Special Holiday Treats Around the City (It's Bûche de Noël Time!)

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The Tout Sweet Bûche de Noël, with sweet edible mushrooms and holly leaves. Photo: Dana Massey-Todd. © tablehopper.com.

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The gorgeous Bûche de Noël by b. patisserie (photo courtesy of b. patisserie).

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Bredele at Vitrine. Photo courtesy of Vitrine.

There is no shortage of fabulous holiday treats right now to get you fat (or foist upon party hosts and guests). First up, the classic Bûche de Noël (Christmas log) has a few incarnations around town. For a playful version, Yigit Pura of ~TOUT SWEET~ on the third floor of Macy’s is doing two different flavors. The first (called 1.0 on the menu) has vanilla cake, Meyer lemon curd, cassis-cherry preserves, and vanilla buttercream. The second, or 2.0, is with flourless chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, and Vietnamese coffee buttercream. These babies are cute: adorable mushrooms, candy holly leaves, and there’s even a little stocking full of treats on there. Plus, they come boxed in one of Tout Sweet’s over-the-top fabulous pink boxes, tied with a big silver bow, so you’ll be making a pretty serious entrance if you’ve got one of these at a party. They come in individual, 6-inch, or 12-inch sizes—it’s recommended that you order in advance. For a full list of holiday options and prices, check out Tout Sweet’s holiday menu.

Belinda Leong, of the upcoming ~B. PATISSERIE~ is doing bûches de noël too—and they’re quite elegant. Hers come in three different flavors: vanilla, pistachio, and raspberry; chocolate, hazelnut, and toffee; or Dutch apple pie. Each bûche is seven inches and serves six to eight people. They’re $75, and can be ordered now for pickup on the morning of December 23rd or 24th. And good news: she is targeting the week of January 6th for her pâtisserie’s opening!

You can also find a bûche de noël from ~LA BOULANGE BAKERY~, either a six-inch half-log or a foot-long full log ($23 and $36, respectively). The sponge cake is rolled and filled with cream and then topped with buttercream. The outside is playfully decorated with marzipan and meringue to look like a Yule log covered in sweet edible moss, mushrooms, and dirt. Place your order by December 21st.

Are you a fan of torrone? Yeah, me too—crazy for the stuff. Best stocking stuffer ever! Gary Rulli of ~EMPORIO RULLI~ is making two kinds of soft torrone: traditional vanilla with California Mission almonds and Piedmontese hazelnuts, and a chocolate version made with Domori chocolate (milk, dark, and gianduja), California Mission almonds, pistachios, candied orange, and honey. Available in stores and online at rulli.com ($19.95-$22.95).

Rulli is also a master at panettone. This year he created the Panettone Paradiso: it’s a twist on a classic panettone Milanese, filled with chocolate, candied orange peels, walnuts, and raisins, and then topped with a walnut-almond paste, chocolate bits, and walnuts. It’s simply amazing warmed up with coffee in the morning. $36.

I haven’t tried these yet, but you can find Alsatian bredele at ~VITRINE RESTAURANT~ from chef Romuald Feger. These small cakes are inspired by a recipe from his grandmother, Alice, who used to bake up to 50 pounds of bredele each holiday season as gifts for family and friends. After days of preparation, bredele is traditionally first served on Advent Sunday accompanied by a glass of a spiced mulled wine. You can enjoy three different kinds: Anisbredele, featuring green anise seeds; Cocosbredele, made with dried coconut; and Basler Leckerli, a Swiss take on the delicacy featuring honey, candied orange and lemon peel, almonds, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Bredele will be served complimentary at the end of each meal throughout the winter, or you can order some for purchase with 24 hours notice. Available in packages of 13 or 26, which retail for $16 and $32 respectively. Through December 31st. 415-284-4049.

There was also quite the roundup of holiday cookies on 7x7.com, like macarons from DeLise Dessert Cafe and more. You can also pick up holiday-themed cupcakes at ~KARA’S CUPCAKES~ (order the “chocolaty chocolate peppermint” and 20 percent of proceeds will be donated to Raphael House through December), ~SUSIE CAKES~, and other bakeries around town. Ho ho ho!