Metro Macs—“Macarons are the most difficult, temperamental cookie,” says Simons Center Café at SUNY Stony Brook’s executive chef Paolo Fontana, a native New Yorker who learned French cuisine under chef Guy Reuge at Mirabelle. “The perfect macaron has a super-thin “egg shell” crust, a slightly moist and chewy inside, and the right amount of filling.” While perfecting his technique, Fontana got creative and developed macarons with “New World” flavors like blueberry pie with graham cracker crust, chocolate chip, absinthe and s’mores. Collaboration with Jake Perdie, who works in the Long Island wine industry, led to a unique line of macarons filled with local wine jelly, and Fontana will also customize macarons for any occasion. Metro Macs can be purchased at the café or ordered at 631.632.2881 and scgp.stonybrook.edu/café.
Hamptons Cupcake Lounge—It all started with a red velvet cupcake, says Cynthia Sachs. She has diabetes, so she set out to find a healthy, nutritious recipe for her favorite treat. Realizing that people with dietary restrictions and healthy lifestyles want their fave cupcakes, too, she developed recipes that replace butter, processed sugar and oils with fruit purees, nonfat dairy and natural sweeteners. “By the time we officially launched in May 2012, we had 27 flavors, eight of which are our signature Cuptails,” she says of her “happy-hour inspired” creations like the Bourbon Blast, a chocolate cupcake with a shot of whiskey topped with a Bailey’s Irish cream cheese frosting. New for the holidays are Cuparons, inspired by macarons. Olish Farms in Eastport; Serene Green Farm Stand in Sag Harbor; hamptonscupcakelounge.com, 631.517.0343.
Anke’s Fit Bakery—As a child in Germany, Anke Albert’s “warmest, sweetest memories” involved learning to bake alongside her mother and grandmother. Her careers around the world as a hotel executive and then fitness trainer combined with her lifelong love for baking gave her the perfect recipe for Anke’s Fit Bakery. Her cookies, granola and other products are made with all-natural ingredients like spelt flour, oats, agave nectar, maple syrup healthy oils, nuts and seeds. The Oat’er Ginger Snap cookies are a perfect treat for the winter holidays. They can be found at locations on the South Fork including Springs General Store in East Hampton and online at ankesfitbakery.com, 917.597.8317.
Lorna’s Nuts—These days you can barely bring a snack to a party without someone saying, “You know, you should really sell these.” And so it went with Lorna Cook, a special ed teacher and former caterer from East Hampton, with her spiced and sugared nuts. “I knew from my catering company what it takes to get all the licenses and permits,” she said. “So this time around it was easier.” Easy as growing herbs and baking nuts to package and sell at hot spots around town like Loaves & Fishes in Bridgehampton, Round Swamp Farm in East Hampton and Catena’s in Southampton as well as selected farmers markets. There you will find Sweet and Spicy cashews, almonds or mixed nuts made with egg whites, sugar, fresh cilantro, cayenne and chili powder then roasted in the oven, or Squirrel’s Nest, which has chocolate-coated caramel on top of a square pretzel. Cook makes it a point to use fresh and organic ingredients when she can. Lornasnuts.com, 631.324.2238.
Edible Giftable—Make sure you get your copy of Edible East End, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn delivered to your door, so you never miss an issue. A one-year sub to EEE (five issues) is $25; two years (12 issues) $45. All six issues of Edible Manhattan are $30; for two years (12) $55. Edible Brooklyn comes out four times per year for $20; a two-year subscription is $35. Or go all in with the New York Foodie Special: A subscription to Edible Manhattan, Edible Brooklyn and Edible East End for $53 for one year or $93 for two years! Visit edibleeastend.com, ediblemanhattan.com and ediblebrooklyn.com to sign up. All subscribers get instant access to our new subscriber benefits program, including discounts on Edible events and products from our curated list of food and drink partners, and can receive a 40 percent discount on gift subscriptions.
Local Wine and Spirits—While most wineries will put together gift boxes, Empire State Cellars at the Tanger Mall in Riverhead has three that also include a subscription to one of our three Edible magazines. I Love New York, Long Island includes: North Fork Project Chardonnay 2010; North Fork Project Merlot 2010; LiV Vodka (200 ml) and a five-issue subscription to Edible East End for $75. I Love New York, Manhattan includes Lieb Right Coast Red 2008 and six issues of Edible Manhattan, $50. I Love New York, Brooklyn has one bottle of Breuckelen Gin (750 ml); Brooklyn Republic Vodka (375 ml); Brooklyn Oenology Social Club White 2009 and an Edible Brooklyn four-issue subscription for $75. Visit empirestatecellars.com or call 631.369.3080.
Give the Gift of Eating Out—Nearly all restaurants on the East End offer gift certificates. Out in Montauk call up East by Northeast (51 Edgemere Street, 631.668.2872), open Thursday through Monday, and book a package with their newly renovated Stone Lion Inn. Sister restaurant Harvest on Fort Pond (11 South Emery Street, 631.668.5574) is open all year, serving dinner at 5 p.m. (closed Mondays).