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Our Guide to NYC’s Most Festive Holiday Sweets

_32Halloween’s all about candy and Thanksgiving is associated with pie — but when it comes to Christmas & Hanukkah, pretty much everything goes on the dessert front.  Which is why we’ve rounded up the city’s most merry, jolly, no-holds-barred sweets, from Eataly’s array of Panettone to Dominique Ansel’s Polar Bear Buche.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 219-2773

It seems a new holiday tradition is awaiting the reveal of Dominique Ansel’s newest seasonal creations (besides his December Cronut flavor, that is).  And in addition to offering nationwide shipping for his caramelized hazelnut and meringue-laden Christmas Morning cereal, he’s debuted an adorable Polar Bear Buche; a traditional log rolled in white chocolate, and filled with spiked chestnut mousse, candied chestnuts, and orange zest-flecked coffee caramel.

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Great Northern Food Hall

Great Northern Food Hall
89 Vanderbilt Ave
Midtown East,New York 10017
(646) 568-4020

Celebrate the holidays Scandinavian-style at Claus Meyer’s sprawling Grand Central food court, where you’ll find traditional Danish sweets like heart-shaped cookies made from honey that’s been fermented for a month and enrobed in rich chocolate.  Incidentally, they’d make adorable ornaments for your Christmas tree; provided you can somehow resist eating them first.

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Eataly Downtown

Eataly Downtown
101 Liberty St
Battery Park,New York 10006
(212) 897-2895

If you’re searching for the traditional Italian Christmas sweet bread, panettone, don’t default to those boxes of dry, characterless loaves, stocked in most grocery stores.  Especially since Eataly’s new massive downtown outpost is carrying an unprecedented array of scrumptious variations, such as Coffee & Chocolate, Pear & Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Pistachio,  Gianduja (a chocolate-hazelnut cream) and a version studded with crunchy pieces of nougat-like torrone, instead of candied fruit.

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Union Fare

Union Fare
6 E 18th St
Union Square,New York 10003
(212) 633-6003

This block-long food hall may contain nine different kiosks (selling everything from poke to charcuterie to pizza, tacos and soup) as well as a sit-down restaurant, but tongues can’t stop wagging about Union Fare’s bakery, where chef Thiago Silva makes over-the-top croissants.  Forget about plain, chocolate and almond; the flaky French sweets come in Red Velvet, Birthday Cake and Crème Brulee, as well as the holiday-appropriate Candy Cane — filled with peppermint cream cheese, swirled with white chocolate, and pebbled with crushed tidbits of candy.

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Gabriel Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates

Gabriel Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolates
43 W 42nd St
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 201-1985

Not only does Gabriel Kreuther run one of the city’s most spectacular fine dining restaurants, but he just debuted his very own high end chocolate shop.  And since it’s just in time for the holiday season, he’s bolstered his array of bon bons with extravagant Buche de Noel; alternating rolls of chocolate and caramel biscuits with chocolate and caramel mousse.

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Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(212) 505-3700

Many households celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, so why not cover both bases with this delightful, interdenominational dessert?  Dubbed “The Ripple” (a donut within a donut within a donut), the Doughnut Plant’s just released an especially joyous version — featuring interlocking rings of gingerbread, mint, and white chocolate-glazed, red velvet-crumbed cake.

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Underwest Penn Station

Underwest Penn Station
2 Pennsylvania Plaza
Midtown West,New York 10121
(347) 952-0079

Don’t forget about Hanukkah, and it’s associated, deep-fried treat; donuts.  Especially since pastry chef Scott Levine (formerly of Del Posto and Chanterelle) has recently opened a new location of his donut haven smack in the center of commuter-thronged Penn Station — the original is less conveniently placed in a West Side Highway carwash — selling celebratory flavors like Mulled Cider, Maple Waffle, Banana Milk and signature, candy-topped Halva.

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Sugar Sketch

Sugar Sketch
172 E 2nd St
East Village,New York 10009
(646) 922-7272

Opened in the East Village by Roman baker and decorator, Martina Nardo, this beautiful bakery specializes in intricately adorned cupcakes and cakes; like the Gingerbread Man with a gingerbread base, whipped cream filling, cinnamon buttercream and a maple glaze, topped with a charming cookie.

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