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6 Westchester Bakeries to Try for International Eats and Treats

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Want to savor an array of international flavors without trotting across the globe? These Westchester bakeries whip up the sweets you crave.

By Dave Zucker and Danny Brandon

Araras Coffee & More

406c Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; 914.831.5439

Countries: Brazil and Paraguay
Must Try: Alfajores (sandwich cookies with dulce de leche filling) and brigadeiros (chocolate fudge balls)

Opened in 2014, this warm and friendly bakery with limited seating at bistro-style tables inside and out has a constant stream of devotees. The beautiful, petite-sized pastries are pleasingly sweet and full of rich flavors like coconut, pistachio, lime, and pineapple. Menu standards, such as the soft Brazilian truffles and the delicate Paraguayan cookies, are accompanied by daily additions made by co-owners Celina Bredemann and Liz Marina Cardozo. Bredemann describes their pastries as “simple and intense, with a lot of flavor.”

Boleria Brazilian Bakery

362 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.630.0100

Country: Brazil
Must Try: Bolo de rolo (Brazilian layered cake made with guava or dulce de leche) and brigadeiro tarts

Since July 2020, this beautiful Brazilian bakery has been busy serving hungry customers with only the very best brigadeiros, brownies, cakes, and more. Founder Carolina Figueiredo, who chose to pursue baking as a career after battling breast cancer, was born in Recife, Brazil and strives to make every dish a unique mirror of her home — complete with bold flavors and traditional recipes. For those who want bite-sized tastes of Brazil, Boleria has several different brigadeiro flavors (milk chocolate and sprinkles, white chocolate, “Romeo & Juliet,” lemon, pistachio, and “Two Lovers,” just to name a few), all of which are available as individuals or in boxes. Those who want a little extra sweetness should check out the brigadeiro tarts, which come in three different sizes.

 

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CHRISTTINE

3199 Albany Post Rd #220, Buchanan; 914.293.0177

Countries: Spain, Uruguay, and Argentina
Must Try: Alfajores and Dulce de Leche

For Cristina Lopez Goldstein of CHRISTTINE, baking and tradition go hand in hand. Partnered with her Argentine husband and following in the footsteps of her grandfather (who owned a small pastry shop in Spain) and her father (who brought the family tradition to Uruguay), Cristina is committed to bringing tasty and traditional pastries to Westchester. Her delicious desserts blend Spanish, Uruguayan, and Argentine styles in a sweet fusion that can’t be ignored. One of her specialties is alfajores —shortbread cookies that are stuffed with dulce de leche — which come in a variety of flavors. For fans of fruitiness, CHRISTTINE also offers alfajores that eschew dulce de leche in favor of raspberry filling. For those who just can’t get enough of dulce de leche, CHRISTTINE also offers jars of the delicious spread in a small-batch style. Pro Tip: Although you could just eat it right from the jar, try using some as an ice cream topping for some extra caramelly goodness.

El Trigal Mexican Bakery

216 Union Ave, New Rochelle; 914.633.9516

Country: Mexico
Must Try: Churros and cinnamon sticks

Wafting into the street from El Trigal is the unmistakable smell of fresh pastries. Inside, between the register and the seating area, are rows of high shelves with tray upon tray of freshly baked pastries filled with guava, chocolate, arroz con leche, and more. Customers use tongs to pluck out their favorites. “I grew up in a bakery,” laughs owner Veronica Rojas, whose grandparents had a bakery in Mexico and taught her the trade. Rojas opened El Trigal in 1999 with her husband, Marco Balbuena. Some recipes have been passed down, like the chocolate square pound cake and the three-colored sugar cookie. “It’s what I have done my whole life,” Rojas says. “It’s what I love to do.”

 

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Jiki Japanese Sweets & Cuisine 

1116 Pleasantville Rd, Briarcliff Manor; 914.762.4040

Country: Japan
Must Try: white cake and green-tea macarons

Minyoung Cho Yamaguchi is an artist. The Korean-born Yamaguchi was strongly influenced by her training as a French pastry chef and her 20 years at a Japanese bakery. In 2011, she opened Jiki with her husband, Masaaki, who is the sushi chef. “Baking is my happiness,” Yamaguchi smiles. There is a soft elegance in her creations. Her pastries, displayed in a case near the front of the tiny 12-seat restaurant, are exquisite — airy bites, like the seasonal apple-pumpkin macaron, that impart the essence of the central ingredient. The space is thoughtful and serene. Desserts are available for takeout. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Look for the cherry blossom-inspired macaron in the spring.

Related: Westchester’s Home-Based Bakers Make the County Sweeter

Los Andes

180 Valley St, Sleepy Hollow; 914.631.3256

Country: Chile
Must Try: Hojarasca (layered pastry, topped with meringue) and cachito manjar (horn-shaped pastry, filled with Chilean dulce de leche)

This quiet and unassuming bakery is packed with classic Chilean desserts like pineapple cake, alfajores, and sopapillas (fried pastry bread, topped with honey and cinnamon sugar). Since 1991, Jessica Mejias and her husband, Francisco, who own Los Andes, have been continuing the family tradition; Francisco’s father and grandfather were bakers in Chile. Absolute musts are pastries like the decadent hojarasca, known as the thousand-layer cake. Piled high in a mountain of gooey-puffed pastry, an order of this means visitors should prepare to get sticky and have crumbs on their faces. Limited seating is available inside and out of the café.

 

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