It’s the season for tidings of comfort and joy and what is one of the most popular ways to embrace the Christmas spirit? Why with holiday treats of course! However, not all of us are avid nor skilled bakers. Luckily there are a number of incredible bakeries in York Durham Headwaters so we can all enjoy the love and good cheer that baked goodies can provide!
You may know Grand Valley’s Landman Gardens and Bakery for their iconic Scottish-style stone house but many know it as their go-to spot for local produce. This time of year though, the promise of sweet treats has many walking through their doors. With tasty morsels such as lemon cookies, chocolate dipped gingerbread, eggnog scones, festive peanut butter balls… and that’s not even touching on their pies! Or if you’re looking to start your day off in a delicious way, pick up one of their breakfast trays for a menagerie of scones, tea biscuits, muffins and sweet loaves.
If you’re looking for some wickedly amazing shortbread, there’s no better place to go than, well, Wicked Shortbread in downtown Orangeville! Using ingredients typically found in traditional Scottish shortbread, owner and baker Keri Parfitt puts her own spin on things to create the buttery, delicious cookies adored by many. Be the hero of your next Christmas party with one of their Christmas boxes. Filled with 25 cookies including classic, chocolate, toffee, cranberry and gingerbread shortbread, they’ll surely be a hit! Of course, picking up some of their specialty flavours (Toberlone, anyone?) is always a good idea too.
For ingredient-driven eats and treats where everything is handmade daily, head to Nutmeg in Newmarket. Seasonal ingredients mean you’ll always find something new and delicious on their rotating menu. Everyone loves cookies and at Nutmeg, you’ll find festive flavours like brown butter holiday confetti cookies, ginger molasses cookies with white chocolate chips and possibly their elusive Earl grey & orange cookies with milk chocolate chips. For a truly unique treat, pick up a collection of their cruffins – yes, we’re talking croissant meets muffin. With flavours like nutella and caramel, they’re sure to be a treat for your tastebuds!
For a taste of #BakedGlory in York Region, you’ll want to head to Main Street Bakehouse in Stouffville. Run by a team of three sisters-in-laws, these ladies are looking to “bake the world a better place” by offering top quality food and drinks full of love and warmth. Their goal is for each of their customers to leave with a full belly and heart – and this passion shows whether you’re indulging in their sweet or savoury eats. Main Street Bakehouse’s croissants are not to be missed with flavours like matcha, cookie crumble and cake batter. Pair these with their hot chocolate jars and we think you have the perfect combo for Christmas morning!
Less than 15 minutes outside of Uxbridge, you’ll find the diamond in the rough known as Annina’s Bakeshop in Goodwood. You might have even had a sample if you’ve grabbed a bite from their Temptations Food Truck! Led by distinguished Chef Marco Cassano, you’ll always enjoy fantastic home-cooked meals and a taste of the country in their treats. If you’re a big cake person – you’ll want to order from here! You can’t go wrong with their candy cane cakes with chocolate cake, candy cane ganache and vanilla buttercream, their eggnog cake with vanilla sponge, eggnog filling and buttercream topped with white chocolate ganache or their adorable Santa cakes. If you’re looking for more individually portioned treats, they have a plethora of butter tarts and yes, gluten-free options too!
For this last holiday bakery find, YDH gave to me… The Pantry Shelf Cafe & Bakery in Port Perry! Owned and operated by Elizabeth Browne, baking is in her blood. Both her mother and grandmother had their own businesses including the original Pantry Shelf Tea Room in Hillsburgh! The Pantry Shelf has a wide range of holiday goodies from sweet treats like chocolate candy cane bark (perfect as a stocking stuffer!) to savoury items like mincemeat pies and of course the holiday classic – Christmas cake. They also have delectable Christmas baskets exploding with holiday goodies that make the perfect gift for any member with a sweet tooth.
Each of these YDH bakeries has more delicious treats than you can shake a stick at, but why just choose one? A mini road-trip for holiday treats sounds like a great idea to us! No matter what YDH businesses you choose to support this holiday season, just remember how important it is to support local. You’re not only buying tasty treats to share with your friends and family, but you’re supporting local families and the people of the community – and that’s sure to make Grandma proud!
By Lindsay Davies