Brrrrr. Don’t want to turn the heat up so I’m sitting with a nice cup of Jasmine tea and nibbling away at a lovely Lavender Shortbread Cookie from the Bucks County Cookie Company. I had bought the little packet of cookies to give as a gift. NOT. Why did I eat it instead? Oh, I could say “research,” but that would be a lie. Because, as the expression goes, it was there. And yum. Really hit the spot. I have to have another one.
All this week I’m highlighting delicious food gifts from local Bucks County businesses. Today I’m living dangerously. There are so many great baked goods this time of year that I hope I don’t offend anyone by not mentioning them (!). Feel free to comment below on your favorite baker (other than your mother or spouse). These are some local names you may or may not know, but are sure worth checking out.
Ambrosia, aka Dawn McBeth, sells her all natural, delectable wares at the Stockton Market every weekend and by order. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org to order pies, cakes, quiches, and patés for the holidays.
Bucks County Biscotti sells seven varieties of biscotti including a holiday special, Chocolate Peppermint – dark chocolate chunks and peppermint candy pieces, dipped in chocolate and rolled in more peppermint candy pieces – available only this month. You can pick up some at their home-based bakery in Hilltown, or see our post from earlier this fall that lists local stores where you can buy their biscotti.
Bucks County Cookie Company makes lovely gourmet cookies, blondies, brownies, scones, biscotti and other baked goods, perfect for gifts (if you don’t eat them first). They’ll also put together some nice gift baskets. You can contact them via their website, and look in on Susan’s blog, The Cookie Scoop, too, if you’re into baking. Great pictures, recipes and instruction.
Crossroads Bake Shop. Ah. Where to start? Since 1991, this landmark Doylestown bakery has made just about everything good that can be baked. Hearty artisanal breads, pastries, cakes. And for the holidays, how about Italian Rum Cake, Chocolate Espresso Torte, Ricotta Polenta Pie or a Double Crusted Apple Pie? No? How about Old Fashioned Pecan Fruitcake, Italian Pannetone, Holiday Stollen, Springerlie, Pfeffernüsse, Cranberry Pecan Biscotti and Pumpkin Spice Biscotti, or the ever popular Yule Log? See their Christmas menu online or stop by the store and have them make up a unique gift package. You can also find Crossroads at the Stockton Farmers’ Market on weekends.
The Grain Exchange. What about the loved ones in your life who can’t eat gluten? Their prayers have been answered by Jill Columbo. This Doylestown baker makes a dizzying array of baked goods, all gluten- and wheat-free including cakes, cookies, dessert bars, brownies, muffins and, now, biscotti. You can find her goods at the following locations, or check out her website to see more. Gift certificates, custom gift baskets, trays and holiday tins are available too.
Green Eggs & Cakes was begun this past year by out-of-work art teachers, Christy Devlin, Rita Gauscheman and Laura Hilferty, who took their talent and applied it to cakes, cupcakes and other delectables, sourcing all ingredients locally and organic whenever possible. They opened a shop in Sellersville in October, so now you can see them make their incredible made-to-order cakes, and grab some lunch too. For the holidays, ask about Caramel Apple Cake, Peppermint Patty Cupcakes, Gingerbread Cookies, holiday pies, cheesecakes and a variety of homemade chocolate-covered pretzels and candies. Check them out on Facebook too.
J. Scones, the delicious little bakeshop tucked behind the Cross Keys Diner in Doylestown, has been quietly building a reputation for not only outstanding scones – available baked and frozen – but cookies, pies, macaroons, cupcakes and made-to-order cakes as well. See our recently published post by Rich Baringer on this local gem, and stop by to pick up some great gift packages for the lucky people in your life.
Park Avenue Pastries is another hidden gem, making beautifully decorated designer butter cookies, available year-round but as a unique stocking stuffer, corporate gift, year-end “thank you” and even holiday seating cards! They individually wrap each all-butter cookie so they taste perfect tomorrow or next month. You can contact this Chalfont-based business at their website and see all the Christmas gift packages available.
Truly Custom Cakery creates – at the risk of hyperbole – amazing cakes. In her Warminster home, Stacey Hill, stay-at-home mom and entrepreneur, has quickly become a baking star (Philly HotList First Place for Wedding Cakes). This is one of the local bakers to keep in mind for your next special occasion. (Visit her website to see some of her creations, because I can’t fit all the yummy pictures here.) But this time of year, Stacey creates a positively addictive concoction called Truly Custom Crunch. It’s a combination of pecans, almonds, and popcorn, coated with caramel toffee and drizzled with rich dark chocolate. Let’s put it this way. Your friends, colleagues and family will either 1) love you for giving this to them, or 2) hate you – because they cannot stop eating it. Go to Truly Custom Cakery’s website to order, call 267-885-5670 or email Stacey at TrulyCustomCakery@gmail.com. Stacey also has an excellent blog for all you budding cake makers, full of tutorials and tips.
Want more local food gift ideas? See these other posts on Bucks County Taste.