OGDEN — We may not know our mincemeats from our mistletoes, or our sugar plums from our figgy puddings, but we do know where to go to score some of the best holiday treats this side of the Arctic Circle.
When you're looking for that tasty seasonal something — whether it's a gift for a loved one or just because it's been a long day of Christmas shopping and, frankly, you deserve it — look no further than these Ogden-area shops, bakeries and candy stores:
Black Lotus Coffee & Bakery
Paige Berhow, manager of the Black Lotus bakery, bakes the "treat yourself kind of stuff" during the holidays. Using primarily her mother's and grandmother's recipes, Berhow recreates the good old days of holiday baking.
"This is not the place to come if you're looking for gluten-free vegan stuff," she said. "This is where you come if you want lots of butter, lots of chocolate, lots of 'good'."
Black Lotus will offer holiday treats like chocolate mint brownies, along with a full coffee bar pouring seasonal favorites like peppermint mochas, egg-nog lattes and gingerbread lattes.
This holiday season, Berhow will be baking made-from-scratch gingerbread whoopie pies with cream filling, as well as "lots of chocolate, pepperminty stuff." She'll be pulling out all of her mother's old cookie recipes, as well as her grandmother's gingerbread recipes that call for ingredients like "a scoop of lard the size of an egg."
And Berhow invites her customers to bring in their own favorite holiday recipes.
"I always ask customers, if they have family recipes, to bring them to me," she said. "If you're not a baker, bring in the recipe and give me a shot at it."
Location: 2411 Kiesel Ave., Ogden
The Cupcake Shoppe and Bakery
Christmas cupcakes? They've got it covered. For the holidays, The Cupcake Shoppe offers peppermint cupcakes, gingerbread cupcakes, egg nog cupcakes. And don't forget the fudge, sugar cookies and cake pops.
"It's like a cake lollipop," says owner Shelly Seamons. "We do cake pop bouquets, with 12 to 36 in a basket, starting at $22."
After an absence, this year Seamons said they're bringing back the Bacci rolls with basalmic vinegars and olive oils, which they sell in a gift pack.
"We sell tons of those," she said.
Location: 2352 Kiesel Ave., Ogden (801-546-8252)
Great Harvest Bread Company
Great Harvest, with several locations throughout Northern Utah, is probably best known for the special cake bread it mixes up at the holidays.
The bread, called Apricot Pear Streusel, sells for 75 cents a slice, or $7 a loaf. Great Harvest also makes another tempting cake bread called Caramel Apple.
Location: 272 Historic 25th St., Ogden (801-394-6800)
Hickory Farms at the Negate Mall
Each year in early November, Hickory Farms opens a kiosk in the Newgate Mall. Manager Justine Witcher said customers have come to see it as a holiday tradition.
"The second we opened, the first thing people said to us was, 'Christmas is coming,'" Witcher said. "You see Hickory Farms, and you think about the holidays."
Hickory Farms is best known for its beef summer sausage, which has used the same formula for more than 80 years. It also sells other sausages, including turkey and salami.
"And the way they're processed, our meats and cheeses don't have to be refrigerated until they're opened," Witcher said.
The business also sells a few candies, including the popular Melt Away Mints.
"And samples are always free," Witcher said.
But the most surprising treat Hickory Farms sells at the holidays? Oddly, that would be the good old-fashioned fruitcake.
"They sell out every year," Witcher said. "It's the one thing we sell that I've never tried, but they're very popular."
Location: 3651 Wall Ave., Ogden (385-239-3848)
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
At the holidays, watch for special sweet breads at Kneaders. Caramel apple, orange cranberry and pumpkin bread are among the popular ones. They also offer decorated Christmas sugar cookies, as well as traditional gingerbread cookies.
Kneaders also has an assortment of pies and rolls, and gift baskets with various candies. Gift baskets start at $22.
Each year, the store also does a special Sugar Plum Fairy Tea with the Julie Moffitt Ballet School, featuring hot chocolate and sweet breads for $3, as well as free photos with the primary cast members of the school's "The Nutcracker Ballet." This year's event was held Nov. 13.
Location: 1953 Washington Blvd., Ogden (801-781-2900)
Lisa's Passion for Popcorn
In addition to the year-round popcorn varieties offered at Lisa's, the business recently installed a new "popcorn bar" that owners believe could change the way people eat popcorn.
Customers select a popcorn — what's referred to as the "base" — then choose from a variety of drizzles and sprinkles — chocolate, coconut, ranch dressing, and even sriracha sauce.
Among the holiday popcorns Lisa's offers are egg nog, white chocolate, and a red/green/white Christmas mix with cherry, lime and vanilla.
Location: 37 N. Main St., Kaysville (801-544-4255)
Owner Debbie Glanton says Lovee's primarily offers pies and cookies.
"We offer a lot of pies — sweet potato, pumpkin, pecan, cherry, meringue — at Thanksgiving more so than Christmas," Glanton said.
Pies range from $14.99 to $16.99.
Lovee's also does cookies right at the holidays, including sugar cookies, pumpkin cookies and chocolate chip cookies.
Location: 1706 E. 5600 South, South Ogden (801-645-4999)
Co-owner Kris Ellington said they're just gearing up to start making their holiday doughnuts.
"We just posted a cool turkey doughnut to Facebook," she said.
Ellington said the custom doughnut shop will make just about any kind of doughnut, for anyone.
For December, Mountain Donuts is planning on a peppermint doughnut, a red velvet doughnut, and much more.
"We'll do Santa Claus and Christmas trees and reindeer — and maybe some for the Jewish holiday," Ellington said.
Mountain Donuts baked goods are $1.99 for one, $10.99 for a half-dozen, and $19.99 for a dozen.
Location: 3836 Washington Blvd., Ogden (801-686-3681)
Old Grist Mill
Honey, I shrunk the loaves.
For the holidays, in addition to the usual two-pound loaves of freshly baked bread, Old Grist Mill is offering special one-pound gift loaves — for between $1.99 and $2.33.
With five locations in Northern Utah, the bakery offers all sorts of other warm breads, muffins, scones and more. Old Grist Mill also offers sugar cookies year-round, with the sprinkles changed to reflect the season.
Oh yes, and for Thanksgiving? The bakery sells bags of stuffing to go with the turkey.
Location: 460 2nd St., Suite C, Ogden (801-392-8801)
Popcorn Cottage offers a selection of seasonal tins available for purchase. A sales clerk there said they offer more than a dozen different kinds of popcorn tins.
Although it hasn't been finalized, the employee said Popcorn Cottage may also be offering some sort of holiday-themed popcorn balls this year.
Location: 435 N. Hill Field Road, Layton (801-546-4114)
Popcorn Express always plans on making a few holiday popcorn flavors each year, including peppermint, white chocolate, egg nog and pumpkin spice — as well as a red/green/white Christmas blend of apple, cherry and vanilla popcorn.
Another popular treat at the holidays are what owner Julie Riley calls "nuggets," glazed with caramel, butter toffee and other flavors.
"It's like a puffy Cheeto with an insane amount of sugar put all over it," she said. "'Deliciousness' is what I call them."
Riley says the churro-flavored nuggets are to die for.
"That churro one, I can't open a bag and not eat it all," she said.
Location: 1150 N. U.S. 89, Harrisville (801-510-5411)
Connie Lujan, gourmet food and candy purchaser for Rainbow Gardens, says the popular gift shop is the place to go for those hard-to-find holiday gift treats.
"People come up here because they can't find these things anywhere else," she said.
One extremely popular item is the old-fashioned hard ribbon candy, in a gift box. It comes in a cellophane box, all ready to slap on a bow, for under $5.
"This kind of candy has been around for 50 years or more," Lujan said. "I don't know many places you can still get it."
Also popular are Christmas tree pretzels dipped in a peppermint-flavored white chocolate; Christmas crunch popcorn with chocolate-covered cherries; red and green Christmas pastas shaped like evergreen trees or snowmen ("They're cute to put in soups or salads"); Christmas Jordan almonds; bags of gummy reindeer, santas and gingerbread men; and marzipan.
New this year, Lujan says, are these "darling" snowman and santa jelly kebabs on a stick.
"Those are so cute they'll be gone the minute we put them out," she said.
This is all in addition to the year-round Christmas taffy, cinnamon bears, local caramels and in excess of 40 flavors of hot chocolate that are available.
And one of the more unique seasonal items? Edible peppermint shot glasses, for just $1.99.
Location: 1851 Valley Drive, Ogden (801-621-1606)
This candy company sells plenty of candy throughout the year, but it really shines at the holidays. Every three or four weeks, See's offers a different sucker for sale — including flavors like creamy mint cream and creamy cinnamon. In addition to milk chocolate and white chocolate truffles, it also sells them in pecan, pumpkin and orange cranberry flavors.
Gift baskets, sold by weight, are totally customizable. Customers can make their own, or have the candy experts put a basket together.
And bonus! You always get a free candy sample each time you come in.
Location: Newgate Mall, 3651 Wall Ave., Ogden (801-393-3201)