The five bakeries listed below have got your holiday dessert needs covered: Cookies? Check. Pie? Check. Brownies? Oh, yes, most definitely yes. They’re excellent every day of the year, of course, but each bakery is adding a dose of something special for the season. By Jessica Allen.
This ain’t your grammie’s fruitcake. The stollen at Bien Cuit, in Brooklyn, has almond cream, candied Citrus, and currants that have been poached in tequila. Yup, you read that right. Other holiday goodies include a kugelhopf (a ringed cake traditionally served in Central Europe) made with vanilla syrup, goat milk caramel, and toasted pumpkin seeds and a tres leches bûche de noël, with guava gelée, whey caramel, and coconut mousse. Check out the wee pfeffernüsse spice cookies too!
Traditionally eaten on Chanukah, sufganiyot are basically donuts. Really good, really cute, really flavorful donuts. At Breads Bakery, in Union Square, they come dolloped with jam and stuffed with cream (pictured). If you want to be the most popular person at the party, bring along a lovely linzer tart, which piles raspberry jam atop a hazelnut tart crust, or a chocolate babka pie, moist, braided layers of chocolate and pastry, a fantastic interplay of sweet and buttery. It makes an excellent dessert, sure, but it’s also great for breakfast. Trust us.
Dominique Ansel might be the closest thing we have to a wizard. Oy, what this man can do with a stand-up mixer, some sugar, some butter, and some heat! The macarons (pictured) on offer at his eponymous bakery look like peppermint candies. They’re filled with peppermint ganache, and come wrapped five to a jar. Or get some peppermint brittle, which comes with a mini ball peen hammer. Grab a Cronut too, while you’re there, to see what the fuss is about.
Wanna bring some brownies to your holiday soiree? Look no further than Fat Witch Bakery, in Chelsea Market. The dense, rich, moist, and, yes, fat squares that come out of this kitchen include the original (oh-so-chocolatey), the walnut witch (oh-so-nutty), the caramel witch (oh-so-sweet), and the java witch (oh-so-jittery). Those with smaller appetites will appreciate the petite witch babies. Those who love the crusty bits that stick to the pan will appreciate the bag of Witch Ends. Whatever you get, your crowd will be pleased.
Rather than slave away over a hot stove in your own kitchen, head over to Milk & Cookies Bakery in the West Village, and let the cheery staff whip up the cookies of your dreams. You choose the base, such as sugar, oatmeal, or chocolate, then decide on such mix-ins as dried blueberries, cappuccino chips, or sprinkles, and they’ll do the rest. (Orders generally take 20-30 minutes, or you can get your dough to go.) Pick up a few bottles of ice-cold milk, and you’re all set.