Second Helpings: Santa's Little Helpers

"Second Helpings" offers tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were updated by Erin Mosow. For quick, reliable info about Austin eateries, check here.

Austinuts

2525 W. Anderson, 323-6887 Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
The fresh, dry-roasted nuts here make delicious and nutritious gifts. Austinuts also sells a wide variety of chocolates and other candies. All nuts and candies can be artfully arranged in special gift jars, baskets, and tins that can be packed and shipped all over the world.
Dr. Chocolate
Dr. Chocolate (Photo By John Anderson)

Dr. Chocolate

4001 N. Lamar #500, 454-0555 Monday-Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 1-6pm
Dr. Chocolate stocks everything chocoholics would love in the stocking or hanging on the tree. Custom ornaments to fill with dainty chocolates; plush teddy bears holding chocolate treats; small exquisite sampler boxes; dark, milk, and white chocolate candy bars chock-full of nuts; luscious dipped apricots; and orange slices. A chocolate wonderland.

Lammes Candies

Various Locations Monday-Saturday, 9am-5:30pm
Central Texans have turned to Lammes for their sweet treats for more than 100 years. They'll ship gift boxes of their famous chewy pralines, decadent divinity, chocolate-caramel-pecan Longhorns, and delightful peppermint taffy to the homesick former Austinites on your list, no matter where they've moved around the globe. Drop into any location, and put together a personal assortment of hard candies, truffles, taffies, or mints to please any sweet tooth or stuff any stocking.

Penny's Pastries

302-3663
Each hand-decorated cookie from Penny's kitchen is a work of art in and of itself; they're an Austin tradition on all holidays and an especially elegant gift for the person who has everything. This year's lineup of wreaths, packages, Christmas trees, angels, and stars can be found at Northwest Hills Pharmacy & Florist, Breed & Co., Whole Foods Markets, and several other local shops -- call for a complete list of retailers, or order direct from Penny if you need at least five dozen for your holiday festivities.

Sweetish Hill Bakery

1120 W. Sixth, 472-1347 Monday-Saturday, 6:30am-7pm; Sunday, 6:30am-5pm 98 San Jacinto, 477-2411 Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4pm
Sweetish Hill is probably the only bakery in the country that goes to the trouble to candy its own fruit for holiday baking. No Day-Glo red and green cherries here. Sample the delectable candied cherries, almonds, and pineapple, as well as candied orange and grapefruit peel, in such traditional delights as their German stollen and the raisin-and-pecan-studded fruitcake. Trays and tins of assorted cookies make great treats for office co-workers and gifts for teachers. Order and ship online, locally or to out-of-state family and friends.

Texas French Bread

Various locations
Holiday time at Texas French Bread means cranberries in a very big way. The cranberry bread with walnuts and orange zest is a bestseller. Think about toasting it on Christmas morning. The tangy Rustic Cranberry Tarts make a perfect ending to any holiday meal. Large and small tins packed with decorated angels and Christmas trees, thumbprints, chocolate stacks, and sand tarts will be welcome under anyone's tree.

The Bee Cave Honey Company

328-7780
Austin condiment maven Lisa Jardine has two lines of marvelous condiments ready for the holiday season. Her creamy flavored "bee butters" are simply divine: pure, all-natural honey creamed to the consistency of butter in natural, lemon, orange, raspberry, strawberry, and cinnamon flavors. They'll be great on Christmas morning biscuits, waffles, and pancakes. The W.O. Rominger's line features grilling rubs and marinades, smoky peach salsa, and a barbecue sauce. Look for these products in fine grocery and gift stores, or purchase them directly from their Web sites at www.beebutter.com and www.woromingers.com.

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