The holidays are here again, which means ‘tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. As mentioned in a previous article, society has come a long way from fruitcake. There is a whole wide world of trendy treats out there, like charcuterie chalets or gelatin snow globe cheesecakes. These interesting interpretations gained popularity as homages to festive artifacts. The problem is, just like many new things, these sweets don’t seem to stand the test of time. Another test these trendier items don’t necessarily stand is the taste one.
A 2014 study found a direct correlation between the region of the brain responsible for taste memory and the area responsible for encoding the time and place the taste was experienced. So, while that clear peppermint meringue pie may look neat, it’s not going to transport you back to your mother’s kitchen. That’s why the team at Anna Maria Bake House got creative with their holiday mission this year. Their goal was to take the nostalgic elements of the season and execute new offerings in a way that takes customers back to their favorite memories.
Pastry Chef Leilana Haas took inspiration from the ultimate yuletide beverage for what’s sure to be the most popular sale of the season. Spiced Eggnog Cheesecake with a Gingerbread Crust tastes as good as it sounds, paying tribute with a surprisingly light filling. Haas uses traditional Southern Comfort Eggnog to pull off the perfect flavor. Completing the one-two punch of nostalgia is the gingerbread crust. Buttery with a hint of spice, this addition makes the pie a holiday homerun. Haas was not a huge fan of eggnog growing up. Her mentor encouraged her to try it this way, which led Haas to recreate the cake in her honor. The gingerbread crust is a nod to decorating gingerbread cookies. “I wanted something that people could envision when they hear the name.”
If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, Haas has you covered with another offering. The Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Pie incorporates all the joyful winter feelings in one delicious bite. This hits close to home for Haas, as it’s also in tribute to a friend who would help her come up with pies for holiday parties. “This one brings up a lot of my favorite holiday memories I’ve had with my favorite people.”
Along with the two desserts mentioned above, Anna Maria Bake House will also offer their classic Key Lime Pie, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and assorted cookie boxes for Christmas pre-sale. Order online to pick-up on Dec. 22 and 23 at either The Beach House or Gamble Creek Farms!