Missing Minneapolis? Can’t forget that sticky bun you had in Boston five years ago? These pastries, breads, cakes, and more can be shipped right to your door. (Or, you know, the door of someone you want to send a gift.)
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In the past, truly great bakery gift boxes were hard to come by. You either had to go to a bakery you loved, pick up the box, and somehow get it to your loved one; or you had to order a gift box from a catalogue featuring cakes and cookies of questionable origin.
But not anymore. With sites like Goldbelly, you no longer have to squander your vacation waiting in line for the city’s best cookie. Have that cookie shipped straight to your door whenever you want—and the next time you have the ability to fly to a place you do not live, go out and enjoy the countryside or something, I don’t know your life.
The treats below (some sweet, some savory) all come from some of America’s best regional bakeries and make great edible gifts. Every one can be shipped anywhere within the United States.
Peppermint Patty Cake From Ovenly
New York Magazine named Brooklyn-based Ovenly’s cakes the best in the city in 2017. That is…not an easy category to dominate. Ovenly’s Brooklyn Blackout has become the requisite cake-to-dream-about for many New Yorkers and visitors. But this cake isn’t an everyday New York sweet. It’s a holiday melange of chocolate cake, peppermint buttercream, and an ombre vanilla-to-chocolate buttercream that’s topped off with ganache and gold dust. Essentially, it’s the best candy mashed up with the best big city cake.
Pretzel Shortbread from Lost Bread Co.
When our staffer Andrew Spena first tasted the pretzel shortbread from Philadelphia’s Lost Bread Company, he Slacked the entire Epi team a message to let us know that he was “freaking out.” Don’t worry, it was the good kind of freaking out. These special snacks are made by folding leftover pretzels into shortbread dough. Then, that whole mess gets a coating of lye to infuse it with extra pretzel-y flavor. They’re crunchy and soft, salty and sweet, and Andrew “can’t stop telling people how much they need to try them.”
Babka From Breads Bakery
It’s hard to go wrong with tender enriched bread braided into a loaf and swirled with chocolate. And that’s before the Nutella got involved. When I mentioned including babka on this list to my colleagues Maggie Hoffman and David Tamarkin during separate conversations, both turned wistful. Their eyes glossed over as they stared into the horizon, each remembering some pristine babka moment from their past. And then each uttered the same phrase: “I just can’t imagine babka better than Breads.” Here’s your chance to have that same moment.
Kouign Amann from Les Madeleines
The specialty at Les Madeleines in Salt Lake City is Kouign Amann, a laminated pastry that hails from Brittany in Northwestern France. With croissant-like layers of buttery, rich dough and crackling sugar that gets caramelized and gooey in some spots and stays crunchy in others, chef-owner Romina Rasmussen calls this the pastry for lovers of salted caramel.
Chocolate Chess Pie From Muddy’s Bake Shop
This pie has a fudgy, pudding-meets-ganache-like center, a crackly top, and an all-butter crust, and it has been drawing in Memphis crowds for more than a decade. It’s so good, in fact, that the NY Post named Muddy’s one of the top 16 bakeries in America in 2017 along with stalwarts like Tartine in San Francisco and Flour in Boston (more on that one below). And while I also have to call out their Coconut Chess Pie as a thing of beauty, it’s this chocolate version that really comes to me in my dreams.
Panettone From From Roy
The typical panettone is enriched and yeasted and stuffed with dried and candied fruit. They’re perfectly nice (and From Roy even has one closer to the traditional, if that’s what you’re into). But my coworker Maggie “never cared much about panettone” until she tasted From Roy’s chocolate-caramel-pecan version. She’s also “never seen people freak out about panettone—even go online in the middle of dessert to try to score one” the way they did when she bought her first one for a dinner party. She’s purchased a few more since, and says “it’s crazy-rich, tender, moist, and just really, really special.”