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Season’s greetings and tasty eating: North Oakland indulges its holiday sweet tooth

on December 11, 2009

With Hanukkah beginning today and Christmas around the corner, what are North Oakland’s bakeries cooking up for holidays?

Self-proclaimed “counter guy” Samuel Carter at Sweet Adeline’s gave Oakland North a rundown of what treats are making up their holiday selection this year. On the menu is the classic shortbread cookie in the shape of various jolly configurations: Christmas trees, polar bears and Stars of David, to name a few. Also on the menu is stollen bread, the fruitcake that looks more like bread with yeast. Flour is the main ingredient, but stollen bread turns into cake with the added fruitiness of candied citrus things. Sweet Adeline’s has also concocted their annual gingerbread house, but this year it’s shaped like their new dinner shop, which will open at Alcatraz Avenue and Adeline Street in the new year. What is Carter’s favorite item on the menu? The “counter guy” said the non-stollen fruitcake made with Jamaican rum hits the holiday spot for him.

Arizmendi Bakery on Lakeshore Avenue won’t focus on holiday goodies too much this year, with the exception of “one special day” when they will produce a  “gigantic expanded menu” with a huge array of holiday goods. Victor Hernandez, one of the cooperative’s partners, said the special day will be soon, but you’ll have to swing by or call ahead of time to know for sure. Hernandez’s top pick from last year’s holiday menu was the stained glass cookie. To make this treat, Arizmendi placed pieces of hard candy in cookie dough. When baked, the center becomes a melted mass resembling the look of stained glass.

Don’t expect to find a big holiday selection at Bakesale Betty’s at 51st and Telegraph. “We do one thing really, really well, and that’s our fried chicken sandwich,” said Michael Camp, the bakery’s manager. “So for Christmas, we’re doing one thing really, really well too, and that’s our sticky toffee pudding.” Camp said that it will “knock your socks off.”  Bring it to any holiday gathering this year, and he “guarantees you will be invited back.”


  1. Arizmendi Bakery Worker-Owner on December 12, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for Oakland holiday updates! Arizmendi is full of holiday goodies all month long! Our holiday menu is extensive – and not just on that one special day. We are already selling our famous fruitcake, pumpkin bread, ginger stout cake, & many other items. On Christmas eve, there are even more goodies – like our Apple Streusel Pie. Come by and take a look at our holiday menu. You can even order in advance! Happy Holidays!

    Your friends at Arizmendi in Oakland

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