Back in the day (the Iron Age), people would gather in late December to celebrate the Winter Solstice and the end of winter (if only). To mark the seasonal shift, our ancestors would cleanse themselves of the past year’s baggage by burning logs bedecked with symbolic accoutrements – holly, pine cones, ivy – and then keep the ashes for good luck and protection against lighting strikes (fancy that).
Not surprisingly, the modern interpretation of this tradition involves chocolate – two luscious kinds, according to us.
To make our Bûche de Noël, or Yule Log, we roll genoise – Italian sponge cake – with chocolate buttercream and then coat the roll-up in dark chocolate ganache. A poinsettia sugar flower adds panache, and a dusting of sweet snow lends wintry magic. Yule love it, we promise. And knowing every occasion – large and small – would benefit from a Bûche, we are baking two sizes: the traditional feeds 10 to 15 people, depending on the slice size, while our half-size Baby Bûche serves five to 10.
Big fans of tradition, we also offer another beloved leavened treat for the holidays. This time, we turn to Italy for inspiration: a Milanese delicacy, Panettone folds candied orange, lemon peel and raisins into brioche bread that rises into the shape of a chef’s hat. To augment the aromatic allure, we infuse ours with the essence of orange blossom. Considering how easy it is to polish off a loaf in one sitting, we suggest stocking up on the Italian sweet bread while it lasts (we only bake it in December). Our Panettones will be available at the café and Jackson Whole Grocer.
With gift-giving in mind, we are boxing our addictive chocolate chip walnut cookies (sprinkled with sea salt) in rustic tins, finished off with a big red bow. Ready and willing for shipping, the cookie tins make perfect presents for clients or compadres. If sugary diversity speaks to you, consider our cookie tray, a small platter brimming with the best of Persephone: decorated gingerbread, seasonally-favored macarons, sugar-cookie snowflakes dipped in white chocolate, mini chocolate chip, gluten-free chocolate cookies and bite-size pistachio tea cakes). The trays come in small (approximately 15 cookies), medium (2 dozen) and large (4 dozen).
All of our holiday treats may be pre-ordered by calling (307)200-6708 or stopping by the café, where we will have ample stock. Special orders must be placed by December 23, but if Christmas Eve arrives and you find yourself sugar-free, don’t fret: we’ll have plenty of cookies, Bûches and Panettones to satiate Santa et al.