Between bringing gifts to party hosts and buying actual presents for friends and family, chances are you’re over thinking about what to get. And that’s why we’ve rounded up a list of great seasonal sweets to hand out for the holidays.
Momofuku Milk Bar‘s (251 East 13th Street, and others; 347-577-9504 ext. 4) Cranberry-Gingerbread Cake Truffles
Famed pastry chef Christina Tosi has reinvented her notorious birthday cake truffles with a bit of holiday flair. She’s combined spiced gingerbread cake with cranberry juice, rolled it in white chocolate, and finished it off with a coating of cranberry milk crumbs. These bite-sized balls of seasonal spirit are available in-store and online until January 31. A gift box of 12 is $16, and three-packs are $4.35.
Dominique Ansel‘s (189 Spring Street; 212-219-2773) Holiday Cookie Shots
Dominique Ansel’s renowned cookie shots have also been transformed for the season. For $28, the shop is selling five shot-glass-shaped cookies filled with different flavors. The combo pack comes with original chocolate chip with Tahitian vanilla milk, plus peanut butter with chocolate milk, snickerdoodle with peppermint milk, gingersnap with eggnog, and oatmeal cranberry with honey milk. The packages are available in-store daily until December 30, but advanced ordering is suggested. Visit the website 48 hours in advance.
Bien Cuit‘s (120 Smith Street, Brooklyn; 718-576-3760) Chocolate Chestnut Bûche de Noël
This small Brooklyn pastry shop is one of the best bakeries in the city, and it’s serving a unique selection of traditional holiday desserts. The chocolate chestnut bûche de noël is one of the most decadent of all. Chestnut cream is rolled into a log along with chocolate sponge cake. It’s then coated with rum ganache and anchored to a crispy hazelnut praline. The final product is garnished with a plaque of dark chocolate, chestnut jelly, and a hazelnut truffle (a toasted hazelnut coated in chestnut cream and chocolate). Pick one up until December 24. It serves about four or five people for $35.
Veniero’s Pasticceria‘s (342 East 11th Street; 212-674-7070) Struffoli
For well over a century, this East Village pastry shop has been vending southern Italian pastries, and the struffoli is one of the best holiday desserts that can be found. The traditional Neapolitan dish is composed of fried balls of dough that are coated in honey (here, it’s from New York State) and garnished with colorful nonpareil candies and candied fruit. Sold only at Easter and from Thanksgiving through the new year, these trays are $17.95, and each serves 10 to 12. In-store pick-up and online mail-order are available.
Brigadeiro Bakery‘s (156 Sullivan Street; 917-740-5772) Cinnamon Pecan Brigadeiros
With a brand-new shop of its own, this Soho bakery specializes in Brazilian pastries. It’s namesake dessert comes in a unique array of flavors that can only be found here. Chef Marianna Vieira’s variations range from traditional chocolate and coconut to pistachio and passion fruit. For the holidays, however, she’s introduced a seasonally appropriate cinnamon pecan variation. It’s available in shop and through online orders (it can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.). Gift boxes are $14 for six, $26 for a dozen, two dozen for $24, and 42 for $78. Each one comes individually wrapped in specially designed Brazilian prints.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.