Yummy in Your Tummy

Some of us wait a year for a de­li­cious hol­i­day treat, gear up now

Times of the Islands - - News -

While kids might be won­der­ing what’s un­der the tree, oth­ers of us dream what’s un­der that pas­try-box lid. We’ve made a short list of se­lect bak­eries in South­west Florida that bring us scrump­tious hol­i­day good­ies.


Fort My­ers (other lo­ca­tions) Nor­man Love has been pro­duc­ing de­li­cious treats in Fort My­ers since 2001, and was named best pre­mium cho­co­late com­pany in the United States six times since 2006. The com­pany is also known for its hol­i­day treats that bring back mem­o­ries. “Often, taste is tied to tra­di­tion, so it’s not sur­pris­ing that our hol­i­day fla­vors bring up cher­ished mem­o­ries of roast­ing s’mores around the fire with fam­ily or fresh-baked gin­ger­bread,” says Nor­man Love, the founder and owner of Nor­man Love Con­fec­tions. “Ev­ery year, we cre­ate hol­i­day fla­vors that sym­bol­ize the sea­son, with a Nor­man Love twist. This year, the rein­deer theme brings a fun, whim­si­cal feel to our hol­i­day col­lec­tion.”

Look for every­thing from Santa and his rein­deer cho­co­lates, to cho­co­late pep­per­mint bark to hol­i­day Yule logs. Plan to or­der ahead.


Sanibel With many “best of the is­lands” awards, the ice cream shop earned na­tional recog­ni­tion when it was listed on

Na­tional Ge­o­graphic’s “The 10 Best of Every­thing Fam­i­lies” ice cream cat­e­gory for the Gulf Coast re­gion of Amer­ica. Res­i­dents and vis­i­tors alike en­joy go­ing to Pinoc­chio's, which is adorned with bright col­ors and a nou­veau Euro­pean charm. The dis­play cases present the ro­tat­ing ren­di­tions of the 137-fla­vor reper­toire, an­other counter at the op­po­site end of the store called Geppetto’s, a foodie’s delight where French and Ital­ian in­flu­ences con­verge.

“We fly in crois­sant and baguette dough from France,” says Donna Puma, co-owner with her hus­band, Tom. She vis­ited Paris fre­quently in her for­mer cor­po­rate ca­pac­ity. “We make Cuban cof­fee. We also do a French press to go. We stuff our crois­sants with ham and Swiss cheese and we bake three cheese quiches." For the sea­son, try their

Hol­i­day Sta­ple! Pinoc­chio’s Pump­kin Ginger­snap Ice Cream With Geppetto’s Hand­crafted Ginger­snap Cook­ies.

ROYAL SCOOP HOME­MADE ICE CREAM, Bonita Springs (other lo­ca­tions) In South­west Florida, cool­ing off with a de­li­cious home­made ice cream cone at Royal Scoop is some­thing that can be en­joyed year round. How­ever, dur­ing hol­i­day months we get such fun treats as Ge­or­gia Pe­can Sweet Potato Swirl, a creamy ice cream with a thick marsh­mal­low swirl and roasted pecans. “We also have a few other pop­u­lar fa­vorites [such as] The Ev­i­dence of a Rein­deer, which is a white mint-fla­vored ice cream with a yel­low marsh­mal­low swirl and fudge-brownie chunk, and Christ­mas Chim­ney Sweep, a pep­per­mint­stick ice cream loaded with crushed Oreo cook­ies,” says owner David Zim­mer­man.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Royal Scoop also car­ries pump­kin ice cream start­ing Oct. 1 through the hol­i­days, along with creamy eggnog ice cream in late Novem­ber. “We’ll likely come up with a few more fun fla­vors be­fore the hol­i­days!” says Zim­mer­mann.


Cape Co­ral This bou­tique bak­ery from midDe­cem­ber through Christ­mas cre­ates batches of heav­enly su­gar and gin­ger­bread cook­ies. Lo­cals and re­turn­ing snow­birds will stop in for a fix of cook­ies, but also for the lush cup­cakes, cus­tom cakes and gourmet baked good­ies. “Great stock­ing stuffers or as a treat for Santa Claus and his

rein­deer,” the bak­ery’s co-owner, Bess Charles, says of the cook­ies. For more than a dozen cook­ies, call a week ahead.


Naples This es­tab­lish­ment over the year bakes de­li­cious cook­ies, cakes and pies. But dur­ing the hol­i­days there are more tasty treats on the menu. “We have dec­o­rated cook­ies, pump­kin cheese­cakes, pump­kin pies, pe­can pies and cho­co­late pep­per­mint cakes, just to name a few,” says co-owner El­iz­a­beth Mikkelsen.

Some of the treats are ready-to-eat, and some serve as a cen­ter­piece, such as the shop’s Yule log sur­rounded by iced su­gar cook­ies. Plan to or­der ahead.


Sanibel This fam­ily-owned shop over the year of­fers hand­made Bel­gian cho­co­lates, home­made fresh fudge and baked goods—in-house and from scratch. Dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son, there are more fa­vorites. “We have pep­per­mint bark that’s made with milk/white cho­co­late or dark/white Bel­gian cho­co­late, along with a va­ri­ety of fudges like candy cane and pump­kin,” says co-owner Beth Musser.

“We also have buck­eye can­dies that are peanut-but­ter balls dipped in cho­co­late,” adds Tim Musser, also a co-owner.

In ad­di­tion to their de­li­cious can­dies, the shop of­fers hol­i­day yum­mies such as snow­ball, pump­kin and dec­o­rated su­gar cook­ies, as well as gin­ger­bread men/women. Hol­i­day cup­cakes in­clude cho­co­late/pep­per­mint, carrot cake, pump­kin and other sea­sonal fla­vors. Yum, yum and more yum! Ann Marie O’Phe­lan is a South­west Florida writer and a reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor to TOTI Media.

Nor­man Love Con­fec­tions of­fers Buche de Noel, or Hol­i­day Yule Logs.

Donna and Tom Puma (bot­tom) have added their own style and with their de­li­cious de­lights they are well-known.

Royal Scoop makes Christ­mas Chim­ney Sweep, a pep­per­mint-stick ice cream loaded with crushed Oreo cook­ies.

At Sanibel Sweet Shoppe, there are a va­ri­ety of pump­kin fudges of­fered dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Its buck­eye can­dies are peanut-but­ter balls dipped in dark or milk cho­co­late.

LadyCakes Bak­ery has its fes­tive gin­ger­bread cook­ies and dec­o­rated su­gar cook­ies avail­able from the sec­ond week of Novem­ber through Christ­mas.

In­di­vid­ual “gift cakes” by Mikkelsen’s Pas­try Shop are per­fect for an el­e­gant hol­i­day party.

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