The New Palace Bakery is a vestige of a Polish tradition in the Hamtramck neighborhood of Detroit. Its cases brim with donuts, cookies and Good Friday paczki (basically jelly donuts). On Paczki Day (Fat Tuesday), the bakery opens at 3 a.m. to give Catholic customers a fighting chance to beat the lines of everyday donut hounds.
Even on a normal day, the bounty of paczki, among other things on display at the bakery, is head spinning enough to keep adding more full boxes to your order. It’s no problem for the wallet; everything is pretty inexpensive. The waistband is another story.
The paczki are what the bakery is best known for. They are like a more generously filled donut-shop jelly-filled with eggy, enriched dough. However, we think the cookies, particularly the kolaczki, are the best thing to get. They are what Jewish bakers might call rugalach: a cookie dough with cream cheese filled with a little bit of jam. The spots of jam are spot on, and make every cookie, or paczki, that much better. We are also very impressed by the large linzer cookie/coconut macaroon hybrid. The coconut cookie rests on top of a butter cookie base with a thumbprint of raspberry jam in the center. It is delicious, and unlike anything we’ve seen.
The bakery suffers a bit for it’s ambitious inventory. The pazcki are tasty, but some of the donuts and cream puffs can taste a bit old. It’s the more durable items, like cookies, that are great. For our next visit, we’ll ask what has come out of the oven recently and load up on cookies. Whatever you get here, you will leave a trail of powdered sugar down the road.