One of the greatest things about this time of year? Specialty desserts galore.
Chocolates by Kelly has introduced 12-piece and 24-piece holiday boxes filled with chocolate truffles, chewy caramels and cordial cherries. The truffles feature seasonal flavors such as spiked eggnog with rum. In late October, owner Kelly Walker began production at Blanchard's Coffee Co. on Forest Hill Avenue. "We've been friends for years," Walker says of David and Kelly Blanchard, adding that it was only a matter of time before they began working together. Stop by between 7:30 and 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday or 7:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays to watch Walker make chocolates (and taste the results). For more information, call 814-5496.
For the second holiday season running, Mill Street Sweets, the dessert branch of Farmville-based Charley's Waterfront Café, offers a bûche de Noël (pictured), or yule-log cake, inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte. (Legend has it that when the French emperor ordered Parisians to close their chimneys during winter for health reasons, bakers crafted the cake as a stand-in for a regular log, around which families could celebrate Christmas.) Pastry chef Melissa Helm creates this concoction, traditionally a yellow sponge cake filled and covered with Grand Marnier French buttercream. Also available in chocolate, white chocolate and coffee-toffee mousse, the 6- and 12-inch cakes can be ordered and picked up locally at Strawberry Street Vineyard or Once Upon a Vine South or in Farmville at Charley's. For more information, call (434) 392-1566.
Through Christmas, Simply Delicious has added pumpkin and pecan pies to its menu. Pick up slices at Joe's Market; Simply Delicious began selling to the grocery in September. Baker Carolyn Purcell, who runs Simply Delicious out of her Sandston home, also makes coconut-custard and lemon-chess pies, pound cake, and brownies year-round. If just one slice of pie or cake isn't enough to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth, call Purcell at 986-5999 and special-order the whole thing.