In more ways than one, the holidays are sweet. The sights and special moments of the season are treats you will always remember: the snow falling gently over the twinkling cityscape, the window display of your favorite neighborhood shop, a loved one arriving at your doorstep after a long journey... And then, there are actual sweets. We’re talking about the sugar cookies, red velvet cakes, cheesecakes, and swiss rolls; all of the decadent desserts that capture the merry, and sometimes indulgent, spirit of the season.
Now is the time to enjoy it all, before you make those New Year’s resolutions. The Upper East Side residences at The Kent are only blocks away from some of the neighborhood’s most charming bakeries. Be sure to swing by them and fill your home with sticky, sugary goodness — the kind of treats that are as lovely to look at as they are to eat.
William Poll | 1051 Lexington Avenue
There are few things that inspire holiday whimsy like the sugar-coated, vibrantly colorful windows and walls of a gingerbread house. Many of us have fond memories of constructing them as children, using icing to glue together sweet and spicy walls and sugary peppermint fences, but few have seen gingerbread houses as intricately and expertly made as the ones created by the bakers at William Poll. Known for lavish, high-end takes on classic finger foods and desserts, William Poll is an Upper East Side institution. According to Town and Country Magazine, past customers of the shop included Joan Crawford, Diana Vreeland, Lauren Bacall, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It’s no surprise that William Poll’s famed gingerbread houses are a local holiday staple, given that the bakers work with what The New York Times once called “elfish efficiency.” Whether you eat them or simply gaze at them by firelight, these gingerbread houses are sure to elevate your holiday. Bonus: William Poll offers decadent and delightful sandwiches you can pick up for guests to snack on when they pop in to your home at The Kent condos.
Two Little Red Hens | 1652 Second Avenue
There’s a reason Two Little Red Hens regularly makes “best of” lists, and it’s not the adorable name or charming storefront, though those things don’t hurt. The shop’s simple, yet highly skilled take on classic holiday treats is what earned this unique bakery a special place in every Upper East Sider’s heart (especially those with a sweet tooth.) Serious Eats, on their quest to find the best cheesecake in New York City, sampled everything from a frozen Sara Lee box variety to the high-end interpretation offered at Lady M Confections. The winner? The no-nonsense entry from Two Little Red Hens, which critics agreed was “the runaway favorite,” thanks to its delicately balanced texture and “dark graham cracker crust.” But if cheesecake isn’t your thing, that’s okay — you’ll find a wide selection of pies, cakes, and cupcakes here just waiting to be boxed up and carried home. But be sure to get your order in early. Two Little Red Hens is a seriously popular supplier of sweets this time of year, and their schedule tends to fill up quickly.