– By Val Bitici Twerdahl –
This holiday season, instead of quelling the urge to snack on sweets altogether, why not embrace it by vowing only to eat the best of the best? To help you on your mission, below is a list of tasty, seasonal treats from some of the best bakeries around the world. All are well worth the calories, and perfect as gifts to your loved ones and yourself.
1. Whoopie Pies from One Girl Cookies in Dumbo.
Dawn Casale came up with the idea for One Girl Cookies while she was working as a staffer at Barneys New York. Now, her simple idea has become a mini-empire boasting two Brooklyn locations, a cookbook, and the best whoopie pies this side of Amish Country. Celebrate this holiday season by buying her “Love, Joy, and Whoopies” gift box, which includes 9 chocolate, 9 pumpkin, and 6 red velvet, all filled with sweet cream cheese frosting.
For more information, visit: OneGirlCookie.com
2. Bûche Rudy from Jean-Paul Hévin Patisserie in Paris.
A fresh take on Bûche de Noël, France’s age-old holiday classic, Jean-Paul Hévin Patisserie’s Bûche Rudy is filled with chocolate biscuit and dark chocolate mousse. Adorned with chocolate antlers and a red nose à la Rudolf, everybody’s favorite reindeer, this scrumptious cake is a fun way to spread holiday cheer to your family and friends.
For more information, visit: JeanPaulHevin.com
3. Christmas Cupcakes Box from Hummingbird Bakery, London.
During the month of December, London’s Hummingbird Bakery serves up fairy cakes in seasonal flavors such as eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, and Christmas pudding. Each treat is topped with charming decorations including glittery baubles, and jolly little Santas, gingerbread men, and snowmen. Best of all? Hummingbird Bakery has an outpost in Spitalfields market, so you can work up an appetite shopping for vintage treasures before heading to the bakeshop for some sweets.
For more information, visit: HummingbirdBakery.com
4. Color block Chocolates from Patisserie Sadaharu Aoki in Tokyo.
With shops in both Tokyo and Paris, pastry connoisseur Sadaharu Aoki has cornered the market for fancy sweets. Dubbed Bonbons Maquillages, or “candy makeup,” his color block chocolates look more like pastels from an art-supply shop than edible treats. They come in a rainbow of flavors: cocoa, caramel and coffee for the tame, strawberry, raspberry, and rose for the fruitful, and Japanese-inspired wasabi, bamboo, and yuzu for the daring. Mix and match different flavors and colors in boxes of 12 or 36 for a delightful holiday gift.
5. Gingerbread Men and Women from SusieCakes in Brentwood.
With eight locations across California, SusieCakes bakery serves its share of cupcakes throughout the year. During December however, the bakery’s gingerbread cookies share the spotlight with its other treats. Gingerbread men are the quintessential holiday cookies, and at SusieCakes they are displayed beside gingerbread women. It seems that even in the world of baked goods every great man has a great woman by his side. Visit SusieCakes’s flagship shop in Brentwood, CA to grab a taste of this perfect holiday treat.
For more information, visit: SusieCakes.com
– 6. Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Green Granary Bakery in New Milford, CT. –
Located in New Milford, CT, The Green Granary is a small town café with a big presence. Its menu consists of healthy lunch options and tasty, homemade baked goods, but the most special offering is the chocolate chip cookie. The organic cookie measures about four inches in diameter and weighs in at a quarter of a pound each. Chock full of extra large chunks of dark chocolate and oats, this may be one of the best cookies you could ever leave by your tree for Santa. Just don’t forget to leave him a tall glass of milk for dunking, too.
For more information, visit: GreenGranary.com
Val Bitici Twerdahl is a writer, born and raised in manhattan. Since 2008, she has worked as part of Vanity Fair’s editorial team, sometimes contributing to vf.com. Val spends her free time blogging (miscv.tumblr.com), traveling, trying new restaurants, cooking, skiing, and dreaming about one day becoming an art collector.