The holiday sights matter, the lights and trees, as does the sound of carols and the aroma of pine, but it’s the traditional goodies that make the season sweet. Taste takes us back to our childhood and that early seasonal wonder. A slice of fruitcake on Christmas morning can trigger memories of the old country—even if you grew up in Texas. This is one time of the year we all reconnect with our inner ethnic voices and seek out pannetone if we’re Italian-American, and plum pudding if our people emigrated from the British Isles. No matter where we’re from, the iced cookies taste great. While making these cultural baked goods from scratch is a holiday ritual in many families, lots of folks are simply too busy or, frankly, not experienced, well-equipped bakers like their foremothers. So patronizing bakers at the end of the year has become its own kind of ritual.
The hard part is finding a nearby bakery that offers the particular ethnic sweets we crave. That’s where our guide to holiday baked goods comes in handy. You may need to drive a little, but for just the right gingerbread, it will be worth it. Happily now most bakeries produce at least some gluten-free treats, and some, like Arvada’s Rheinlander Bakery, bake a whole line of gluten-free holiday faves. Here’s a sampling of some of the seasonal treats offered at selected North Metro-area bakeries:
A Grand Finale Patisserie 641 Main St., Louisville, 303.926.4084; 489 North Hwy 287, Lafayette, 720.890.4906, agrandefinale.com. Lemon-glazed gingerbread; brandied fruitcake; yule logs; pumpkin cheesecake; gingered pear pie; yule logs; cookies Breadworks 2644 Broadway, Boulder, 303.444.5667, breadworks.net. Cranberry squash bread; apple cake; challah; macaroons; iced cookies; gingerbread people; yule logs; fruit and nut loaves Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery 3210 Wadsworth Blvd., Wheat Ridge, 303.233.3755, dolcesiciliabakery.com. Italian cookies including fig cuccidati and amaretti pignoli; pannetone; ricotta pie; sfogliatelle Hanna’s 802 S. Public Rd., Lafayette, 303.664.0200, hannasfood.com. Pies; eggnog cheesecakes; sugar cookies Indulge Bakery 1377 Forest Park Circle, Lafayette, 303.926.1676, indulgebakery.com. Yule logs; gingerbread and iced cookies; chocolate peppermint cake; stollen; pannetone Rheinlander Bakery 5721 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada, 303.467.1810, rheinlanderbakery.com. Pfeffernusses; poppy seed rolls, stollen, yule log, fruitcake, marzipan kringle, springele; butter cookies; and gluten-free springele, marzipan macaroons and gingerbread Shamane’s Bake Shoppe 2825 Wilderness Place, Boulder; 303.417.9338; shamanesbakeshoppe.com. Pies; fruitcake; sticky toffee; candycane torte; yule log; croquembouche; linzer cookies; gingerbread Spruce Confections 767 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.449.6773; 4684 Broadway, Boulder, 303.449.5819. Pies; iced sugar cookies, gingerbread and shortbread people; rugelach; macaroons. Besides being available at some of the above bakeries, yummy Hanukkah treats are available at many Denver bakeries and delis, including: The Bagel Store, 942 S. Monaco Parkway; Bagel Deli, 6439 E. Hampden Ave.; Zaidy’s Deli, 121 Adams St.; and East Side Kosher Deli, 499 S. Elm St., all in Denver.
Other Specialty Baked Good Sources: German Old Fashioned Bavarian Bakery, 613 Frontage Rd., Longmont Jamaican Caribbean Bakery, 2934 E. Colfax Ave., Denver Dutch Dubbel Dutch, 4974 Lowell Blvd., Denver Danish Taste of Denmark Bakery, 1070 S. Union Blvd., Lakewood Vietnamese Vinh Xuong Bakery, 375 S. Federal Blvd., Denver Greek Omonoia Greek Bakery, 2813 E. Colfax Ave., Denver Mexican Panaderia Sabor A Mexico Bakery, 2839 N. 28th St., Boulder Eastern European Royal Bakery, 9606 Ralston Rd. Arvada French Les Delices De Paris, 5303 Leetsdale Drive, Denver American Great Harvest Bread Company, Boulder and Longmont; Boulder Baked, 1911 Broadway; and Tee & Cakes, 1932 14th St., Boulder European Das Meyer Fine Pastry Chalet, 13251 W. 64th Ave., Arvada; and Erhard’s European Bakery, 4800 Baseline Road, Boulder).
Did we miss your favorite bakery? Or is there a stollen recipe you’d like to share with our readers? Email email@example.com and we’ll post it here.