“I don’t think anything can take the place of real butter.” –Chef Clarice Lam

Forget your once-a-week cheat day, December is officially (and unofficially) cheat month! Indulge. Treat Yo Self. Hashtag #noregrets. Regrets we can table until January. So, dear readers, in this month of acceptable glutton, let us upgrade your dessert game. Below, Chef Clarice Lam and I have rounded up our 11 Favorite Baked Goods & Desserts not to miss. Whether you’re abroad in Australia, or here in good ‘ol New York, we’ve got you covered. Every pick is worth each calorie you burn to get there. Just remember, if it makes you feel guilty, even just a little bit…go for it. Say, yes. Follow that sweet intuition.

11 Best Sweets in New York City
via Liza deGuia, Founder/Chief Storyteller, food. curated

  • Corn Husk Meringue, Cosme (Union Square) – I imagine Willy Wonka would add this to his Hall of Fame for best desserts ever invented. The fluffy, creamed corn filling. The light-as-air blue corn meringue that melts into your soul. There is just nothing like it. Even the blue-ish gray color is a wonder in itself. (map)
  • Alfajores & Chocolate Roses, Zucker Bakery (East Village) – With Israeli cuisine trending, I’m not surprised more people are finding their way to Zucker Bakery. Their handmade alfajores are stellar. Filled with sweet dulce de leche then rolled in crisp coconut flakes, they invite just the right textures to chew on. Just don’t leave without snagging a few of their famous ‘chocolate roses’. They are better than any cinnamon roll out there! (map)
  • Mah-Ze-Dahr House Bar, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery (West Village) – An everything but the kitchen sink, oatmeal brown sugar cookie packed to the brim with things sweet dreams are made of: decadent chocolate, crunchy pecans, fleur de sel and salted caramel sauce. A reason to die happy. (map)
  • Corn Ice Cream Tacos, Empellon (Midtown) – When Chef Alex Stupak designed his version of the beloved Choco Taco, he did not hold back. It’s a true homage to the versatility of corn and his love of Mexican ingredients. (map)
  • Dark Chocolate Chip Sea-Salt Cookie, The Smile (East Village) – My favorite chocolate chip cookie USED to be the Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie, but not anymore. The Smile has won me over. Their signature over-sized chocolate chips topped with flaky sea-salt will tickle the adult kid in anyone. (map)
  • The Almond Croissant and/or Coconut Banana Chocolate Croissant, Lafayette – I call these memory makers. Perfectly flaky layers of butter and dough, matched with classic French fillings. You’ll remember your first bite. Seriously, not many NYC bakeries do croissants as well as these guys. (map)
  • Rise & Shine Cookie, The Baking Bean (Ditmas Park) – Chef Clarice Lam designed these cookies for a friend obsessed with breakfast. They are a wink to blueberry banana pancakes and yummy warm oatmeal. My instinct tells me she could take over the world with these cookies. (map)
  • Brunch Churros w/Dulce De Leche, La Vara (Cobble Hill) – A hint of lemon, a dash of vanilla, and a creamy dough-interior are the hallmarks of this wonderful Spanish-style churro. Chef Alex Raij wanted to recapture her childhood memories with the recipe. To this date, I haven’t found a better churro in New York. (map)
  • Raspberry Rugelach, Lee Lee’s Rugelach By A Brother (Harlem) – The first time I came here, the rugelach took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to find so much comfort in a small piece of rugelach, but by golly, this Brother will steal your heart. Traditional, old school and “outrageously delicious” in every way. (map)
  • Butter & Scotch S’mores Pie (Prospect Heights) – One of the top selling items at the dessert bar, this ooey gooey chocolate lover’s pie comes complete w/graham cracker crust and a toasted marshmallow top. Who needs a tent and a roaring fire, when you can have this on your couch + Netflix! Just sayin’. (map)
  • The Crispy Ice Cream Sandwich, The Good Batch (Clinton Hill) – Genius. Pure genius. Pairing Blue Marble’s soft vanilla ice cream with a homemade caramel rice crispy treat “cookie” was a home run idea. Both playful and fun to eat, it’s one of my go-to treats in summer. (map)

The Good Batch: Crispy Ice Cream Sandwich

11 Best Baked Goods from Around the World
via Clarice Lam, Chef/Owner, The Baking Bean

  • Croissant, Lune Croissanterie (Melbourne,  Australia) – I was not expecting to have the best croissant of my life in Australia.  Their kitchen is run so tight and clean, and totally temperature controlled. (map)
  • Kaya Cruffin, Lune Croissanterie (Melbourne, Australia) – The cross between a muffin and a croissant are really popular in Australia and so is the influence of many Asian cultures. This one is filled with a creamy Kaya curd. (map)
  • Morning Bun, Tartine Bakery (San Francisco, CA) – Flaky layers of caramelized dough rolled with brown sugar, cinnamon, and orange. Sooo munch good. (map)
  • Portuguese Egg Tart, Margaret’s Cafe e Nata (Macau, China) – When the Portuguese took over Macau, they brought along their egg tarts. With a flaky crust and sweet, creamy egg custard center. One of the ways these differ from traditional Chinese egg tarts is the bruleed top. (map)
  • Pain Suisse, Boulangerie Julien (Paris, France) – My first apartment in Paris was right across the street from this boulangerie. I would go every morning and get a pain suisse. It’s a pastry made of folded brioche, pastry and chocolate. (map)
  • Les Marveilleux, Aux Marveilleux de Fred (Paris, France) – I stumbled across this shop by accident in Paris a few years ago. Their hallmark dessert are these things called “les marveilleux” which are made of beautiful meringues, fluffy whipped cream and covered in some kind of textural element. There is also now a shop in NYC. (map)
  • Elephant Ear, Solvang Bakery (Solvang, CA) – Growing up in Los Angeles, my family and I would visit this little Dutch town called Solvang. This bakery busts out these delicious wheels of flattened puff pastry rolled in cinnamon and sugar. (map)
  • Curry Croquette, Tous Les Jours (New York, NY) – This Korean bakery in K-town has so many cool baked goods, but my favorite is this curry croquette. It’s like a savory doughnut coated in crispy panko and filled with curry and vegetables. (map)
  • Bolo Bao, Saint Honore Cake Shop (Hong Kong) – Saint Honore is a bakery chain in Hong Kong, but it’s so good. They sell traditional Hong Kong breads and pastries, one of which is the bolo bao, or pineapple bun. Oddly enough though, it is not filled with pineapple at all. The sugary crust on top is meant to resemble the skin of the pineapple. (map)
  • Char Sui Bao, Tim Ho Wan (Hong Kong) – The first dim sum (and cheapest) place in the world to earn a Michelin Star cranks out the most perfect bbq pork buns. Theirs differ from the traditional Chinese pork buns because they have a sugary crusty top. There is now a location in NYC. (map)
  • Churro, Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) – This number 20 restaurant on The World’s 50 Best list has a yummy churro as one of the dessert courses. (map)

Thanks for stopping by! We’d love to hear your own personal picks & suggestions! Feel free to hit us up in the comments. Happy Holidays!