The holidays are back again to remind us that it’s OK — nay, encouraged! — to love cookies, cakes and confections in this keto-diet-crazy world. And when it comes to finding the trendiest, tastiest gifts, New Yorkers find themselves in the sweet spot.
From simple to sumptuous, there’s something here that would wow just about anyone. Imagine someone receiving a 5-pound, Nutella-filled cookie or an ornately decorated, personalized gingerbread house. Or maybe you want to treat yourself to a chocolate-y bowl of sweet nostalgia on Christmas morning.
Feast your eyes on our gift-giver’s guide to a garden of delights.
A home for the holiday
You don’t need to be a contractor to appreciate this fab, pre-fabricated home. But you do need to get going, because these sweet structures ($50 for the 8-inch house, $80 for the 10-inch one) aren’t likely to stay on the market for long. Call by Dec. 23 to reserve or have one personalized. William Greenberg, 1100 Madison Ave.; 212-861-1340, WMGreenbergDesserts.com.
It’s a snap!
It wouldn’t be Christmas without the gingerbread. And how much fun it is to find it all different shapes. One Girl Cookies, multiple locations; OneGirlCookies.com. Amy’s Bread, multiple locations; AmysBread.com.
Santa’s got a new bag
True to NYC’s gritty side, this psychedelic Santa and Snowman have been “tagged” with edible spray-paint. A trio of 10-inch Santas, in milk, dark and white chocolate, go for $44.95, while the 10 ½-inch, 2 ½-pound Snowman is $55 for milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Order by Dec. 22 for delivery by Christmas. Jacques Torres Chocolate, multiple locations; MrChocolate.com.
A big bowl o’cheer
Be honest — cereal was always dessert. Milk chocolate-puffed rice, caramelized hazelnuts and smoked mini meringues come together for a breakfast treat that should be enjoyed strictly once a year — for health’s sake! Dominique Ansel, 189 Spring St.; 212-219-2773, DominiqueAnsel.com.
The classics, gussied up
It’s not often a cookie compels you to utter “oh, my God,” but you will when you try these oatmeal ginger spice and triple-chocolate-chip cookies. An assorted dozen of these 3-ounce cookies are $45. Order by Dec. 18 for delivery by Christmas. Maman, multiple locations; MamanNYC.com.
Meet your matcha
Perfect for the health-conscious — well, not really. But this Douglas fir-hued bûche de noël features green-tea-infused spongecake, whipped cream filling and a red-bean-paste coating. Matcha powder is very fine, says pastry chef Norie Uematsu: “I have to be careful to fold it quickly into the batter, so it won’t swirl in the air!” Order the $38 Yule-log cake, which serves about six, by Dec. 18 for pickup by Christmas. Cha-An Tea House, 230 E. Ninth St.; 212-228-8030, ChaAnTeaHouse.com.
Giant cookie packs a punch
This dual dessert’s $100 price tag is justified by its size: a 5-pound disc of Nutella-crammed dough made of peanut butter chips, toasted oats, pretzels, coconut, M&Ms and potato chips. The bigger-than-your-face confection comes with a half-gallon jug of bourbon milk punch and serves approximately 12, “but I haven’t seen one group finish it yet,” says chef Brad Warner, whose PHD Terrace has it on the menu. Dream Midtown, 210 W. 55th St.; 646-756-2044, PHDTerrace.com.
1. Wouldn’t it be ice?
These holiday royal-icing cookies will make a regal present for anyone, including yourself. One Girl Cookies, multiple locations; OneGirlCookies.com. Amy’s Bread, multiple locations; AmysBread.com.
2. Ice and spice
These cinnamon-spiced, half-foot-wide cookies are oatmeal-based, which means they’re OK for breakfast — right? Available for $4 each, six for $22 or a dozen for $40. Red Gate Bakery, 68 E. First St., Bowery; RedGateBakery.com. Opens Dec. 19.
3. Dizzingly delicious
Get hypnotized by these swirling circles of chocolate and sugar cookie. One Girl Cookies, multiple locations; OneGirlCookies.com.
4. Cookies with benefits
Two tasty new takes on beloved classics: the traditional Linzer cookie turned into a marriage of shortbread and strudel at $10.50 per pound. Breads Bakery, multiple locations; BreadsBakery.com.
5. Now, that’s Italian!
These “molto autentico” box of a dozen assorted holiday cookies ($22) are made from Old World Italian family recipes from baker Renato Poliafito. Best to call in your order before picking it up at the store. Ciao, Gloria, 550 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 716-666-2426, CiaoGloria.com.
6. Better than Dunkin’
These bright colored, fried-rice-flour doughnuts are made for sharing. Easily pulled apart, they’re based on the Japanese treat Pon de Ring. Taiyaki bakery co-founder Winbin Fun says his team was after “a product that really encapsulated the idea of sharing.” At $3 per doughnut or $16 for six, feel free to split them with a pal. Or not. The Dough Club, 119 Baxter St.; 646-918-6090, TheDoughClub.com.
7. It takes two
Who says pumpkin is just a Thanksgiving thing? These $3.50 pumpkin-cherry mini tarts were created in collaboration with Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery, available exclusively at Grand Central Terminal. Great Northern Food Hall, 89 E. 42nd St., Midtown; GreatNorthernFood.com.
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