Where to find sweet holiday treats downtown

Lucie Shelton, owner of Cakes to Die For, poses with a tray of peppermint no-bake cookies.

It’s the season of giving, spending time with your family and eating all of the holiday goodies. But one of the best parts about the holiday season are the treats, arguably the favorite course of any holiday dinner.

Whether you’re looking for a vegan or gluten-free option or delving into dark chocolate peppermint fudge, downtown offers holiday desserts and sweets for everyone.

If you’re in the mood for fudge, two shops — Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream Co. and The Candy Kitchen — offer a variety of holiday flavors.

Colette Paul, supervisor of Frederick Fudge & Ice Cream Co. on East Church Street, listed more than five fudge flavors that can get you in the holiday spirit.

Eggnog, peppermint bark, holiday red velvet, chocolate mousse, gingerbread and Amaretto are among the fudge flavors the shop offers this season.

The chocolate mousse fudge, which is new this year, is a chocolate mousse topped with vanilla fudge and decorated with red and green swirls.

“I personally really enjoy the Christmas mousse, because it’s a little bit lighter than the other ones,” Paul said. “It’s easier to eat because fudge is usually really dense.”

Along with a variety of fudge, like the white chocolate peppermint fudge, The Candy Kitchen on North Market Street offers an array of candies and truffles that can satisfy any sweet tooth.

“Candy and sweets are the tradition of Christmas,” said Gayle Denny, chocolate associate for The Candy Kitchen. “We offer everything from old-fashioned, retro and current chocolates.”

She said the most popular sweets are the sugarplums, peach blossoms, candy sticks and the signature chocolates.

“The sweets are pretty much the same [each year] as we keep with tradition for an old-fashioned Christmas,” she said.

To add to the candy mix are marizpans — a confection made of almond paste and sugar — shaped into different fruits, candy cane truffles, eggnog truffles, oversized candy canes, chocolate-covered pretzels with Christmas sprinkles, sugar mints shaped into holiday wreaths and Christmas chocolates shaped into Santa Claus, wreaths and trains.

If you prefer sweets that require a fork, Cakes to Die For on North Market Street has got you covered.

“We change it up all the time based on customer requests or what’s in season,” said Kristen Hogan, production manager for the cake shop. “Sometimes it’s just our creativity that overflows.”

She said her favorite part about making holiday treats is that the possibilities of what can be made are endless, adding that any treat can be made into a Christmas version.

Some of those holiday treats include flavored cheesecakes such as eggnog, gingerbread, peppermint and red velvet. The shop also offers sugar cookies with green buttercream, holiday Rice Krispies Treats, red velvet cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies and peppermint no-bake cookies — whose texture was described as similar to the inside of a Peppermint Patty.

“We always have more specialty items for the holidays like sugar and spice and red velvets, red and green, blue and white creations,” said Lucie Shelton, owner of Cakes to Die For.

Altogether, the cake shop makes about 20 different varieties of sweets for the holidays.

“I always love the butter cookies,” Shelton said. “And those are always fun to decorate, because some people want those really special for Christmas. It’s always fun to be a part of everyone’s family gatherings.”

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

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