Dessert Goals (also known as "OMG Dessert Goals" on publicity material and social media hashtags), is a curated food event that focuses on sweet treats. The seventh iteration of the mini-festival settled into a massive room in Long Island City this past weekend, where 22 vendors were on hand selling ice cream, cotton candy, cookies, marshmallows, doughnuts, and cakes... most looking as decadent as possible. Which makes sense, since Dessert Goals is an event that celebrates the act of taking pictures of fun-looking food, and posting them on the internet.
Photo-ready backgrounds, such as the plastic greenery that wrapped the columns, are provided throughout the space, helping the bright and colorful desserts really "pop." Admission this year was $17 for 90 minutes, but you also had to pay for every dessert you wanted to eat.
I was invited to attend the complimentary media/Instagram-influencer preview hour on Saturday, where I wolfed down like 10 desserts before noon. It's really easy to dunk on events like this, but it's worth noting that Dessert Goals provides a welcome opportunity for small businesses, many of which have no brick-and-mortar presence, to introduce hundreds of potential customers to their products. The people who create and run these sorts of hyper-local food operations work hard while chasing their sweet dreams.
The Dessert Goals theme this time around was Party Animal, and there were several "K-9 influencers" running around on Saturday as well, looking cute and clueless while sitting next to, for example, a doughnut ice cream sandwich.
The vendors themselves tried to delight the crowd with a broad spectrum of dessert types. There were the caramelized-to-order Indonesian cakes and mung-bean pudding cups at Moon Man, who will back at Queens Night Market next month for another season; and a new business called Kochin, run by young Vietnamese couple, brought their complicated, festive sundaes to the fair, which you'll likely see a lot more of this year at Smorgasburg. Kouklet Bakehouse were serving their excellent Brazilian cake rolls (keep at eye out for these at the weekly Park Slope and Morningside Heights farmers markets), and Brooklyn Floss was a big hit with its puffy clouds of cotton candy. More familiar faces such as Seed + Mill, Oddfellows, Squish, Baked, and Dough were also hand.
Given its ticket-selling success this weekend, you can expect to see the event return once again in the fall. For now, click through for a look at the desserts you'll see around the city this summer.