Murphy-Rafano, author of The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. “We make everything here – our own bread, own jam. Our bacon is crazy. When we use chocolate, we use Belgian …”

Why they made the top ten: Many of the baked goods here have French names, but you don’t need to dust off your high school French; just point! Caneles (rum/vanilla pastries), merveilleux (a small cake of two meringues held together with whipped cream) and macarons share shelf space with eclairs, crullers and danish.

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