We’d imagine Santa has pretty high expectations as he clambers up and down fire escapes during his annual, cookie-tasting tour of Brooklyn. So in order to avoid a last-minute exile to the naughty list, keep the big man in the artisanal sweets to which he’s undoubtedly become accustomed, locally sourced at Ovenly, Robicelli’s, The Good Batch and more.
Baked: Not only does Christmas signal the return of Baked’s phenomenal peppermint whoopie pies, but you’ll also find holiday-appropriate sweets like iced brown sugar cookies, candy-centered truffle cookies, and spicy gingerbread, made with dutch process cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate.
359 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook
Amy’s Cookies: Making excellent use of her fine arts background, Amy Berg turns out meticulously crafted cookies (look for sugar-dusted chocolate stars, Lilliputian gingerbread men, and finely-etched snowflakes this season) from a petite factory in Sunset Park, and they’re sold at local cafes and gourmet grocers like Tazza and the Greene Grape.
225 34th Street, Sunset Park
Ovenly: Relying largely on nuts, fruits and savory spices, Ovenly’s (not too sweet) Christmastime treats include boozy fig blondies, burnt sugar and espresso shortbread, and gluten-free granola bar cookies, a tricked-out alternative to oatmeal.
31 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint
Villabate Alba: A wonderland of confections year-round, this Italian pasticceria goes well beyond sugar cookies on Christmas; with Sicilian specialties such as fig-filled buccellati, sprinkle-studded stacks of stroffoli, and pearly knobs of marzipan, shaped into cornucopias of finely detailed fruit.
7001 18th Avenue, Bensonhurst
Buttermilk Bakery: Along with more extravagant options like peppermint chocolate tarts and buche de noel, Buttermilk’s holiday collection includes iced snowflake cookies accented with silver sugar pearls, caramel-drizzled snickerdoodles, and ethereal gingerbread and peppermint macarons.
260 5th Avenue, Park Slope
Robicelli’s: Being that they’re closing shop for good after Christmas Eve, consider this your countdown clock for cookiemallow bars, essentially compressed, crushed chocolate chip cookies and mini marshmallows; pistachio and pretzel cannoli striped with vanilla-porter caramel; tawny gingerdoodles; and classic pfeffernusse, the bite-sized, confectioners sugar-dusted spice cookies, that are a holiday staple throughout Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.
9009 5th Avenue, Bay Ridge
One Girl Cookies: With branches in DUMBO, Cobble Hill, and Industry City, it’s easy to get a hold of celebratory confections from One Girl. Try the Ingrid, a spiced gingerbread sandwich filled with lemon cream filling; the Margarita, an orange and almond olive oil-infused biscuit; and the Dorothy, a triple chocolate drop cookie, rolled in thick crystals of sea salt.
33 Main Street, DUMBO
Clementine Bakery: Chances are, Mrs. Claus has been putting the sticks on Santa to go gluten-free. So do the lady a solid by stocking up at the (also vegan and organic!) Clementine, which peddles guilt-free raspberry birds nests, peanut butter blondies, and chocolate chocolate chunk cookies.
299 Greene Avenue, Bed-Stuy
Du Jour Bakery: Du Jour’s holiday cookie platter borrows inspiration from all around the globe, featuring traditional Mexican wedding drops, crumbly raspberry linzers, Austrian rum balls with walnuts, almond chocolate biscotti, and festive gingerbread men.
365 5th Avenue, Park Slope
The Good Batch: The Good Batch made their name on decadent Dutch stroopwafels—delicate, hand-pressed waffle cookies filled with buttery caramel. Not that you should disregard a few newer, seasonal selections, namely, hefty discs of chocolate peppermint, white chocolate cranberry and ginger molasses.
936 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill
Mansoura: Arguably the best Middle Eastern bakery in all of Brooklyn, Mansoura carries an assortment of achingly rich baklava, along with almond-capped greybeh; miniature, sesame-speckled rosquettes; and old fashioned batons sucres, fluted shortbread fingers, flecked with fresh orange zest.
515 Kings Highway, Gravesend
Schmackary’s: Owner Zachary Schmahl just opened an outpost of his Hell’s Kitchen favorite in Williamsburg, selling eccentric treats like the Dirty Peppermint, a cocoa cookie crowned with candy cane bits and cream cheese frosting; the Eggnog, featuring a gluten-free sugar base and cinnamon; and the Ginger Rogers, a black pepper-spiked and clove-scented cookie, slicked with a sticky sugar glaze.
193 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg