I did some tasting and window shopping today for Christmas Eve. While Goggling to see if Masses had a website, this great article came up on Berkeley Holiday baked goods. Ill add any finds from my shopping expedition. Hope others will chime in on their favorites.
Havent tried Naboloms fruitcake yet which sounds fabulous with the fruits and nuts soaked in rum and schnapps. The article also mentions, Naboloms Danish butternut cookies and raspberry spitzruben, described as like a Linzer tart, but in the shape of cookie bars.
My favorite fruitcake for years has been Cheeseboards dark fruit cake with at least three different liquors and fruit like dried apricots which I prefer to the candied stuff. It is also full of the most wonderful selection of nuts.
Im a fan of the Pfeffernuesse, a spicy light cookie rolled in powdered sugar in holiday colors. The petite fours come with lovely holiday designs and the butter cookies are always holiday favorites. Ive never tried Mrs. Neldhams private reserve fruitcake as it is the version that has lots of candied fruit. Im more of a dark dried fruitcake fan. The stollen is the most reasonable priced fresh area stollen and comes in the shape of a Christmas tree with green and red cherry ornaments. Not a traditional stollen, but more of a light yeasty bread. See picture in this link.
The article mentions Acmes pannetone and there have been a number of thumbs of on the board. Acme also makes a pumpkin bread with pumpkin pulp and pie spices, raisins and cranberries.
Oohhh, I just noticed the Crixa website says they sell their Buche de Noel by the slice. Im so there tomorrow.
The newspaper article mentions the two versions of Italian panforte, made with honey, which Crixa baker Kloian recommends to serve sliced thin with a class of dessert wine. There is fig and walnut panforte as well as the classic Sienna style with honey, spices, toasted almonds and candied citrus peel. Kloian is quoted as calling the fig and walnut panforte softly spiced and has a hauntingly autumnal flavor.
Some of the holiday goodies at Crixa that Ive sampled:
Chestnut kifli - buttery, crisp crescent with nice chestnut plates.
Saint Nicholas Gold Drop - round butter cookies with a gold icing.
Saint Nicholas gingerbread cookies Nice soft gingery cookies with different paper pictures of Santa Claus.
Heres a link to the website that has the rest of the specials torrone, tree of life honey cake, springerle cookies with elaborate stamped designs, ginger Madeira cake, Dundee cake, cranberry walnut pie, and black current Linzer tart.
Stollen Uber buttery German Christmas bread that was filled with golden raisins, finely shaved nuts with a lovely aroma of orange peel. Instead of powdered sugar on top, there is granulated sugar. Big bucks, but worth it for the artistry.
FatApples and Masses will be separate posts because I picked up their holiday dessert list which is long.