With autumn’s premier holiday upon us, it is time to start thinking about where to procure a delectable pie or dessert for the Thanksgiving feast. Not everyone has time to roll out the dough and whip up a pie from scratch. No worries! Pick up a pie or dessert at any number of establishments in the Hartford area and impress your guests or your hosts. Either way you can check dessert off of your to-do list.
Roger’s Orchard grows the apples and bakes them into pies that taste like autumn sunshine. If apple pie is your holiday tradition, you can’t find fresher pies than these. If you happen to visit Roger’s before the holiday, they sell frozen pies as well. Don’t leave without a bag of apple cider donuts. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with a sweet cider donut and a cup of steaming hot coffee is just about the perfect start to your holiday. While you are there, pick up a basket of apples for the healthy eating you are going to embark on after the feast!
3475 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06111
If you are looking for a variation on the apple pie theme for your holiday table, head to Stew Leonard’s. With varieties like caramel apple walnut pie and of course the old stand by pumpkin pie, your quest for a little pie adventure will be appeased. Stew’s has creamy New York style cheesecake and other fancy desserts that are baked on the premises as well. Luckily, Stew’s also has a wide variety of other delicious prepared foods and a well-stocked wine shop attached, so if you are on the hunt of more than just pie, you are in luck!
Elmwood Pastry Shop
1136 New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06110
Hours: Mon to Fri 6am-7pm; Sat 6am-6pm; Sun 6am-4pm
Admittedly Elmwood Pastry Shop is nothing fancy to look at, but they know how to bake and offer a tremendous variety of well-known bakery standards and the many traditional European breads and pastries you remember from childhood. Among the classic pies you can bring home is a mincemeat pie, a tradition in my family. While you visit this pastry shop, grab your bread and rolls for the dinner. The Swedish limpa bread reminds me of bread offered by the old Viking bakery and I eat it straight from the bag in the car on the way home! Friend them on facebook to keep abreast of holiday ordering deadlines. If you visit during lunch, have a sandwich. They come with chips, a soda and a dessert you get pick out from the bakery counter!
A Little Something Bakery
335 Park Road
West Hartford, CT 06119
Hours: Mon to Fri 7am-6pm; Sat 7am-4pm; Sun closed
Ok, so standard desserts are not your thing. You need a place that absolutely wows you with variety and just makes you feel warm all over. A Little Something bakery with its pink sign and staff of bustling bakers is just the place for you. Autumnal pies are available of course, but you might just like some oversized crispy on the outside, moist on the inside scones to serve your over night guests or some intricately decorated cupcakes to entice the little ones to stay put at the table a few minutes longer. Either way, this place is adorable and you will not leave empty handed!
1012 Wintonbury Mall
Hours: Mon 7am-6pm; Tues to Thurs 7am-7pm; Fri to Sat 7am-8pm; Sun 7am-8pm
Apple and pumpkin pies are fine for some, but to you, no holiday is complete without a tray of genuine Italian cookies studded with almonds or a box of ricotta-filled cannolis. Pasticceria Italia has the best around and you can sit down and have a slice of bakery pizza for lunch while you are there. Take home an Italian Stromboli-like stuffed break to serve the night before Thanksgiving, when you are busy in the kitchen preparing the dinner for the next day. No one will be complaining if you make a visit to this full service Italian bakery in preparation for the holiday feast!
Whichever dessert your family would embrace, take a little heat off yourself or your hostess and pick up a sweet treat for Thanksgiving. Not everyone can bake like a pastry chef and that’s ok if you know where to go for the best desserts and maybe something extra to put yourself at ease!
Susan Hayes works at a local High School in her spare time, but her true passion lies in culinary pursuits, cooking, gardening, blogging and discovering new dining spots. Her work can be found at http://www.blackcatcookingchronicles.blogspot.com.