Deck the Halls With Holiday Fare

Columns Ono, You Know

December 10, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

It was two weeks before Christmas and all through the state, tummies were rumbling, we just couldn’t wait…

Nothing says the holidays like morsels of my Christmas favorites, such as gingerbread, peppermint and eggnog — the list goes on! Well, guess what, Ono readers? I made my list and checked it twice to make sure I didn’t miss out on the sweetest of the season’s delights.

This week, let’s make it snow candies, marshmallows, cookies and more, and hopefully when Santa Claus comes walking through the door, this Christmas will be a merry one for all to enjoy — be sure to wrap the little one’s toys!

Larry’s Bakery

  • The editor celebrates the joy of the season, and is ready to take a bite out of Larry's Bakery's Gingerbread House.
  • Larry's Bakery's Gingerbread Cookies (prices range from $1.50 to $4 per cookie)
  • Larry's Bakery's Gingerbread House ($25 small, $35 large)
Image of

“On the first day of Christmas, Larry’s Bakery gave to me, some onolicious gingerbread delights that I’ve placed under my tree!”

OK, so while I may not be an award-winning lyricist, I am certain that I’m full of holiday cheer! Scrooge may be sickened by this sweet thought, but what’s even sweeter and more alluring is the village of gingerbread houses, populated by a bunch of gingerbread men at Larry’s Bakery.

“The holidays are such a busy time for us,” says Iris Yafuso, who owns and operates this Salt Lake bakery along with her brother Lance. “This year, for the first time, we’re offering fresh, homemade gingerbread houses in small and large sizes ($25 small, decorated/$35 large, decorated).

These decadent houses are extravagantly decorated with an assortment of candies and treats, including M&M’s, candy canes, marshmallows and even your favorite cereal. Larry’s Bakery can cater the decorations to what you desire.

“Customers can tell us what they want on their house, but we’d like to have at least a three to four day notice before pick-up, so that we can be sure that we have your gingerbread house customized to what you want,” Iris states.

A royal icing, which is like an edible glue, is used to construct the houses. And when it comes to the art of gingerbread houses, constructing them is the most fun of all — the whole family can get involved.

“We also have plain houses available ($15 small/$25 large), where you can decorate it yourself. I know a lot of people are going to want to take part in that, and we’ll include frosting on the side,” she adds, noting that the gingerbread houses will already be built, leaving you with a blank canvas per se, to adhere your own candies.

Gingerbread is one of those things that is unique to Christmas, and it has that magical way about it that gets everyone into the holiday spirit! The aroma of gingerbread alone is delicious, and it’s a lot of fun to work with.

So, what exactly is gingerbread comprised of? Well, according to Lance, a baking expert, it’s all about perfect distributions of ground ginger powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, molasses and honey, thus resulting in a tantalizing holiday treat.

Larry’s Bakery also offers a vast selection of gingerbread men that are readily available either decorated or plain. Prices range from $1.50 to $4, depending on size and decoration of the cookie.

Make it a holiday to remember at Larry’s Bakery! Holiday hours are 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 6-10 a.m. Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas Day.

Larry’s Bakery
4369 Lawehana St. #3
View the Map

Patisserie La Palme D’or

  • Patisserie La Palme D'or's vanilla Bouche de Noel ($36 small, $46 medium)
  • Patisserie La Palme D'or's Chocolate Mint Cake ($4.50 per slice, $45 for whole cake)
Image of

Christmastime is here at Patisserie La Palme D’or! Located at Ala Moana Center, this classy pastry shop intrigues my sweet tooth with its full-fledged philosophy to blend French flavor and Japanese crafts-manship, which in my mind truly equates to impeccable taste. This is all thanks to owner Hiromi Tanaka and her dedicated staff, including head chef Akiko Kimura.

Upon my most recent visit to La Palme D’or, it was as if it was Christmas morning, when chef Akiko presented me with her newest Chocolate Mint Cake ($4.50 per slice, $45 for whole cake). I guarantee you that this cake is Santa-approved and will save you from waking up to a stocking full of coal this year. Imagine a smooth peppermint mousse atop a light combination of chocolate sponge cake filled with decadent chocolate mousse and chocolate pearls. And if this isn’t enough, chef Akikio has adorned this masterpiece with chocolate macaroons as well, while topping it off with a hot chocolate spread on the cake’s outermost layer. Oh, night divine!

And especially made for the holidays, the establishment’s Bouche de Noel features a delicious chocolate cream wrapped in a fluffy vanilla chiffon sponge cake ($44 small, $50 medium). Or, if you prefer, you can take a bite of the Bouche de Noel, consisting of vanilla sponge cake with a strawberry jam and vanilla cream-filled center ($36 small, $46 medium).

Patisserie La Palme D’or is proof that pure, delicious extravagance goes hand in hand with the holiday season — it’s that time of year when everyone deserves a little something extra special! Place your orders quickly, because something tells me good ole Kris Kringle has his GPS set straight for La Palme D’or this Christmas Eve!

Patisserie La Palme D’or
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
View the Map

IHOP Hawaii

  • IHOP Hawaii's Eggnog Pancakes ($4.99, combo prices vary)
  • IHOP's Andrew Toney with Eggnog Pancakes
Image of

Lastly, I’m sending you season’s greetings from International House of Pancakes (IHOP), because it won’t be a holly jolly Christmas without its famed holiday pancakes! IHOP welcomes you to celebrate the season with your choice of Eggnog, Pumpkin Praline or White Chocolate Chip Mint Pancakes.

Now, while all of these specials are mouth-wateringly delicious, to say the least, being the eggnog-aholic that I am, I have to always opt for the Eggnog Pancakes!

According to Andrew Toney, assistant manager of the IHOP Kuhio location, these irresistible treasures feature eggnog cream with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, layered between sweet golden pancakes. It’s then crowned with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, a drizzle of butter rum-flavored sauce and a creamy whipped topping. These pancakes are so rich, you don’t even need syrup!

If you wish for solely pancakes and nothing more, IHOP offers a stack of four pancakes (your choice of flavor) for $4.99. Or, if you’re yearning for a more substantial meal, choose from your favorite egg and side combination that vary in selection and price.

There’s no rush, these delicious holiday pancakes are available until Jan. 2. Finally, to complete your IHOP experience this Christmas, don’t forget to warm up to a steamy cup of Gingerbread Hot Chocolate ($2.99), Maple Spice Coffee, Caramel Hot Chocolate or French Vanilla Coffee.

IHOP is open on Christmas Day, so once the gifts are unwrapped, why not make it an IHOP day?!

IHOP Hawaii
2211 Kuhio Ave. (and various locations)
View the Map

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best