Holiday Shopping Guide: Sweet Gifts For Foodies
Bouchon Bakery makes delectable macarons that can be sent anywhere in the world. These cookies are the quintessential French melt-in-your mouth classics. They come in chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and pistachio as well as special holiday fillings of peppermint buttercream, rum and eggnog buttercream, and gingerbread. Large macarons are $3 each while a package of six mini are $12. To make a big hit, order at least 25. They can then be piled up in a tower in different colors and flavors to make a great holiday centerpiece; www.bouchonbakery.com; 212-823-9357.
On New York's Upper East Side William Greenberg was a legend. He was the go-to-guy for the best chocolate brownies on the planet. The recipe is a secret, but the company that now owns the bakery admits to using an "exclusive custom blend of chocolate and fancy pecans." The brownies ship extremely well and arrive as tasty as the day they were baked. They are $3 per brownie or a large, red gift tin packed with 18 brownies for $68 plus shipping; www.wmgreenbergdesserts.com.
New York cheesecake is beloved just about everywhere but it's not everywhere you can get the real thing. Trust the Little Pie Company to excel at everything they bake. Their cheesecake is a winner. Another big hit is the sour-cream apple walnut pie. The cake and pie are $65 each plus shipping; littlepiecompany.com; 877-872-7437.
Southern delicacies are stunningly good looking with flavors to match. One perennial favorite at Christmas is Caroline's Cakes seven-layer caramel cake. No surprise that it is the company's top seller. Very rich, luxurious, and creamy, it should be sliced thin and can serve about 20 people. Shipped frozen, it should be defrosted and any uneaten cake after serving can be refrozen for up to six months. The nine-inch round sells for $45; www.carolinescakes.com; 888-801-2253.
Looking for something truly extravagant? La Madeline au Truffe from Knipschildt Chocolatier was dubbed the "most expensive chocolate in the world" by Forbes magazine. The secret to its success is dark Valrhona chocolate, heavy cream, sugar, truffle oil and vanilla as the base, surrounded by a rich ganache, and more chocolate, then it is rolled in fine cocoa powder. Fred Knipschildt who created this extravaganza got his culinary smarts in Denmark. La Madeline is $250 plus shipping; www.knipschildt.net; 203-854-4754.
Fauchon in Paris is foodie paradise. But if Paris isn't on your schedule for Christmas shopping, consider a very French cadeaux of a $500 gift basket with Fauchon's finest. Among the various assortments of French treats are dark and milk chocolates, mini-crepes with Roquefort, puff pastry biscuits, candied chestnuts, truffles, chocolate squares with hazelnut and praline, assorted caramels, and much much more; www.tasteofparis.us.
Christmas isn't Christmas without a buche de Noel, a traditional Yule cake shaped like a log. Williams-Sonoma makes a terrific one with chocolate genoise cake rolled with chocolate ganache and covered in a chocolate truffle buttercream "bark" topped by tiny white meringue mushrooms. The log arrives frozen and should serve 12-14 people, $74 plus shipping;www.williams-sonoma.
And just in case there's someone on your gift list who isn't crazy about sweets, consider a deluxe cheese box from Bay Area cheesemaker Cowgirl Creamery. the deluxe box with four artisanal cheeses is $98; www.cowgirlcreamery.com; 866-433-7834.