Gifts for Sweet Teeth
Say it with sugar this holiday season
'Tis the season to bury your friends, loved ones, teachers, and co-workers in sweets. While homemade treats are always a delight, sometimes it's nice to leave the cooking (and washing up) to someone else during this busy season. Here are some local sugar purveyors who'll help you clear your gift-giving list and help you avoid dishpan hands.
Cookie Rich cookies are luxe little two-bite whoopie pies, packaged in sleek boxes that are the epitome of eleganza. Founded in fall 2020 by chef Lorin Michel Peters, who once worked at the French Laundry, Cookie Rich offers the kind of sweet treat you give your boss as a gift, along with a compliment and some meaningful eye contact. Choose from a variety of 12 flavors, from chocolate chip with dark fudge filling and birthday with sprinkle cream cheese to the seasonal gingersnap with eggnog and turtle with bourbon buttercream. Add gold dust to elevate your sweet little love bombs for a mere 5 bucks. Stop by the food truck at 1801 N. Lamar or order online for nationwide shipping.
This longtime Austin brand relaunched as completely plant-based (with the exception of the gluten-free cookies, but they're working on it!) on September 1 of this year. The Dutch waffle cookies, thin and sandwiched with a layer of caramel that gets ooey-gooey after a few seconds on top of a steaming cup of coffee, are the centerpiece of a generous gift box that includes an assortment of stroopwafels, a coffee mug and bottle of stroopwafel syrup, and a Madhu chocolate bar studded with pieces of stroopwafel. What's more, the box itself is a collectible, with Stroop Club mascot Stroopy portrayed in different scenes in nature, rendered by local artist Danielle Anderson. $25.99.
Both delicious and a pain in the butt to make, babka is the perfect cakelike bread accompaniment to a cozy evening mug of hot chocolate or a morning cup coffee for a decadent breakfast. The brainchild of Sariel Brummer, an Israeli immigrant, Babka ATX blesses Central Texas palates with this sweet, tender Jewish pastry. Stock up on two-packs of mini babkas in dark chocolate, cinnamon, or butter pecan and gift them to your kids' teachers. Get a full-sized one for yourself; future you will thank you. Available at Central Market and at the Lakeline and Mueller farmers' markets.
For those with gluten-intolerant/celiac and/or diabetic giftees, consider Nufs. Bundle together some black sesame and brownie superfood bites, along with their new hot honey crackers (maybe with some nuts and cheese to build out a grazing tray) for a satisfying, sweet-but-not-too-sweet combo. Available at Central Market, Royal Blue Grocery, Dia's Market, and more.
Bake Austin German Christmas Cookiesbakeaustin.com/german-christmas-cookies.html
Bake Austin isn't just an innovative cooking school for kids: It's also an annual treasure trove of German Christmas cookies. Every year, I buy my spouse, a Christmas baby, a tin of these authentic cookies, handmade by chef and culinary instructor Pascal Simon, as a birthday gift. And every year, I wind up sneaking more than my fair share of these delicious, buttery, perfectly spiced old-world treats out of the tin when he's not around, hoping he won't notice. Sharing is caring, after all. $30 for a large tin, $20 for a small tin. Hurry – ordering deadline is December 1.