4 Traditional Holiday Desserts (And Where You Can Buy Them Locally)

These traditional treats from Europe and South America can be found in local bakeries

Pan de Pascua

For those unfamiliar with Hispanic pastries, a visit to Los Hornitos Bakery in Wappingers Falls is a real treat. Come Christmastime, the biggest seller at this hidden gem of a Chilean bakery is the traditional Pan de Pascua, part cake/part bread made with coffee, cognac, rum, raisins, walnuts, and spices. 


Though traditionally a Lenten cookie, quaresimali — a twice-baked biscotti made with hazelnuts, almonds and flavored with cinnamon and cloves — has become a popular Christmas treat at the old-world Caffe Aurora Pastry Shop in Poughkeepsie. Other big sellers include cuccidati, a short dough cookie filled with figs, raisins and apricots; and amaretti, soft macaroons made with almond paste.


Spice drops rolled in sugar glaze, freshly baked Pfeffernüsse are still very popular with Christmas shoppers, says Eric Deising, owner/baker at Deising’s, the beloved German bakery in Kingston. Deising says that, like he himself, his customers fondly remember “the taste from growing up.” Stollen, the German Christmas bread, remains a big seller, too.

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The Alternative Baker in Rosendale is especially well-known for its lemon cakes and gluten-free offerings. But a favorite holiday treat is springerle: shortbread flavored with ginger. The bakery cautions that their Scottish Dundee cake — which is made with dried fruits marinated in dark rum for 11 months — must be ordered early; it sells out year after year. 

quaresimali pfeffernusse springerle

From left to right: Quaresimali, Pfeffernüsse, and Springerle


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