Where to Get Your Christmas Cookies and Other Holiday Treats
Keep the holiday season merry and bright with some treats from these local bakeries and chocolatiers.
It’s not just visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads this month—it’s buttery Christmas cookies, artful yule logs, bonbons and Nutella pies. Find all the treats on your list at these local sweets shops, with holiday menus for gifting or feasting—including gluten-free and vegan options, too. Here’s what bakeries in and around Arlington are popping into the oven this month.
Dawn Hart’s colorful holiday cookies are picture-perfect. This season, she’s decorated cookies shaped like scarf-wearing polar bears and doors swagged with greenery. There are also treats for Elf fans with that holiday movie’s best quotes. Place an order online for a mix of Christmas cookies, or even personalized snowman cookies. Other options for Christmas pre-orders include eggnog cake with spiced-rum buttercream, chocolate-peppermint loaf, toasted-coconut cake with sugared cranberries and veggie quiche. If you’d prefer a spur-of-the-moment purchase, full loaves, scones, quiches and more will be available in the bakery for walk-ups on a first-come, first-serve basis. // 5872 Washington Blvd., Arlington (Westover)
Livin’ The Pie Life
The pies at this cozy shop near the intersection of Glebe Road and Langston Boulevard will give Grandma’s recipes some stiff competition. One traditional option is the mincemeat pie, a vegetarian concoction with a whopping 28 different ingredients, including apricots, cherries, cranberries, figs, apples, raisins, currents, rum, brandy and spices. It’s “a must for some, a mystery for others,” pie shop co-owner Heather Sheire jokes.
Other more crowd-pleasing pie options include a tart cherry, Southern pumpkin-praline, salted-caramel-chocolate chess, and a “mile high” chocolate pie that freezes beautifully and is available in a gluten-free option. The menu goes beyond pies, too; pick up sweets such as chocolate chip cookies and maple-cinnamon rolls, or savory options such as take-and-bake chicken pot pies and all sorts of varieties of quiches. // 2166 N. Glebe Road, Arlington
Treat yourself to hand-rolled cannoli in flavors like black sesame, pistachio, Nutella, pumpkin-chai and triple-chocolate—plus amaretti, pizzelle, lemon-ricotta cookies, tiramisu and other Italian sweets by Bisnonna Bakeshop, an artisan home bakery whose family recipes have been passed down for generations. Owners Nicole and Dom Liberatore have a pop-up at Tysons Corner Center (across from Barnes & Noble) with counter service through Dec. 19. Hours are Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (or until sell out); Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (or until sell out). // 7861 Tysons Corner Center, Tysons
Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe
If you’re craving some authentic European holiday treats but would prefer to avoid international shipping fees, head to Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe. Named for the town of Heidelberg, Germany, where co-owner and baker Wolfgang Büchler grew up, the shop has been bringing traditional European fare to Arlingtonians since 1975. Embrace a German holiday tradition by ordering stollen, a treat made of a buttery yeast dough studded with rum soaked raisins, diced fruit, almonds and spices (there’s a marzipan stollen you can try as well). Gingerbread houses and yule logs are made in-house, and Christmas cookie platters are also in high demand, along with adorable holiday petit fours decked out in red and green. You can keep with the whimsical dessert theme by ordering chocolate or marzipan Santas, marzipan fruit, marzipan deer, and even “Good Luck” pigs made of marzipan. // 2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington
Need a gift for the sophisticated chocoholic in your life? Jason Andelman’s small-batch confections, made with Valhrona chocolate from France (and, in some cases, booze), are works of art—and they taste as good as they look. This season’s bonbon flavors include cinnamon-apple-caramel, mint with dark chocolate, maple with blonde chocolate, peanut butter cup with peanut butter praline, “London Fog” with Earl Grey tea and a vegan variety of orange flavored with soy milk. // 1025 N. Fillmore St., Suite H, Arlington (Clarendon)
You can find a selection of festive cakes—such as a candy-cane-whipped-cream cake, or a cake entirely decked out in red and green sprinkles—on the Bakeshop holiday menu this year. If you’re more into pies, there’s a chilled Nutella-mint icebox pie, a vegan chocolate pie and a bourbon-chocolate-pecan pie. Loaves are available in iced gingerbread, cranberry-pecan or pumpkin-chocolate-chunk. Or pick up some macarons for a tiny sugar fix; they come in flavors such as gingerbread, eggnog, a red-and-green “Grinch” motif, and a sooty-colored “Lump of Coal.” // 1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington (Clarendon), and 100 E. Fairfax St., Falls Church
Pastries by Randolph
This Arlington pastry shop has been a local go-to for more than 25 years. Yule logs, either decorated with Santas or poinsettas, are perennially popular. For stocking stuffers or gifts, cookies—such as lace cookies, spekulatius, cinnamon stars, almond macaroons and ginger snaps—are packaged in 4-oz. bags. Or, go for Christmas-themed butter cookies topped with colored sugar and chocolate. // 4500 Langston Blvd., Arlington (Lee Heights Shops)
Sweetbites Cafe & Bakery
Are some folks in your household die-hard chocolate-lovers, while others skew more toward caramel or fruit? If so, why not make everyone happy by initiating a Christmas cupcake tradition? Sandra Panetta started out selling her single-serving cakes out of a mobile truck in 2010, and then opened a storefront in McLean in 2014. This year, Sweetbites will offer white-frosted yule logs, frosted sugar cookies in holiday-themed shape and a selection of holiday cupcakes. // 6845 Elm Street, McLean
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