Why dust off old holiday decorations, when you can festoon your digs with something yummy? We’re talking about local bakeries and chocolatiers crafting stunning edible holiday decorations. These eye-catching baubles make perfect, season-appropriate gifts, and they’ll definitely be the hit of your tree, party, or holiday centerpiece—but the best part comes when the party’s over. When January hits, there’s no wrestling with bubble wrap or storage boxes. Just munch it all away in front of the tube.
Anna Shea Chocolates
4 S Washington St, Tarrytown
(914) 631-3333; annasheachocolates.com
This bijou Tarrytown store offers all sorts of gem-like chocolate creations, most combining lush flavors and palate-tickling spice. But while we’re fans of her beautifully wrapped rose, Earl Grey-and-coconut gianduja boxed chocolates, we’re blowing the budget on Shea’s holiday items. This year, she’s offering large, hand-painted, solid chocolate toy soldiers and Santas—they’re perfect for gifts and holiday centerpieces, and are priced at $55.
Black Forest Pasty Shop
52 Lewis St, Greenwich, CT
(203) 629-9330; blackforestpastryshop.com
If you’re looking for a Grimm’s Brothers’ fantasy holiday, then duck into this small 26-year-old German bakery where you’ll find all the classic fairy-tale treats: gingerbread men, springerli, pfeffernuss, leckerli, zimtsterne, and traditional German stollen. Black Forest’s decorated gingerbread houses avoid manufactured candy and instead use house-made butter cookies for roof shingles and icing-formed figures and trees. Best of all, you can deck your hall yourself with one of its plain versions, which come in three sizes, styles, and price points (6” traditional house, $16.95; 8” chalet, $23.95; 14” birdhouse, $33.95). Armed with some of the shop’s icing and the wilds of your own imagination, you can be the architect of your very own pimped-out gingerbread house.
La Tulipe Desserts
455 Lexington Ave, Mount Kisco
(914) 242-4555; latulipedesserts.com
Maarten and Frances Steenman’s patisserie is keeping it old-school with the classic, white-icicle-dripped gingerbread house. Measuring about 12” tall, these cute chalets come studded with candy canes, gumdrops, pinwheel mints, and miniature foil-wrapped santas ($60).
Lulu Cake Boutique
40 Garth Rd, Scarsdale
(914) 722-8300; everythinglulu.com
Jay Muse, Lulu’s owner and executive chef, is taking the sophisticated approach to edible holiday decorations. His three-dimensional dreidel cakes come decorated in mid-century modern or Marc Chagall styles, plus, he offers precious, edible, stacked holiday gift boxes “wrapped” for both Christmas and Hanukkah. And while you can always order a gingerbread house from Lulu, it’s Muse’s “Snowdiva” that steals the show—this three-sphered fashionista comes decked in Pucci scarf and Chanel sunglasses.
660 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley
(914) 693-9758; rivierabakehouse.com
Ardsley’s Riviera Bakeshop takes the gingerbread house idea and runs with it. Its icing-gilded replicas of the Empire State Building ($125), New York City brownstones ($115), and other specific architectural forms are almost too beautiful to eat. But just try resisting all those Necco Wafers, Sno-Caps, jelly beans, and rock candy crystals.