If there is one constant during the Christmas season it is cookies, there are dozens of different varieties, people have parties where they simply make cookies and entire days are planned around baking these tasty treats. It is also big business for pretty much every local bakery you will encounter. In fact ordering your cookies would certainly relieve some stress and take a bite out of your holiday preparations. I myself like to bake my cookies, I usually wait until the very last couple days before Christmas when I’m crazy busy at work and somehow manage to bake a few dozen cookies in multiple varieties while still finding time to sleep. Below is one of my trays from last year actually. I’m torn on what to do this year so I thought what if I had to order my cookies, would they hold up, where would I get them from, would there be enough variety, and how would they taste?
To get those answers I stopped into Bite Bakery and Café where they were already offering Christmas cookies for sale in their bakery case by the pound. Bite is certainly all in on the Christmas season from their stunning holiday windows to the beautifully decorated interior it’s like walking into a bakery in The North Pole, in fact I’m pretty Santa would approve.
Bite was offering 8 special Christmas cookies along with Italian whites and Lemon cookies. A good variety that would allow you to build a tray to fit just about anyones needs. I grabbed at least one of everything, in fact a pound worked out to roughly 17 cookies so not a bad sampling to share.
You can’t simply eat Christmas cookies out of a box in my opinon so let’s get these onto a tray, take a couple of pictures and then try a few.
As I looked at the plate I realized there was really no way I was going to try all of these cookies at once, so I choose to dive into just the ones that are not available year round; the Italian Cherry, Chocolate Meatball, Peanut Butter kiss, Christmas sugar cookie, Raspberry thumbprint, and the Dark Chocolate peppermint. The Italian Cherry was a delightfully simply cookie, that with its pop of color quickly dresses up any holiday tray. When you are about to bite into this classic cookie you smell the hint of cherry and it quickly reminds you of opening a jar of maraschino cherries. The cookie itself is dense, light and soft or basically what you get from a really well done Italian cookie. The dusting of powdered sugar snow adds a bit of sweetness and really compliments the overall taste of this cookie.
The Chocolate meatball was a real surprise for me, I have never had one that had the spices that this beautiful cookie had. I at first thought I smelled gingerbread only to realize it was hints of nutmeg, cinnamon and I’m pretty sure clove as well. All of those when combined with the chocolatey goodness and finally chopped walnuts provided a real treat to your senses.
The Peanut Butter Kiss, one of those cookies that if you are making them yourself and wait till the last couple of days before Christmas to buy your Hershey Kisses you will find yourself bouncing from store to store in a hunt that will drive your crazy. I found the Bite Kiss to be very satisfying, the peanut butter was a bit pm the light side but lingers, the cookie was moist in the center and chewy just like I enjoy when I’m savoring a PB Kiss.
Sugar cookies, something you will find just about everywhere during the holidays and these Christmas Sugar Cookies taste as good as they look. Those nonpareils add some color and the perfectly round cookie itself reminds me of an ornament you could hang on your tree. This cookie was everything a sugar cookie should be crunchy, sweet, sugary and delicious with one exception, I missed the frosting, yes I’m a layer more sugar on top of the sugar guy. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Raspberry thumbprint, I have generally never been a fan of this cookie, it is usually dry and flavorless and just rather boring to me. Well there was clearly some Christmas Magic baked into these because I’m a fan. Delicately Light with hints of butter and almost flakey quality this cookie simply melts in your mouth. The raspberry is both sweet and tart just like it should be. The sugary drizzle isn’t needed but adds an extra bit of sweetness that makes this cookie even better. I would say this may be The BEST Raspberry Thumbprint in Utica. I thought I was saving the best for last, but these Chocolate Peppermints have a lot to live up to after the thumbprint, and they did exactly that. One bite in I said “wow, these taste just like Christmas should taste”. The ratio of chocolate to peppermint is perfect add in the white chocolate that the cookie is dipped into and you have yourself a real treat. The cookie has that crunchy shell with a chewy center full of chocolate chips too. If I didn’t know better I would think these might have actually been baked in The North Pole because I’m sure Santa eats these daily.
Well I’m certainly full after all those and on a sugar high but isn’t that why we snack on cookies during the holidays for that boost of energy so we can get things done. Honestly after sampling those I wouldn’t be opposed to saving some time this season and skipping the baking if I needed to, these BITE cookies would certainly do the trick as would cookies from any of the other places we have visited this year, Holland Farms, Christine’s Cookie Shoppe, Caruso Pastry Shoppe, North Star Orchards, The Tram, Utica Bread or even some store-bought Archway Gingerbread men. So if you end up baking or buying this holiday season, enjoy it, embrace the holiday spirit, feel the Christmas magic, and “Do It All For The Cookie”
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone who has taking the time to look at my pictures and read my cookie ramblings, may you all have a wonderful holiday season.