What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Dessert Lover.
Some people never tire of eating dessert. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snack: it's all sweet all the time. If that sounds like one of your beloved family members or friends, these five gifts are a perfect fit. If you'll be enjoying a holiday feast with them, go all out and complement one of these giftable treats with a special order dessert for a super sweet celebration they'll never forget.
Candy mixed bag from Smeeks Put together the perfect selection of nostalgic favorites and hard-to-find candies at Smeeks, recently relocated to UNION at Biltmore, where you can also pick up sweets from Whoopie Baking Co. to add to your gift bag of goodies. Old time candies that will make your parents' and grandparents' hearts swell include Abba-Zaba, Charleston Chew, Mallo Cups, Chuckles, Sky Bar and C. Howard's Violet. Smeeks also stocks locally made creations, including Goodytwos Toffee and Tracy Dempsey Originals, and hard-to-find items from out-of-state, including Whimsical Candy's handmade sea salt caramels and the three-day labor of love, La-Dee-Dahs.
Gift certificate to ABC Cake Decorating Supplies Does someone on your list love dessert so much that they make their own? It's tough to know what tools of the trade a home baker or professional pastry chef already has in the kitchen. When in doubt, get a gift certificate to ABC Cake Decorating Supplies. Just $25 will buy over 25 cookie cutters, a whoopie pie pan and a few pastry bags, or a couple of Fat Daddio's topsy turvy cake pans for a gravity-defying tiered cake. Or, if they have all the equipment and tools they need, ABC Cake also stocks fondant, icing, gum paste, Guittard chocolate, edible spray paint, and rows upon rows of edible decorations.
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Mail-order sweets from Gilt Taste There's a wealth of excellent places for dessert in the Valley, including Churn and Sweet Republic for ice cream, Cowboy Ciao and noca for incredible pastry chef creations, and even Nami and Treehouse Bakery for vegan treats. But the sweetest things are those we think we can never have. Order the gourmet in your life a world-class dessert, and skip the simple stuff like cookies and quick breads. We recommend Lady M's green tea mille crepes cake, John & Kira's fig tower chocolates with whiskey ganache, and Dulce Caramel Co.'s dark chocolate caramel alfajores.
Turned wood rolling pin from Practical Art No home kitchen should be without a durable rolling pin. At Practical Art, you can pick up an artisan French-style rolling pin (one solid 22" piece with tapered ends) that's handcrafted from local Mesquite wood. The trees used are naturally felled by desert storms or have been cleared from property, making this practical work of art not only beautiful, but also sustainable. Think about giving this one a little early so your favorite home baker can use it to roll out the dough for their holiday sugar cookies and pies. Only two rolling pins are currently available, so grab one before they're gone!
Tracy Dempsey Original's bacon pecan brittle This brittle is one of the things that put local dessert queen Tracy Dempsey -- who's currently in charge of the pastries at top spots Citizen Public House, Alchemy at Copperwynd, Karsen's Grill, noca, The Stockyards, and Crudo -- on the map. One part novelty, one part delicious holiday snack, this savory-meets-sweet treat makes an excellent stocking stuffer for any diehard carnivore or curious sugar fanatic. Tracy Dempsey Originals products can be found at Smeeks, Arcadia Farms, Wedge & Bottle, and Changing Hands Bookstore, and orders can be placed by calling 602-376-9021.