by Julie Chernoff
One thing I’ve learned after many years of entertaining at home: Everyone loves dessert. So my advice to you is, don’t skimp. Go big AND stay home. Chicago is filled with fabulous bakeries producing Instagram-worthy, delectable goodies, and they’re more than happy to help you end your party — be it an intimate dinner gathering, a baby shower or a massive festive bash — on the sweetest of notes. Send your guests home with a smile on their faces with treats from some of our favorite dessert palaces.
Although known for their crusty loaves of hand-forged sourdough breads, co-owners Ellen King and Julie Matthei also move quite a bit of laminated pastries (spot-on almond croissants and more), muffins, scones, and other breakfast favorites. But it’s their Seasonal Galette (the large 12- to 14-inch size serves eight people) that always proves a big hit at holidays and parties. To serve, warm in a 325-degree oven for 7 minutes and slice. King shares that parties sometimes order two flavors of the smaller galettes, cut them in quarters and serve on trays with a dollop of whipped cream and a mint sprig (for peach, apple or pear), or a sprig of basil or tarragon for the strawberry/berry galette. 810 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-869-4396
Baker’s Tip: Serve the galettes with bourbon-vanilla whipped cream, or high-quality vanilla ice cream.
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