This month’s cover story on desserts includes a sidebar of “Sweet and Light” dessert choices: five places around the neighborhood that serve up low-cal desserts or dairy-free options for folks with special diet restrictions.

Since then, I’ve caught wind of a couple more Preston Hollow neighbors in the dessert “biz” that happen to sell specialty desserts with health-conscious ingredients, too.

Sweet E's Peppermint Twist cookies: soft, doughy, and surprisingly rich for being butter-free.

Sweet E’s Peppermint Twist cookies are soft, doughy, and surprisingly rich, especially considering that they’re butter-free.

Sweet E’s Express

Neighbor Lindy Houston’s son has dairy allergies, so when her daughter, Ella, started showing similar allergy symptoms as a baby, Houston took to the kitchen. Her mission was to make recipes that not only nourished her children without triggering their allergies, but recipes that also tasted as good as their dairy-rich counterparts.

“I come from a family of bakers, and my husband does too, but all of the family recipes had butter, so it was a lot of trial and error.” Houston says.

For Ella’s first birthday, Houston made an entirely vegan cake. Soon after, she made some vanilla sugar cookies. The nut and dairy-free cookies were such a hit that Houston got into the business of baking and selling the cookies online to customers all over the country.

Houston named the company Sweet E’s Express, a play on southern women’s frequent usage of the endearing phrase “sweetie” (Houston is a Texas girl: born and raised,) and the ‘E’ stands for her daughter Ella, who’s allergies inspired Houston’s baking career.

Since getting started in 2010, Houston has worked on perfecting additional flavors, including lemon, peppermint twist and pumpkin spice (both seasonal flavors are available now,) citrus twist, chocolate chip, and a couple booze-infused flavors as well.

“People say the alcohol bakes out, but if you’re a whiskey drinker, you’ll distinctly know what brand is in these,” she says. Houston says her husband enjoyed helping her select the Texas whiskey and bourbon that she infuses into her cookies.

Sweet E’s doesn’t have a storefront, but Houston says she has aspirations of getting into Neiman’s, and that there are a couple restaurants around the neighborhood that may be selling her cookies in-store soon.

In the meantime, check out the website here to see pricing and ordering information.

Hail Merry's chocolate 'Miracle Tart'

Hail Merry’s chocolate ‘Miracle Tart’: Hail Merry/Facebook

Hail Merry

Preston Hollow resident Sarah Palisi Chapin is part-owner of Hail Merry, a Dallas-born snack company that offers tempting sweets from entirely gluten-free, raw, and vegan ingredients. The company was inspired by original founder Susan O’Brien’s yoga/raw-diet lifestyle. Dessert choices include coconut vanilla and chocolate mint tarts, caramel sea salt macaroons, and vanilla maple almonds, among several others.

Hail Merry desserts are sold at Central Market, the Preston Forest Whole Foods, and Cooper Fitness Center.

Discover additional Hail Merry retailers and learn more about the company online here.

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