This microscopic downtown Amherst bakery with an enthusiastic cult following does most of its business through take-out sales of cakes, breads, and pastries. Top choices include brioches, which are perfectly executed: they're buttery enough to leave your fingers moist, yet light and tender in the French tradition. Freshly baked bread is quite good, and most other items, including doughnuts and sweets, are decent if not spectacular. The "chewy chocolate almond cookie" is no winner in appearance; it resembles a squashed Little Debbie snack from lunchbox years, with a rough brown exterior where bits of almond break through the chocolate crust. Its interior, though, is gooey and rich, with a brownie-like texture (though more moist, and less cakey). A lemon cake is delicately scented and very classy. We also like the minteos, crisp yet chewy chocolate cookies with mint frosting inside, and the cinnamon rolls, which are flaky rather than doughy, elegant rather than indulgent (but maybe a tad dry).
Henion's few eat-in tables cater largely to a breakfast coffee-and- pastry crowd. There always seems to be one stubborn patron occupying the only window seat, and the pink flowery interior does not otherwise invite lingering. The chairs look like college lecture-hall remnants, and the place is often uncomfortably silent. It's perfectly pleasant to stand and order at the counter display of baked goods, but you're best heading to the bench outside after that.