When you think of "holiday desserts," what comes to mind? Marching gingerbread men? Candy canes? Grandma's hot apple pie?
That's what I figured. Now, while those are all well and good, we shouldn't forget about Orange County's specific dessert needs. I mean, it's 79 degrees outside. We don't just need pie. We need ice cream, too.
Here are five holiday treats to try this season – some of which will keep you festive, and some of which will keep you cool.
1. Apple Cider Creamsicle at Front Porch Pops (Orange)
Apple cider with a side of carbs? Refreshing. Apple cider in the form of a creamsicle. Refree… wait, what?
Behold Front Porch Pops, a petite shop front serving homemade popsicles. They've made a perfect holiday one – an apple cider creamsicle.
How does it taste, you ask? Well, good. The first thought that comes to mind is very Southern Californian (who else would eat a creamsicle in the winter?) It's also got a touch of cinnamon and milky-ness. Lucky for you, you can eat 'em without a jacket.
2. Peppermint Bark Ice Cream at Strickland's (Irvine)
Candy canes are fun, but peppermint coffee, cookies, and chocolate can be even more so. Oh, and ice cream. Especially ice cream.
Yes, it's that time of year again, Strickland's is selling their seasonal Peppermint Bark ice cream. For long-time Irvinians, this is an indication that the holidays have arrived – much like when 103.5 FM starts playing holiday music.
It's a delight, creamy and custardy with a nice little crunch and and chill from the peppermint. What're ya still doing over there? Go grab a cone!
3. Apple Tartes at La Petite Sourie (Santa Ana)
Don't get me wrong. Apple pie is a great dessert for the holidays, but everyone knows it'll be there. You know, it'll be around from like Albertson's or something. Kind of boring, if I do say so myself.
There's another apple dessert in town, and it's worth knowing: the apple tarte by La Petite Sourie. A super French eatery owned by a super French chef, La Petite Sourie is every Orange-County-based Francophile's dream: a mini Ladurée. If want to bask in the world of real French macarons, tartes, and baguettes, this is the spot for you.
4. Gingerbread Beignets at Mint Julep Bar (Disneyland)
Disneyland always has good beignets but, come December, a different one comes 'round: the gingerbread beignet at Mint Julep Bar.
Just imagine, a flaky, warm beignet that tastes like a gingerbread (though only slightly so – which is a good thing!) melting into your mouth. Upon each bite is an avalanche of powdered sugar. It gets on your shirt.
Now that's perfection.
5. Eggnog Ice Cream at Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert (Orange)
If eggnog was a person, it'd be an ambassador for the holidays. Or, it'd be a relative you only see on Thanksgiving and Christmas. One of those two.
It's for this reason that getting really into eggnog for these two months is okay. If you want to go eggnog-crazy, have at it. In fact, start with eggnog ice cream at Andrew's Ice Cream and Dessert. It's a cozy shop in the back of a strip mall, and its eggnog ice cream tastes just like the holidays – tied perfectly together with a spike of rum.