What would the holidays be without treats you get only at this most wonderful time of the year? Everyone has special recipes they use that never see the light of day any other time of the year. I suspect there is some kind of cosmic law that prevents me from making my family Christmas cookies any time except at Christmas.
But some of us can't or don't bake, and many of us are looking for something special for guests, gifts, parties or just for fun. So here are five great resources for amazing holiday baked goods - you might want to call ahead to pre-order - that will have you begging for more:
Sugar and Spice Bakery and Catering in Osage Beach -There's a special tradition at Sugar and Spice: the White Walnut Wine Cake, made from a recipe passed to them by their predecessor at the shop's location. It's rich and delicious, drenched in white wine syrup and decorated with holly sprigs, which makes it the perfect hostess or business gift. If you're searching for gingerbread, you'll find both people and houses available. They even have something special for Christmas morning: a cinnamon roll tree made from a dozen and a half cinnamon rolls.
Cookie Jar Bakery in Lee's Summit - Make your celebration sweeter with traditional iced Christmas cookies, which are both cute and delicious, and wonderful gingerbread men. Their new homemade granola offers a healthy option, and they get rave reviews on their salted caramel brownies and lemon bars - a perfect reward for getting your holiday shopping done. You can always walk in, but if you want something special, give them a call as soon as possible.
B+B Boulangerie and Fair-Weather Café in Springfield - Go global with your holiday treats at B+B. Choose a traditional German stollen wrapped around a ribbon of homemade marzipan. Their festive Santa coffee cake is stuffed with cinnamon sugar. And the Askinosie Buche de Noel (French Yule Log Cake) is filled with a full pound of Askinosie chocolate and decorated with marzipan mushrooms. Be sure to check out their North Pole cookie collection, too.
Kohn's Kosher Deli in Creve Coeur - The holiday season includes more than just Christmas. Chanukah runs from December 12 through 20, and special treats are a must. All it takes is a call to Kohn's, and they'll make a variety of Chanukah cookies in star, dreidel and menorah shapes as well as sufganiyot (donuts filled with jelly), iced and decorated cupcakes in two sizes, and latkes (potato pancakes). They also carry menorahs and Chanukah candles.
Pie Safe Bakery and Cafe, Pocahontas (just north of Cape Girardeau) - Located in a 1910 bank (it has an old-fashioned candy store in the vault!), Pie Safe Bakery can't be beat for comfort food for the holidays. Molasses cookies and black walnut sandies are always hot sellers, they have lots of decorated sugar cookies in Christmas motifs, and they feature German picture cookies - springerle - done with hand carved rolling pins. But the thing that blew me away was their edible mini churches: imagine a gingerbread house but made with sugar cookies.