As holiday decorations go up around Los Altos, edible novelties are also popping up on local shelves.
The bold can sample Dutch-inspired Speculoos cookie butter at Trader Joe’s, spreading it on baked goods or dipping it up with apple slices (2310 Homestead Road). Speculoos spice cookies, traditional sweets to celebrate St. Nicholas Day this week, were reimagined as a spreadable paste of mashed cookies in Holland a few years ago. For the first time this year, Americans can taste-test this innovation without crossing the Atlantic.
Draeger’s Market (342 First St.) looks to England for a tamer holiday tradition, stocking ready-to-serve Christmas puddings and brandy butter. Europhiles will also find Tiptree-brand mincemeat (pair it with ready-made puff pastry for speedy holiday tarts) and a choice of French or Italian jarred chestnuts.
Both Draeger’s and Esther’s German Bakery (987 N. San Antonio Road) offer commercially prepared stollen, the German fruited cake. This month Esther’s also serves up fresh frosted cinnamon stars, gingerbread and hazelnut macaroons.
Channel Italy at A.G. Ferrari (295 Main St.), where you can pick between two “drunken cakes” – Panbriacone, soaked in dessert wine, and Briapera, studded with chocolate pieces and candied pears soaked in pear brandy.
If you prefer to drink your holiday spirits, Pomegranate Mimosas are $5 all day on Fridays at Bumble (145 First St.).
And for a wholesome break from all this decadence, pick up a few bright- orange fuyu persimmons at DeMartini Orchard (66 N. San Antonio Road) – eat them whole like an apple, or slice them into a seasonal salad.