There’s something special about holiday pastries. My favorite Christmas memories are as a kid, eating golden struffoli (fried balls of dough drenched in honey) and pizzelle (delicate wafer cookies that resemble snowflakes) made by my Italian grandma. I’m grateful my mom is carrying on the tradition. To me, spending time with family and eating homemade cookies are the essence of the holidays.
Whether you’re looking for a sweet gift, or want to bring a special dessert to dinner, making warm holiday memories with your loved ones will be easy with unique sweets from these small businesses.
Petra of Petra’s Backstubchen has been described as “everyone’s German grandma”.
She has been in business for ten years, a staple of local farmers and holiday markets. “I make strudels, pretzels, a variety of cheesecakes, and cookies. Crumb cakes with pudding, plums, or blueberries. Bee Sting cake and Black Forest Parfaits and a lot more” using the cookbooks she brought when she emigrated to the United States, she proudly states.
“I stick to the original recipes, not changing anything. That can be a challenge, but I won’t do it any other way.” She says German pastries are special because “ … they are very different from the American ones. Not as sweet with a lot more taste to it.”
Besides finding Petra at local markets, you can buy her treats from The Store in Holladay and at The Gateway. You can also place orders on her website.
Inspired by her mom’s Christmas chocolates, Elise Barrus developed vegan versions to share with friends. Now that she runs Sweet V, an online vegan chocolate shop, she still uses her mom’s recipes. The holidays are an important time for candy makers, and Sweet V is bringing it!
“For the holidays, I offer boozy truffles, jumbo Santa and reindeer chocolates, and adorable gift tins full of various treats like peppermint bark, chocolate-covered pretzels, cookie butter-filled gingerbread people, and holiday truffles!” says Barrus proudly.
Her truffles come in unique flavors like Eggnog Rum, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Gingerbread. Golden Oreo Orange is her most original flavor, “which always turns out to be a customer favorite!” she says. You can find Sweet V online and at pop-ups at Blatch’s Backyard BBQ. Follow Sweet V on social media to make sure you don’t miss out!
“The Edelweiss Bakery focuses on the best European breads and pastries, with a specialty in Austrian and German treats,” says co-owner Matthew Garlick. “We take pride in our crusty sourdough, hand-laminated pastries, and our authentic old-world delicacies.” For the holidays, Chef Camille is making “ … hot Danish Aebleskivers filled with cream and topped with powdered sugar, German Franzbrötchen, Apfelstruedel, Bienenstich, and Baumkuchen. We’ll also have the best hot Wassail in the state; Grandma’s family recipe!”
You can sample Chef Camille’s passion for pastries yourself at the 2024 Northern and Southern Vintage Markets and the West Valley Farmers Market. Al La Carte Ordering is available on their website.
If you’ve never tasted a trekant before, here is your chance! “It literally means ‘triangle pastry’ in Danish,” says Deliciously Flaked owner Jeannette Richardson. Her kids insisted she start selling the Danish pastry she’s made for her family and friends for years. Flaky puff pastry is layered with handmade almond paste and vanilla pudding, then topped with chocolate frosting. The result is delicious. This pastry is light and fluffy and the flavors are sublime. If you’re in Murray, you can buy trekant from Wriggles Wraps, located at 43 East and 5900 South. If you want the larger sizes to share (and you do!), place an order on the website. The family/party-size trekant would be an ideal dessert for a family dinner.
The mission of San Diablo Artisan Churros is “ … to fill lives with happiness and memory-making celebrations!” says founder and owner Scott Porter. If you’ve ever dipped a fresh churro into hot chocolate, you get it. “We provide award-winning fresh-filled churros that are undeniably delicious and delivered with our signature personalized and playful style … ” Look for them at Jazz games, Real Salt Lake games, fairs, and festivals. “For our at-home churro-making kits, you can find us online, at Orson Gygi, and on Amazon,” says Porter. That sounds like the perfect gift for families!
Did you know dogs love holiday pastries, too? If you’re looking for a fun gift, or want to include your pup in the festivities, Rebel Paw is a bakery and food truck just for dogs!
“This year we will be selling our Holiday treat boxes which include peanut butter cookies, banana oat donuts, pumpkin cheese buns, apple pretzels, and our signature peanut butter carrot pupcakes,” says Amelia and Nicholas, the humans behind the business. If you don’t run into Rebel Paw at local farmers markets or doggy events, place your order on their website and pick it up in Midvale.
Feature image: Petra Vigil slicing her popular holiday stollen. Photo by John Taylor.