The fragrance of the holiday season boasts aromas of turkey and pie, cinnamon and nutmeg. While the gift-giving aspect may be about a new tie or sweater, it is also about delectable treats that warm homes and hearts. This year, search Los Angeles’ gourmet gems for mouth-watering sweets and savories that are perfect gifts throughout the season.
Nothing Bundt Cakes
927 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Beloved for its tasters available in-store, Nothing Bundt Cakes will be a hit at the next holiday party. Nothing Bundt Cakes uses fresh ingredients daily, including the eggs, butter and cream cheese, making delicious treats handmade to perfection. The brainchild of two friends, the bakeshop fuses nostalgia with a modern flair for deliciously dangerous cakes. Add to the festivities with the joy cake, a bundt ornamented with a traditional poinsettia bound to be center of attention on the dessert table. Before or after singing Auld Lang Syne, take a bite of the ring in the New Year bundt, and toast to 2013. Nothing Bundt Cakes come in two party sizes, eight or 10 inches, or you can order bundtinis, petite bundts that easily pop into your mouth.
John Kelly Chocolates
1111 1/2 Montana Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Price: $9 to $15
Creating velvety-smooth fudge is an art form, and John Kelly Chocolates has the creamy sweet treat mastered. During the holidays, chocolate says “I love you,” “thank you” and “just because” and John Kelly Chocolates is the place to put the words right in everyone’s mouth. Big winners to try during the holiday season are the chocolatier’s dark chocolate with habanero and jalapeno chile (hot) and dark chocolate with chipotle and ancho chile (mild) and the box of truffle fudge bites. When the host of your next holiday shindig sinks his or her teeth into the dark chocolate fudge with French grey sea salt, he or she will savor the rich, smooth texture and be whisked away to La Maison du Chocolat on Boulevard de la Madeleine in Paris.
Sweet Lady Jane
8360 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Price: from $30
Your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied once you bite into any Sweet Lady Jane treat. Featured regularly in magazines including “In Style,” “Los Angeles Magazine” and “Bon Appetit,” Sweet Lady Jane should be one of your only holiday shopping stops. The bakery’s brownies, lemon bars and date bars are heavenly and packaged in a reusable box, making them a perfect hostess gift. Using the highest quality ingredients including fresh, in-season fruits, the triple berry shortcake will make your mouth water before it is even sliced. Sweet Lady Jane’s red velvet cake will complete your holiday dessert table as the rich, red color is achieved without preservatives or boxed mixes.
Related: L.A.’s Best Holiday Pies
444 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
A tradition since 1942, Edelweiss Chocolates is an iconic confectioner in the Los Angeles area. The candy shop is one of the few chocolatiers that still makes all of its sweet treats by hand. A favorite of classic Hollywood stars including Lauren Bacall, Katherine Hepburn and Frank Sinatra, Edelweiss Chocolates’ sweets are beautifully packaged, creamily textured and ideal for hostess gifts, corporate gifts or for gifting yourself. The chocolate Champagne bottle is a great way to toast the New Year and the large cherry chocolate basket will be a hit at your clients’ office parties. If you’re looking for a token with a touch of sophistication, try the bags of candy filled with chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate espresso beans and chocolate toffee pistachios.
Joan’s on Third
8350 W. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Price: Starting at $65
The Joan’s on Third tower of cupcakes is a delectable gift that will have the recipients skipping their holiday meal and diving right into dessert. The tower features Joan’s signature cupcakes, including raspberry vanilla, chocolate, vanilla, snickers and chocolate with marshmallow cream filling. The tower comes in either a five-tier version or a three-tier one. If sweeties are not on your gift list, the gourmet market’s Something Savory gift basket may be what you are looking for. The gift basket highlights a northern Italian wine, popcorn, spiced nuts, Vermont cheddar, pita crisps and dips packaged in a Joan’s on Third wooden crate. If you’re hosting this year’s holiday party Joan’s on Third has a catering menu that will supply all of your party needs from soup to nuts, literally.
Related: Gift Guide For Foodies
Jennifer Geisman is a freelance writer and faithful beauty junkie living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.