I have lived in New Mexico for more than 20 years and am still discovering amazing places to eat. My favorite part about “Danny Dines” is finding those hidden gems, and I thank you all for pointing me in the direction of Hurst Treats.

Hurst Treats serves up some of the most delicious cookies, cakes and pastries you will ever encounter. It is operated in Rio Rancho and run by Ashley Ordonez-Hurst. When she is not baking, she works as an educational assistant for Rio Rancho Public Schools.

“I initially started making DIY Easter-themed cookie kits to help raise money for my son’s team, for the annual ‘Ellen Reavis Autism Race for Autism’ in April of 2019,” Ordonez-Hurst said. “It was for a great cause, and the momentum of ‘word-of-mouth’ referrals spread fairly quickly.”

Hurst Treats has served many businesses and schools in the community, including the NM Autism Society, the Albuquerque Police Department and even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, just to name a few. Not bad for a business without brick-and-mortar.

“I’ve been a home baker for as long as I can remember. My grandmother was a cake decorator, and I loved spending any and all free time I had with her in the kitchen. It’s a pastime that I’ve carried on with my oldest son, Damien,” Ordonez-Hurst said.

Hurst Treats’ most popular items are its custom sugar cookies and Chantilly cakes. When I placed my order, I got Valentine’s Day-themed vanilla cake pops and vanilla sugar cookies, and two Chantilly cake jars.

It was time to get to work.

First of all, I did not want to eat anything. They looked too pretty, and I did not want to ruin the artwork – take a look at the ‘Rio Rancho Observer’ cookie she made.

However, once again, my stomach got the best of me. Ah, stomach you have been my trusted ally and nemesis.

I started off with the cake pops. The frosting was sturdy, and the cake ball was perfectly sweet.

I headed next for the Chantilly cake jars. The sliced strawberries were amazing and fresh, the whipped cream frosting was rich and delicious, and the cake had a nice delicate, airy texture.

Finally, I finished off the cookies. The cookies had an amazing shortbread texture and taste. They were sweet (but of course, not too sweet), and melted in your mouth.

The only thing that would have made this experience more perfect was a glass of milk. Alas, my brother drank all the milk and left me with unsweetened almond milk.

How do you order from Hurst Treats? Reach out on the Facebook page “Hurst Treats” or text 505-615-3320.

And yes, she knows it’s a different way of ordering.

“I have a very informal process of ordering. I am not a fan of automated order systems because I like conversing back and forth and ensuring I get the customer’s vision down accurately. I also enjoy the friendly conversation and getting to know each of my customers,” Ordonez-Hurst said.

Where should I go next? Email me: [email protected]