In a perfect world, we’d always have homemade cookies from an old family recipe on hand for guests and gifts during the holidays. In reality, we usually dash out into a snow-globe world to buy the next best thing. Fortunately, an abundance of alluring baked goods can be yours in and around the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
On Saturdays and (until Christmas) on Wednesdays, the market itself has a growing array of options. Sherry Toney, known to many market shoppers as “the pie lady,” sells miniature pie bites (the size of petit fours) that double as samples to help customers decide which bigger pie to buy. Or just trust me on the sweet potato pie, full of caramel sweetness and actual heft. Toney says she’s considering making rum cakes for Christmas, so maybe start asking about that in early December?
At Zingerman’s Deli (which new pedestrian islands will soon make easier to reach from the market), cranberry pecan bread joins four flavors of rich and flaky rugelach as seasonal staples. The inspired chocolate tahini and “New Deli” coffee cakes (the latter with cardamom and other cozy spice notes) are “on vacation,” but you can still grab classic little cakes like sour cream, gingerbread, and hot cocoa, with a slight coffee flavor and chunks of chocolate (tell the recipient to heat it to make the chocolate gooey).
For your celiac friends, market vendor Tasty Bakery has artisanal gluten-free treats. And for those vegan folks at the table, the nearby Lunch Room in Kerrytown and the Detroit Street Filling Station in the old Argiero’s sell their companion bakery’s vegan cupcakes, star-sprinkled donuts, iced brownies, cookies, etc. (they have gluten-free options, too). Nearby on N. Main, Vedge Cafe always has a couple choice vegan sweets on hand–including, I hope, the lovely caramel apple tarts they featured for Thanksgiving.