It’s not just the holiday season — it’s cookie season, too! It’s fun to make shortbread or gingerbread from scratch, but we don’t all have the time (or patience) so spend hours in the kitchen baking up a storm. Save yourself some stress and still impress your guests with these dazzling holiday cookies that you can pawn off as your own. Don’t worry, it can be our little secret.
Bakerbots Baking (Toronto, ON)
If you’re looking for beautifully decorated cookies in Toronto, Bakerbots is your one-stop shop. With vanilla, chocolate and ginger cookies as the base, you can get anything from cute snowflakes to custom designs to please anyone. Trust me, there’s nothing more satisfying than admiring a cute, little snowman cookie only to devour him later. If only their facial expressions could change from smile to shock with each bite…
Cookie Love (Edmonton, AB)
As the name implies, this little bakery doesn’t expend their energy on a diverse portfolio of sweets — cupcakes and pastries need not apply. With a myriad of freshly baked cookies, including chocolate-dipped shortbread and carrot cake cookies with cream cheese icing, there are a lot of tough decisions to be made at here.
Cookie Messenger (Toronto, ON)
I’ve got to be honest; I didn’t know cookie bouquets were a thing until recently. Cookie messenger offers creative spins on a “bouquet,” packed with everything from gingerbread men to reindeer to bright blue, decorative (and edible) Hanukkah candles. If an ornate cookie bouquet isn’t your thing, maybe go for one of their ribbon-wrapped jars filled with traditional holiday baked goods.
Crave Cookies and Cupcakes (Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon, SK)
It’s borderline impossible to walk into a Crave location in Western Canada and not leave with something sweet. The red velvet sparkle cookies (think gingersnaps, but approximately 100 times more delicious) will be a welcomed gift for any holiday party host or hostess. Oh, and their Snickerdoodles? Well, my friends, save those ones for yourself. You deserve it!
Decadent Desserts (Calgary, AB)
With more varieties of shortbread than you can shake a stick at, and a mix of biscotti, gingersnaps and chocolate chip cookies, Decadent has got your sweet tooth covered. Their uptown location makes it easily accessible, especially if you’re working downtown and want to pick up some tasty treats for the office.
High Tea Bakery (Winnipeg, MB)
There’s no disputing it; the decorated cookies from High Tea are cuter than Justin Bieber circa 2010. I know, it seems impossible, but once you see the sweet attention to detail on each hand-decorated cookie, you’ll agree. Christmas trees, snowmen, heck, even custom cookie versions of the whole family, this spot has got it going on for this holidays!
Mrs. MacGregors (Pictou, NS)
December is a time when shortbread truly shines. When combined in perfect quantities and in the right hands, sugar, flour and butter makes for a cookie like no other. Throw in a few interesting ingredients to mix things up a bit and you have Mrs. MacGregors famous cookies. Having visited this quaint little café and bakery, to me, the best thing about Mrs. MacGregors isn’t the melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, but the melt-your-ice-cold-heart friendliness of owner, Helen Buchan.
Sweet Isabelle (Montreal, QC)
If you’re like me and have seen the vintage Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer claymation film approximately a million times over the years, you’ll appreciate Isabelle’s delightful holiday designs. Elves, penguins and reindeer are just a few of the designs you can admire, and then immediately sink your teeth into this holiday season.
Sugar Cookies and Confections (Vancouver, BC)
Although this company keeps things simple with their basic vanilla cookie recipe, you can request essentially any design imaginable. Santas, snowmen and snowflakes are obvious requests to make at this time of year, but nothing would be more timely and nonsensical than Darth Vader with a Santa hat on. Am I right?