Three Places to Pick Up Holiday Sweets

Three types of holiday bredele are offered at Vitrine at the St. Regis in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Bredele at the St. Regis in San Francisco

When he was growing up in Alsace, France, Executive Chef Romuald Feger remembers his grandmother baking up to 50 pounds of bredele every holiday season.

These tender cookies are a cherished tradition that he continues to this day at Vitrine restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.

He makes three varieties: Anisbredele with green aniseeds for a distinctive taste; cocosbredele, made with dried coconut; and Basler Leckerli, a Swiss take on the delicacy featuring honey, candied orange and lemon peel, almonds, ground cloves, and cinnamon.

The bredele are served complimentary at the end of each meal at Vitrine throughout winter.

But this year, you also can purchase them through Dec. 31 to take home or to give as a gift. A package of $13 is $16; a pack of 26 is $32. Each pack is accompanied by the story of how Feger came to make them. Order them 24 hours in advance by calling (415) 284-4049.

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Oh my! (Photo courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory)

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory

Indulge in a massive wedge of white chocolate cheesecake swirled with chunks of chocolate peppermint bark, and topped with white chocolate mousse and chopped peppermint candies.

It’s the latest seasonal offering from the Cheesecake Factory, available in its restaurants, for take-out and through online orders.

A slice of the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake is $7.95; a whole 10-inch cheesecake is $47.95.

To sweeten the deal, from now through March 31, 2013, enjoy a “Slice of Joy” card redeemable for a complimentary slice of cheesecake for every $25 gift card you purchase.

Enjoy panettone at Craftsman and Wolves. (Photo courtesy of William Werner)

Cookies & More at Craftsman and Wolves

San Francisco’s hip patisserie, Craftsman and Wolves, is putting its own sweet spin on the holidays with a bevy of offerings.

Through Dec. 24, find holiday goodies such as decorated sable cookies shaped like stars, stockings, Christmas trees and gingerbread men — for $2.50 each.

A beautiful buche de noel — made of cocoa dacquoise, Valrhona chocolate mousse, roasted hazelnuts, and cara cara orange-ginger marmalade — is $35. It serves 6.

A spiced pear bundt cake fragrant with quatre epices is $3.50 per slice or $36 for the whole shebang.

And panettone — scented with vanilla, citron, Meyer lemon, raisins, pistachios and Valrhona chocolate pearls — is $14.

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