One of the best parts of the holiday season is the food – especially the desserts! From traditional holiday treats to local favorites, we have the scoop on where to satisfy your sweet tooth and make a sugar coated memory or two.
Seasonal Cupcake Boxes …. at Sprinkles
Sprinkles’ seasonal cupcake boxes mean plenty of cupcake yumminess for everyone. Their Hanukkah Box (only available Dec. 6-14) contains Red Velvet, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes with Star of David sugar decorations. The Sprinkles Joy Box comes with Chocolate Peppermint, Red Velvet, Vanilla, and Gingerbread cupcakes with Sprinkles JOY decorations. Don’t want to take home a dozen? These seasonal flavors are available in single cupcakes, too!
50 E. Walton St.
Stollen … at Dinkel’s
The only change that’s been made to the stollen at Dinkel’s, which has been a bestseller since the bakery first opened in the 1920s, is swapping lard for butter in the recipe. This holiday season they will be baking 600 pounds of the German cake each day. Kids will love getting their hands messy and white as snow from the powdered sugar that coats the outside of this fruity and nutty dough kept moist with buttercream.
3329 N. Lincoln Ave.
Pfeffernusse Cookies … at Weber’s Bakery
This traditional holiday cookie is popular with families in Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands and is part of the St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) celebration. While “nusse” means “nuts” in German, the cookies don’t usually have nuts but are spice cookies (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg) dusted with powdered sugar and we have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love powdered sugar!
7095 W. Archer Ave.
photo: Magnolia Bakery
Christmas Cookies … at Magnolia Bakery
While this New York transplant is known for cupcakes and icebox cakes, we love the Christmas cookies. Try the sweet and spicy gingersnap cookies and buttery shortbread cookies rolled in festive red or green sugar or dipped in chocolate. Don’t forget the Sno-ball pecan cookies rolled in powdered sugar, which will melt in your mouth. Leaving these cookies out for Santa will be sure to put him in a giving spirit.
108 N. State St. at Block 37
photo: Toni Patisserie
Bûche de Noël … at Toni Patisserie
Little ones will be delighted to discover that this Yule log or bûche de Noël tastes not of wood, but rich, creamy chocolate. A chocolate-covered vanilla roll is filled with chocolate mousse and the bark is, you guessed it, more chocolate ganache. Meringue mushrooms are a fitting garnish for this cake, and if you chop off the end, the swirl of the sweet roulade inside will resemble a chopped off tree branch.
65 E. Washington St.
51 S. Washington St.
Pie – Any Pie … at Hoosier Mama
There is not one bad pie on the Hoosier Mama menu. Want to go traditional with a twist this holiday season? Try the Pear Apple Cranberry with Pecan Crumble (like autumn in your mouth). Have a chocoholic in your family? Head straight for the chocolate chess pie that is like a brownie and pie mash up. For the holidays, Hoosier Mama only bakes what they can store so once their order slots are full, that’s it – and the number of chocolate chess pies is limited!
1618 ½ Ashland Ave.
749 Chicago Ave.
photo: Patisserie Coralie
Gianduja Tart … at Patisserie Coralie
Anyone who likes Nutella will go nuts (pun intended) over Pastry Chef Manuel Bouillet’s gianduja tart. The young Frenchman makes his own hazelnut and milk chocolate ganache and almond cream for filling the tart, then tops it with light milk chocolate cream and milk chocolate sheets. He makes smaller individual tarts at the shop each day, but for the holidays, you’ll want to share with your whole family.
600 Davis St.
Trifle … at Pleasant House Bakery
For a taste of traditional British holidays, head south to Bridgeport to Pleasant House Bakery and introduce your kids to a British favorite with trifle. Pleasant House’s seasonal trifle combines custard, fruit, sponge cake and every kid’s favorite – whipped cream. Make a meal of it with one of Pleasant House’s famous meat pies and wash it all down with a house made soda (the ginger ale should not be missed) or a spot of tea.
964 W. 31st St.
Pecan Pie … at Labriola
Pecan pies are perhaps the sweetest of them all, and this Southern classic is sure to be a hit at your holiday party. European butter makes for a super flakey crust and bourbon vanilla bean paste holds the crunchy pecans together. Warm it in the oven and top it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, because all pie is better à la mode.
535 N. Michigan Ave.
3021 Butterfield Rd. #106
Florentines … at Tag’s Bakery
For almost 50 years, Tag’s Bakery has tried to keep up with the demand for their delicious Florentines. While many people think of Florentines are traditionally an Italian treat, Tag’s recipe comes from Vienna. No matter where it originated, Tag’s has definitely perfected this holiday cookie. This treat combines honey, butter, sugar and almonds and then coats the bottom of that deliciousness with chocolate to turn it into holiday cookie awesomeness.
2010 Central St.
What is your favorite holiday dessert? Let us know in the Comments!
— Jen Peterson & Amber Gibson