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Holiday Sweets & Treats

Oh my! Who doesn't love pie! And cookies, cakes and all the other sugary delights of the holiday season!

No time to bake? Or you're just not a baker? No worries! The Hudson Valley has fabulous pastry magicians ready to pitch in. Here are three favs of the Hudson Valley Happenings team!


The Holidays are a joyous time for baking and enjoying the special treats that only come around once a year. Every country and religious tradition contributes their own special, unique recipes and sweets abound!

Buche de Noel or “Christmas log” is French in origin, and derives from the holiday tradition of burning yule logs on Christmas Eve. It has been one of our specialties at Bistro-to-Go for many years and loved by all. Basically, it’s a chocolate sponge cake that's filled with whipped cream, then rolled and frosted with a chocolate glaze, decorated with forest themed ornaments and dusted with powdered sugar.

If you'd like to order one for either Christmas or New Year's Eve, our deadlines are coming up soon: December 17th for Christmas Eve and December 24th for New Year's Eve.

We also love the art of making and decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies! This year we've added Italian rainbow cookies to the mix. They were first introduced to this country in the early 20th century in Italian-American bakeries. They combine almond-based sponge cake, apricot or raspberry jam, and a chocolate coating.The colors originated with the Italian flag, but soon were adopted as Christmas cookies for all the obvious reasons!

We're also making other holiday treats this year which include Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake, Flourless Chocolate Tortes, and Chocolate Chambord Cake. This decadent dessert is Chambord-soaked chocolate cake with a Chambord ganache and raspberry preserve filling, with a chocolate buttercream frosting!

Wishing you sweet dreams this Holiday Season.

All started when Maggie McDowell, a former actor in NYC, needed a break from the city hustle. She escaped to the Catskills where she found bountiful fruit, remarkable farmers, a warm community, and just the dose of fresh air she sought. What began in her home is now a bustling business housed alongside bread baker Wilson Keenan in Andes, NY. You can find her loading fresh pies into their shared shop on Saturday mornings, chatting with neighbors at her table at the Delhi Farmer's Market, or zooming around in her beloved pickup en route to harvest bushels of beautiful fruit!

Priding herself in flaky all-butter pie crusts, as many local ingredients as she can get her hands on, and a whole lot of love, irreverence, and joy, she’s excited to offer a spread of scrumptious pies for holiday pre-order: Gingery Pear-Cranberry Crumble Pie, Pecan Pie w/Orange and Cardamom, Christmastime Key Lime Pie (with gingersnap crust and candied cranberries), Chocolate Hazelnut Tart (gluten free!), and, with chef and collaborator Antonio Mora, Cassoulet Pot Pie (finished with a confit duck leg!) And don’t forget a pint of Local Whipped Cream:) Fill your tables with loved ones, and fill their bellies with Magpies treats this holiday season! (All pre-orders due by Monday December 19th, for pickup in Andes, NY on Friday December 23rd.)

Nestled in the town of Marlboro, Hazel Rose Baking Company is a must-stop spot for served-all-day breakfast, fresh lunch specials, and delicious coffees and treats. Its cozy atmosphere and warm staff make it the perfect place to catch up with an old friend over hot chocolate (made with real chocolate, of course) or gather for Sunday brunch with family (the chocolate chip pancakes are chef’s kiss). Locals especially look forward to Hazel’s holiday menus, where you’ll find a mix of classics and trends, as well as, produce picked from local farmers (check out the pear almond tart and apple pie that uses fruit from Milton’s Prospect Hill Orchards). But out of all of their desserts, the salted caramel apple crumb

cheesecake takes the cake—it’s been the bakery’s bestseller since opening day in November ‘21.

Feeling nostalgic for homemade Christmas cookies but don’t have time to bake them?

Hazel’s got an array that’s as pretty as they are delightful.

Can’t decide what to choose from the dessert case? The assorted mini dessert platters with

cannolis and cups of chocolate mousse are sure to be a hit at any party. If you need help

entertaining your kids (or an idea for your Elf on the Shelf), Hazel offers adorable cookie

decorating kits and yummy hot cocoa bombs all December long. Their gift cards make the

perfect stocking stuffers for any espresso enthusiast your family.

Bring on the perfect cookies, the Buche de Noel! Take a bow and enjoy the festivities! Happy holidays everyone, from all of us at HVH!


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