Edible gifts make the best presents. The experience is memorable whether enjoyed alone or surrounded by loved ones, acquaintances and chosen family, with no wondering where to store the delectables after the holidays. They'll be gone! Some local places will ship in or out of state so skip the catalog baskets (in general - good looks, mediocre contents). Here are a few ideas for gifting something really good.
Do something really special for dessert at your table by ordering a custom cake from Chef Michael Cakes in Corrales. Imagine capping off your homemade feast with an artful and delicious creation. We'd say "put it on a fancy plate and pretend you made it" but no one will believe you. Chef Michael? She's a genius.
Golden Crown Panaderia on the edge of Old Town Albuquerque has been featured on Food Network and makes traditional biscochitos, green chile bread and enough breads and pastries to please a houseful of guests. Right next door is New Mexico Tea Company which carries a wide assortment of delightful accompaniments to meals at the holidays and year-round.
Stop by Los Ranchos Bakery & Coffee House for a nosh while you peruse the offerings on display. Biscochitos (but of course) and brownies will tempt you to gift your host at that next end-of-year party. BitterSweets Bakery in Rio Rancho does delicious cupcakes in un-thought of flavors for all occasions. A dozen dropped off to your favorite sweetie would not go amiss.
Le Macaron in the North Valley makes colorful French goodies you might not think of in the holiday rush. As far as we're concerned, a half dozen of their namesakes will satisfy anyone on your list. Flying Star (various locations) makes those big iced cookies decorated in seasonal motifs, a nice last-minute bring-along for tea.
Don't forget The Range in Bernalillo or ABQ. Perfect pies and pastries! And all flavors are fan favorites. We like to wrap a small box of their carrot cake in one if their iconic T-shirts.
Charcuterie is still a thing, judging by recent glossy magazine layouts and our friends' party spreads. We like the idea of not cooking everything but it does take a while to assemble these goodies. Gourmet shops will do it for you. Here's a list with a brief rundown of what each choice has in store for you and your gift-list buddies.
Lantern Ridge Farm Market in Sandia Park, organics and they'll make you lunch
ABQ Olive Oil Company, North Valley, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, pasta and spices
Theobroma Chocolatier, ABQ NE Hts., heavenly and they make sugar-free stuff, too
Eldora Chocolate, ABQ NE Hts., Green chile biscochito truffles are sweet & savory
Cornivore Popcorn, Westside, choose from all of the flavors for guests to munch
Why not give something that tastes like New Mexico and nowhere else? Restaurant gift certificates give them the ambience and the flavors with warm service and no clean-up. These places admirably fit the bill for out-of-staters who love to visit and for those of us who love to live here.
Black Bird Saloon, Los Cerillos
Del Prado Cafe, Cuba
Casa Benavidez, Corrales
Chaco Grill, Cuba
Highway 4 Cafe & Bakery, Jemez Springs
Lupe's Antojitos, Bernalillo
Mila's Mesa, ABQ Nob Hill
And food trucks have gift certs., too. 'Nuff said.
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