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Sweets Make the Sweetest Gifts

By Stacey LastoeDec 22 2020

As 2020 winds down and cold weather sets in, can we really resist the aroma of warm, buttery pastries, freshly baked gingerbread, or melty chocolate chip cookies? And should we even try? This season, as we navigate a different sort of holiday, Rockefeller Center is ripe with possibilities for sweet stocking stuffers and more.

Portugal’s Number-One Pastry

Craving a pastéis de nata? Or are you wondering to yourself, What is a pastéis de nata? The Portuguese pastry does not require a trip to Lisbon, though owner and founder of Joey Bats Café (a Rockefeller Center pop-up) Joseph Pedro Fernandes Batista, aka “Joey Bats,” explains that the original recipe dates back to the early 1800s. “Portugal's number-one pastry,” which Batista describes as a warm crème brûlée wrapped in a flaky croissant, can be shipped to anywhere in the country four days a week via the café’s website.

Bring on the Banana Pudding

Nearby, Magnolia Bakery beckons with scents of vanilla and butter (the vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream is the most popular cupcake flavor), making your gift-shopping trip to Rockefeller Center a piece of cake (sorry/not sorry). Most New Yorkers are probably familiar with Magnolia—yes, it is the bakery made famous by HBO’s “Sex and the City,” and yes, it really is that good—but perhaps less aware of its roster of shippable/giftable items. Working with third-party delivery service Goldbelly, Magnolia ships its inimitable baked goods to anywhere in the US. Consider the banana pudding lover in your life: Think they’d prefer a Banana Pudding Kit or the already assembled vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and cream? Gluten-free options are also available, as well as holiday gifting possibilities that include a Snowman Cake, a Holiday Cookie Sampler, and Christmas Cupcakes.

“The holidays may be very different this year, but Magnolia Bakery's Rock Center store still goes all out for the season,” says Bobbie Lloyd, Magnolia Bakery's chief baking officer. “We've got holiday cookies, Christmas cupcakes, red velvet banana pudding, and so much more that we're baking fresh every day.”

Candy for Grownups

And finally, the clever candy store Sugarfina’s Bento Box gift sets are charming and nearly too adorable to eat, although with seasonal treats like Candy Cane Caramels and Snowman Gummies, they aren’t likely to stay intact long. “We’re excited to ring in the holiday season with fan-favorites as well as bold new flavors,” said Scott LaPorta, CEO and co-investor of Sugarfina, in a recent press release. You can choose a curated box or design it yourself, selecting from items such as Sparkling Rosé Bears, Tequila Cordials, and Strawberry Daiquiri Hearts (for your favorite 21-and-over recipient, naturally).

These creative—and aesthetically pleasing—desserts are perfect for gifting the loved ones in your life, to bring a dose of sweetness to the holidays.

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