5 Fun Holiday Treats for the Holiday Season
Published: Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 16:12
Whether you want an afternoon snack, a place to take a date, or a gift to bring to a holiday party this season, this is the article for you. This is the month when Christmas lights, the star above 59th Street and 5th Avenue, red cups at Starbucks, and holiday sales paint the streets of New York. To help navigate the holiday season, here are my five recommendations of places to "holiday up" the season.
5. Best Place to take a Date during the Holidays: City Bakery Hot Chocolate
3 W. 18th St (between 5th Ave. & Avenue of the Americas)
If you need a recommendation for a great place to take a date or catch up with a friend during December, City Bakery is hands down the best place to go. December is hot chocolate month at City Bakery, which means every day there is a special flavor of hot chocolate available. My favorite so far is Banana Peel Hot Chocolate, which has the perfect hint of banana while still tasting like pure melted chocolate. The regular hot chocolate is amazing as it stands, but the innovation of flavors that City Bakery provides is incredible. I am very curious what the Beer hot chocolate will taste like! Though the bakery tends to be really crowded, it is totally worth it. If you are not a hot chocolate kind of person, the chocolate chip cookies and pretzel croissant are to-die-for as well.
4. Best Holiday Snack: Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims
Whenever I am feeling adventurous and in the mood to try a new snack, I always look to Trader Joe's for inspiration and guidance. Most recently, I discovered the Holiday Peppermint Pretzel Slims. Yes, there are several other holiday favorites at Trader Joe's like Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's or Peppermint Bark, but this snack blew both out of the ballpark. As a lover of both savory and sweet, the Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims provides the perfect balance of salty and sweet. In addition to the amazing taste, it is also not too heavy on calories; four of these pepperminty goodies are about 140 calories.
3. Best Place to Buy Customized Edible Holiday Gifts: Eleni's Cookies
75 9th Avenue or www.elenis.com
If you are looking for a good place to get coworkers, friends or family a customized edible present, Eleni's is the perfect place. At first glance, the cookies made by Eleni's are too cute to eat. You would think that a cookie that is that freaking cute cannot taste that good. However, this nut free bakery has managed to deliver aesthetically amazing cookies that taste phenomenal as well. This holiday season, Eleni's has cookie gift sets for Christmas, Hanukkah, or even the Winter season. These adorable cookie sets will set you back about $47.50, but the joy that you will bring to whoever you are gifting them to will be priceless. My favorite gift set is called Wollman Rink, the famous ice-skating rink in Central Park, which includes snowflakes, skates, and sweater set shaped cookies.
2. Best Cake to Bring to a Fancy Holiday Party: Lady M Cake Boutique - Lady M Mille Crepes
41 East 78th Street (off Madison Avenue)
Okay, so the prices at this bakery are ridiculous. But before you leave Manhattan, promise me you will try this cake. All of the cakes are amazing, but if you must try one, please make it the Lady M Mille Crepe. This cake is made from a minimum of 20 ridiculously thin crepe layers, filled with a light and creamy custard. The layers are so thin and intricate that you can even count and see all 20 layers of the cake! This cake is incredibly light but has so much flavor. Once you have a slice, you will want to eat the entire cake. However, you might want to avoid that because it will set you back about $70 bucks and a lot of calories. Still, it's a must try!
1. Best Place to get a Delicious Non-Fancy Holiday Pie: Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Ave (between 7th St & 6th Ave) – Brooklyn
If you are looking for a reasonably priced, crowd-pleasing pie to bring to one of your next holiday parties, stop by Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn and you will be the hit of the party. All pies are made to order, and you can choose from 10 to 15 varieties. Four & Twenty Blackbirds also has an active Facebook site where they update their fans with new flavors that are available as well. I recommend the Salted Caramel Apple Pie, but they have a rotating selection of pies based on what's in season (usually four to five options per day), so definitely arrive early if you want to take your pick. The pies aren't super sweet, but instead are naturally sweet and incredibly fresh. I have also heard good things about the Salted Honey Pie, which is next on my list.
As you enjoy time with friends and family this holiday season, I hope these five recommendations will help add to the spirit and joy of the holiday season.