The season of holiday cookies and eggnog is upon us. Here are some of the hottest spots to get seasonal treats this year:
Maple butter with pumpkin spice caramel ice cream at Cloud 10 Creamery: Maple butter has been a Cloud 10 seasonal standard since they opened, but every year, pastry chef Chris adds a twist. This year, he added a thick swirl of pumpkin spiced caramel to the already buttery maple flavor. Add to that exquisitely crunchy candied walnuts, a tangy dollop of cranberry sauce, freshly whipped cream and a dark chocolate magic shell, and you have a sundae that's expletive-level good. If the Rice Village location is a little far for you to venture (although no place should be too far for this sundae), check out the second Cloud 10 location, newly opened in the Heights.
Holiday platters from Mostly Chocolate: This December, the Lebanese-family owned business is serving up beautiful holiday platters that would serve as beautiful holiday gifts for the office, friends or family. Normally $80, the platters are currently on sale for $55 and feature their popular goat cheese truffles, chocolate salami, golden almonds (enrobed in edible gold) and more. Looking for more options? There are also deluxe or standard gift baskets, or you can pick up a simple box of gingerbread truffles for $2.50 each. Call ahead or stop by their Galleria location.
Christmas Cupcakes from Ooh La La: Ooh La La never fails to deliver on holiday cheer—check out the red and green cupcakes topped with festive piped wreaths, sprinkles and toppers like classic candy canes, cute reindeer, or break-dancing Santas. Mini cupcakes are $3.75 each, minis are jumbo, $39.95/doz jumbo OR $1.75/mini, $18/doz mini.
Bourbon pecan pie from Not Jus' Donuts: The Not Jus' Buddy's Pecan Torte is a 10" stunning behemoth of a pie inspired by Buddy's "Cake Boss" Valastro with seven layers of hand-placed pecans covered in a caramel bourbon glaze made with Texas 1835 bourbon. The $30 creation must be ordered at least 2 days in advance. If you're a boozy cake fan however, don't miss the drunken rum cake with a garnishing of nuts and a thorough soaking of rum.
Poached pumpkin monkey bread from Underbelly: Underbelly pastry chef Victoria Dearmond constantly switches up the dessert offerings at the Montrose restaurant. Don't let this winter slip away without trying the fluffy poached pumpkin monkey bread, coated in a deliciously complex burnt honey caramel. If pie is more your style, there's a seasonal hand-sized pecan fried pie, or a sweet potato cheesecake laced with marshmallows and sweet sherry.
Spiced Pear & Almond Tart with Bourbon Glaze from Bare Bakery: If you have any family members allergic to gluten or eschewing grains and refined sugar, look no further than local bakery Bare Bakery, which specializes in gluten-free, naturally sweetened desserts. The seasonal pear and almond tart—spiced crust filled with organic, poached pears and soft almond filling topped with bourbon glaze—would be a hit at any gathering, and just happens to be gluten, dairy and egg-free as well as vegan, and paleo. This tart is $52 and you can place an order for one of these tarts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sugar Cookies from Tiny's Milk and Cookies: Tiny Boxwoods shot its classic chocolate chip cookies to irresistible cookie fame, but the array at the newer bake shop in Rice Village goes far beyond the humble chocolate chip cookie. Made-in-house ice cream, snickerdoodle bread, doughnuts, brookies (a cookie/brownie hybrid)—and don't forget perfectly iced sugar cookies for all occasions. With the upcoming holidays, you can find beautifully frosted sugar cookies shaped like snowflakes, Christmas trees and gloves—perfect for holiday gatherings.
Plum & Almond Galette from Killen's STQ: Winter calls for cozy pies and a melting scoop of ice cream. This free-form galette at Killen's STQ features deeply roasted plums piled atop a rich almond cream. Topped with a scoop of rum, buttermilk and dulce de leche ice cream, this is the perfect way to wrap up a night at Killen's STQ.
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Holiday funfetti cake from Petite Sweets: As if you needed a reason to love funfetti even more, Petite Sweets is decking out some of its regular cake flavors like funfetti in gorgeously festive colors—available by the slice or by pre-order as a whole cake for a holiday party. For even more holiday cheer, try their seasonal cupcake, macaron and ice cream flavors like peppermint, chocolate peppermint, and honey apple. And don't forget the unicorn hot chocolate, a true sprinkle-infused unicorn of beverages.
Gingerbread men from Three Brothers Bakery: Is there anything more satisfying than biting the head off a fluffy gingerbread man from Three Brothers? Their giant, thick, soft cookies have an extremely mild flavor, slightly caramelized, cracked edges and a generous dose of sprinkles in the middle. Pick up a few cookies from any of the three locations around town in Braeswood, Washington Ave or off I-10 near the Beltway.