Bardot Brasserie's Bûche de Noël. Photo: Krystal Ramirez

Seasonal Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Festive treats are the finishing touch to any winter holiday meal.

Holiday desserts are the stuff of celebration. Around the world, seasonally specific sugary confections oftentimes emerge just once a year, bringing sheer delight to those who make and receive them. From the French Bûche de Noël, which looks like something cut from the forest, to the Italy’s panettone, evoking the majestic cathedral domes of Lombardy, there’s always room for the beloved Yuletide treats.

Gingerbread Figgy Pudding

Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak

You’ve likely sung the line, “Now bring us some figgy pudding …” Executive pastry chef Natalie Morgan brings it, but only on Christmas Day. Despite its name, figgy pudding—also known as plum pudding, a staple of the British Christmas table—contains neither figs nor plums. Morgan makes hers out of gingerbread stout cake and brown sugar bourbon toffee, then complements it with walnuts, dulce de leche ice cream and a dash of glitter. $14, in The Mirage, mirage.com

Cookies ’n’ Milk

Portofino

This dessert brings us back to Christmas eve, when a sweet offering is left near the hearth for Santa’s arrival. Chef Michael LaPlaca offers his guests the same plate of homemade cookies, nutmeg-spiced milk and a candied carrot for Rudolph. “One of my favorite things about the holidays is eggnog,” LaPlaca says. “So we decided to trade the traditional milk with spiced milk that guests can spike if they’d like.” $10, $15 spiked, in The Mirage, mirage.com

Winter Break

Public School 702

Egg-based drinks found popularity in the American colonies, where nearly everyone had access to cows, chickens and, oftentimes, rum. Cool to the touch and slightly toasty when it goes down, Winter Break is a fun and creamy holiday libation with a modern nog spirit. Made with Shipwrecked spiced rum, heavy whipping cream, Licor 43, house-made cinnamon maple syrup and egg white, the drink is served in a stemmed Martini glass and garnished with a dusting of ground cinnamon. $10, in Downtown Summerlin, psontap.com

bardot_buche_de_noel_by_krystal_ramirez_2_WEBKrystal Ramirez | Vegas Seven

Bûche de Noël

Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie

Served during the holidays, Bûche de Noël is a distinctly French tradition. The original Yule log dessert emerged in the 19th century and in its purest form consists of Genoise (Italian sponge cake) rolled with chocolate buttercream to resemble a log. This year, executive chef Joshua Smith plans to pair praline and a touch of dark rum with the traditional chocolate cake. “The fun part is in the garnish, which allows the cake to resemble a real log with bark, sometimes with little meringue mushrooms and leaves.” $69 as part of a prix fixe menu or $13 a la carte, in Aria, michaelmina.net

Raisin Kugel

Siegel’s 1941

Considered one of the most iconic Jewish holiday dishes, kugel likely got its name from a middle German word for the spherical shape of the dish. Today, kugel is usually a rectangular casserole composed of noodles or potato, eggs and cream that is baked until soft and moist inside and crispy on top. Siegel’s 1941 delivers a traditional sweet raisin kugel that is available a la carte for $5 or as part of a three-course Hanukkah meal for $20. In El Cortez, elcortezhotelcasino.com

Panettone

Rivea at Delano

Hailing from Milan is the grand and festive panettone, which is usually prepared for Christmas and New Year.  The dome shape is said to have been inspired by the cathedrals of Lombardy. It’s fiendishly difficult to make, but ’tis the season for such effort, so executive pastry chef Mickael Maignan-Bauer offers it on his Christmas weekend dessert menus. “The proofing process alone takes several days, giving the cake its distinctive fluffy characteristic. What is better than to offer guests something you care so much for at Christmastime?” The panettone is served with vanilla sauce and coffee ice cream. $10, in the Delano, delanolasvegas.com

Traditional Doughnut

Honey Salt

Pillowy sufganiyah, Israeli jelly–filled doughnuts, are a staple of annual Hanukkah celebrations. The doughnuts are oil-fried—ideal for celebrating the festival of light that commemorates the miracle of a single day’s oil lasting for eight. Finished with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, they’re arguably one of the holiday’s most tempting bites. Honey Salt offers five fresh strawberry jelly–filled sufganiyah—just enough for sharing, or not. $9, 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., honeysalt.com 

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