Cookie season is officially here, and while not all of us have the time or gumption to bake, most of us are still interested in the finished product.
Whether you're culinarily challenged, in the middle of a kitchen renovation, or just rushed this holiday season, here are a few places to pick up some deliciously festive home-style baking in Calgary.
At Wilde Grainz in Inglewood, their crusty loaves take three days to create, using traditional bread-baking techniques. For the holidays, try a loaf of rustic pear walnut or cranberry orange. Their holiday menu includes an assortment of shortbreads, biscotti, gingerbread men and Linzer cookies, along with festive rum balls, fruit gellies, caramel nut and pretzel popcorn and dark almond rocher. Or pick up a stunning chocolate caramel or plum tart. Try whole wheat croissants for your holiday table. They also offer bread baking classes if you have an aspiring baker on your Christmas list.
1218c 9th Ave. S.E. (403) 767-9006, wildegrainz.com
If you're looking for something fancy – like a Callebaut chocolate truffle torte with hazelnuts, brandied cherries, Armagnac prunes, or rum-soaked raisins or a cranberry frangipane tart – this is the place. Their classic coconut cream cake, doused in grated coconut, resembles a giant snowball and is sublime. And of course there's shortbread, Linzer stars, gingerbread men, and even sauces to go. Try a drizzlable decadence like whiskey caramel or cranberry raspberry port to doll up your holiday table.
831 10 Ave. S.W., (403) 245-5535, decadentdesserts.ca
Yann's Haute Patisserie
In the little yellow house just off 4th Street in Mission, they'll be baking up some fancy holiday sweetness. Try the elegant layered caranougat: salted caramel mousse, apricot, Parisian nougat eclats (little bits) and soft caramel vanilla cake. Or try the royale: dark chocolate bavaroise, hazelnut crunch with chocolate almond cake. All are sized to serve between four and 10 people. Of course they always have an assortment of perfect macarons, with 12 out of 25 flavours at any given time. You can expect the classics, like chocolate, strawberry and pistachio, and more innovative flavours like chocolate habanero or candy cane. Of course being a French patisserie, they also make a stunning traditional croquembouche.
329 23 Ave. S.W., (403) 244-8091, yannboutique.com, @YannBoutique
They aren't just cupcakes. Afterall, cookies come first in their name. At Crave Cookies and Cupcakes they're cranking out cookies (think classic shortbread and jam thumbprints), bars (try their Twix bar, magic cookie bars and salted nut bars), mini butter tarts, and of course their line of holiday cupcakes. For December, it's spiced gingerbread cakes with vanilla buttercream, topped with a mini-gingerbread person, and spiced rum cakes with eggnog buttercream. They'll package them up in beautiful holiday baking gift boxes or you can pick up a platter for your party.
For menus and locations, call (403) 270-2728 or visit cravecupcakes.ca
Brûlée always has a stunning lineup of holiday goodies, from stunning centrepiece desserts and glittering gift trays to classic holiday cookie assortments. If you're looking to stick with tradition but want an upgrade, they do proper fruitcake and even Yule logs you'll actually want to eat. And on Saturday mornings, they have some of the best sticky cinnamon buns in the city.
722 11 Ave. S.W., (403) 261-3064, brulee.ca