Holiday gift ideas: 11 treats that make for sweet Christmas presents

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Dec 11 2018 03:58 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2018 05:34 PM

MANILA -- It’s the season for giving and if you’re looking for tried and tested treats to give away this season, we’ve compiled a list of seasonal pastry and sweet favorites, ranging from the usual suspects to more adventurous eats. 

True Chocolate PH Handcrafted Bars by True Chocolate. Handout

True Chocolate PH's Handrafted Bars has chocolate that’s tempered right with a shiny sheen, and breaks with that unmistakable snap. These handcrafted bars by Treena Tecson come in handsome (and customizable) packaging — a coveted gift for true blue chocolate connoisseurs.

Choco Chip Banana Loaf by the Bald Baker. Handout

This creation from The Bald Baker takes the cake in banana flavor and texture, thanks to a kilo of bananas per batch, and a banana bread recipe that uses sour cream to keep it moist (as dry banana bread is a pitfall for many). Finished with some bruleed bananas on top, this banana bread uses less sugar and more bananas, in comes in a distinctive packaging -- modern and hip, just like its baker Cy Ynares.

Rum Butter Cake by Flour Pot Rum Cakes. Jeeves de Veyra

An unassuming red box hides a mind-blowingly good rum cake from Flour Pot Manila chef Rhea Castro Sycip. Golden and gleaming, this moist cake was dense and fragrant, and had a great balance between the liquor and sweetness, combining to not overwhelm but sing beautifully in your mouth. If you’ve never enjoyed rum cake, this might change your mind.

Birthday (or Christmas) Cake by Milkface Bakes.

Taking inspiration from Milk Bar creations in the US, Therese Laforteza of Milkface Bakes creates her signature Birthday Cake (which can easily be decorated to be more Christmassy) with moist layers of birthday cake sandwiched by icing and cookie sand. It’s sure to put a sweet smile on any sweet lover’s face.

Salted Caramel Tin Cake by Pastry Amore. Jeeves de Veyra

Chocolate tin cakes are all the rage this year, but why not give something different? The Salted Caramel Tin Cake by Pastry Amore differs from most tin cakes being more cake than mousse. It’s best eaten when it’s slightly melted as you get goeey salted caramel cream with the chocolate cake.

Matcha Yakigashi by Kumori Bakery. Jeeves de Veyra

If you know someone who loves matcha, give them a box of the Matcha Yakigashi from Kumori Bakery. Light and airy with a pronounced but not bitter matcha flavor, it also comes in a blue box with Japanese prints.

Roasted White Chocolate Spread by Auro Chocolate

This spread is always first to get sold out when Auro Chocolate joins bazaars (like the recent BPI Sinag bazaar in Glorietta) for a reason. White chocolate is lent depth from roasting, and you’re assured that you’re getting the best chocolate out of Davao.

Breakfast Baskets by Rustic Mornings. Nines Sy Licad

Pancake mix with homemade syrup, with jam or coffee, gift a taste of Rustic Mornings' famous fluffy pancakes with this basket.

Cornbread Bibingka Loaf and Kapeng Salabat by Kapeng Mainit. Jeeves de Veyra

What do you give a foodie that’s tasted it all? Something different like the cornbread bibingka loaf and the kapeng salabat by chef Bryan Francisco of Kapeng Mainit. Corn and rice flour create a one-of-a-kind texture, especially with the salted egg streusel topping, evoking bibingka mornings but with the hint of corn. Have a slice heated while you sip the spicy, bracing Kapeng Salabat, a blend of ginger and strong barako from Batangas.

Ube de Leche Cheesecake and Fruitcake Bar Loaf by D’doux Manila. Jeeves de Veyra

This gorgeous ube cheesecake showcases two layers of ube and cheese. Quite stunning on the table, a bite is luscious -- a beautiful creamy medley of ube and cheese, and it’s not too sweet as well. D’doux Manila also has a fruitcake bar for those looking for a lighter fruitcake option that’s light on the alcohol but big on nuts, and candied fruits.

Dark Macadamia Chocolate Chip Cookies by Hello Goodbites. Jeeves de Veyra

Simple cookies done right, that’s the secret of the chocolate chip cookies of Loren Calo-Rocamora of Hello Goodbites. Not too sweet, these cookies were moist but still had a great crumb, and the addition of the macadamias made for a buttery good layer of flavor and texture. Simple and delicious.