If you’ve been missing out on the doughy awesomeness that is babka, then Hanukkah is the perfect opportunity to rectify that situation. So what is babka anyway? (Besides delicious, of course.) It’s a dense, swirled bread, usually layered with chocolate or cinnamon. It’s often topped off with sugary streusel for extra sweetness. The contrast of dry and sticky layers makes for a perfect texture that’s both thick and airy. As a classic episode of “Seinfeld” attests, “You can’t beat a babka.”

At one point the Eastern European dessert was tough to come by in America. Unless you lived near a gourmet bakery or had a Jewish grandma, you probably lacked access to one of the best sweets on the planet. That was decades ago, though. Now neighborhood grocery stores, and even Trader Joe’s carry them, so you can get your babka fix anytime.

When it comes to flavor, chocolate babka is ideal. And nobody knows this better than Breads Bakery. The New York eatery takes their chocolate babka to a whole other level by contorting the baked good into a pie! They intricately braid strands of dough into a unique circular shape and then mold it into pie crust. It’s a creative spin on a classic dessert that we couldn’t endorse more. The amount of Nutella used to create this hybrid alone is a sight to behold.

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If you’re looking for more Yiddish goodies to nosh on this holiday season, try rugelach. These pastries are traditionally crescent-shaped, with a triangle of dough circling a filling. Raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, and fruit preserves are all popular variations. But once again we’re declaring chocolate the victor.

For an even more decadent take on the rugelach, we again turn to Breads Bakery. One of their most ambitious creations is this ginormous rugelach-branched Christmas tree. It may seem ironic at first, but honestly what could be a better baked good for inter-faith celebrations! It’s also perfect for people who can’t get enough Nutella. (Did we mention we really, really like Nutella?)

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Header image courtesy of Breads Bakery.

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Chowhound. Follow her on Twitter @volume_knob for updates on snacks and cats.
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