Best Do-It-Yourself Dessert
City Bakery
3 West 18th Street

We thought we'd overdosed on molten-chocolate cakes, those ubiquitous pastry pucks that ooze when pricked, so prevalent on dessert menus they became the tirami su of the late nineties. That was until we discovered Maury Rubin's "Bake Your Own" line of single-serving frozen desserts ($2.49 apiece). Since then, we've stocked the freezer with corn bread, spice cake, and our favorite, the so-called brownie. After you've peeled the top off the oven-safe paper package, Rubin recommends underbaking the brownie, and so do we: Eight minutes in a 350-degree oven, and you've got your own barely congealed lava flow. Minimal effort, maximum pleasure -- that combination never goes out of style.