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Sweet holiday treats without the hassle of baking yourself

The French Buche de Noel is one of the holiday traditions food lovers flock to every year, including Let's Eat's own Providence Cicero (AP image)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially for those with a sweet tooth. But with everything going on, finding the time to bake or whip up a holiday treat can be a big pain. So this week on Let’s Eat, hosts Terry Jaymes and Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero are going in search of the best goodies to help you enjoy the holidays without getting stuck at the stove.

Providence has a fondness for Italian Gelati and Sorbetti, and few do it finer than Kirkland’s Cafe Juanita. The popular eatery is offering pints and half liters of renowned Poco Carretto Gelati and Sorbetti. The cafe carries four gelati and two sorbetti flavors every day, and can take special flavor requests if you call 48 hours in advance. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. A classic pint will set you back $11, while the cafe sells a half liter for $14.

Providence also has a soft spot for Christmas stollen, a German delight baked with rum-soaked raisins, slivered almonds and candied citrus fruits. Berlin-born Annette Heide-Jessen and baker boyfriend Brian Hensley make a mean one, along with German-accented cookie including sprigerle and zimstern at their Kaffeklatsch on Lake City Way in Seattle.

Hoffman’s Fine Cake and Pastries in Kirkland also makes an exceptional stollen featuring almond paste. For those who want something stronger in their cookies than gingerbread, Hoffman’s also offers pfeffernusse, German cookies with pepper and spice.

Another bakery offering delectable holiday treats is Crumble and Flake, where master baker Neil Robertson draws long lines and sells out quick at his tiny Capitol Hill outpost. Providence highly recommends the special offerings including spicy ginger cake, thin mint cheweos (think chewy Oreo), chocolate gingerbread cookies and snickerdoodles.

The French Buche de Noel is one of the specialties at Seattle’s Le Fournil. It’s a classic holiday sponge cake and ganache log of pure goodness. The Eastlake eatery offers individual slices and full logs in chocolate, raspberry and mocha.

One of Providence’s favorite indulgences this time of the year is the candy cane cannoli at Belltown’s Holy Cannoli. Pastry chef and owner Adrienne Bandlow pipes peppermint candy and buttered rum cream into petite pastry shells, wrapping boxes to go with a cute Christmas-y bow.

Terry gives a big thumbs up to Bakery Noveau in West Seattle, especially the chocolate bread that keeps him coming back time and time again.

They’re all diet busters. But if you’re going to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year, you might as well do it right.

Let’s Eat can be heard on KIRO Radio Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at noon. Available anytime ON DEMAND at

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