6 Westchester Bakeries to Visit for International Food and Treats
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Want to savor a range of international flavors without trotting around the world? These Westchester bakeries whip up the sweets you crave.
By Dave Zucker and Danny Brandon
Araras coffee and more
406c Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; 914.831.5439
Countries: Brazil and Paraguay
Must try: Alfajores (sandwich cookies filled with dulce de leche) and brigadeiros (chocolate fudge balls)
Opened in 2014, this warm and friendly bakery with limited seating at bistro-style tables inside and out has a steady stream of devotees. The beautiful, small-sized pastries are pleasantly sweet and full of rich flavors like coconut, pistachio, lime and pineapple. Menu standards, such as sweet Brazilian truffles and delicate Paraguayan cookies, are accompanied by daily additions made by co-owners Celina Bredemann and Liz Marina Cardozo. Bredemann describes their pastries as “simple and intense, with lots of flavor”.
Boleria Brazilian Bakery
362 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.630.0100
Must try: Bolo de rolo (Brazilian layer cake made with guava or dulce de leche) and brigadeiro pies
Since July 2020, this beautiful Brazilian bakery has been busy serving hungry customers with only the best brigadeiros, brownies, cakes and more. Founder Carolina Figueiredo, who chose a career in baking after battling breast cancer, was born in Recife, Brazil, and strives to make each dish a unique mirror of her home, with flavors audacious and traditional recipes. For those who want Brazilian flavors in bite-size pieces, Boleria offers several brigadeiro flavors (milk chocolate and chips, white chocolate, “Romeo and Juliet”, lemon, pistachio and “Two Lovers”, to name a few ), all of which are available individually or in boxes. Those who want a little more sweetness should check out the brigadeiro pies, which come in three different sizes.
3199 Albany Post Rd #220, Buchanan; 914.293.0177
Countries: Spain, Uruguay and Argentina
Must try: Alfajores and Dulce de Leche
For Cristina Lopez Goldstein of CHRISTTINE, pastry and tradition go hand in hand. In partnership with her Argentinian husband and in the footsteps of her grandfather (who owned a small pastry shop in Spain) and her father (who brought the family tradition to Uruguay), Cristina is committed to bringing tasty and traditional pastries in Westchester. Its delicious desserts mix Spanish, Uruguayan and Argentinian styles in an unmissable sweet fusion. One of its specialties is alfajores – shortbread cookies stuffed with dulce de leche – which come in a variety of flavors. For fruit lovers, CHRISTTINE also offers alfajores that avoid dulce de leche in favor of a raspberry filling. For those who can’t get enough of dulce de leche, CHRISTTINE also offers jars of the delicious spread in small quantities. Pro tip: Although you could just eat it straight from the jar, try using some as an ice cream topping for a little extra caramelized goodness.
El Trigal Mexican Bakery
216 Union Ave, New Rochelle; 914.633.9516
Must try: Churros and cinnamon sticks
The unmistakable smell of fresh pastries wafts down the street from El Trigal. Inside, between the register and the seating area, are rows of high shelves with tray upon tray of freshly baked pastries filled with guava, chocolate, arroz con leche, and more. Customers use pliers to rip out their sideburns. “I grew up in a bakery,” laughs owner Veronica Rojas, whose grandparents ran a bakery in Mexico and taught her the trade. Rojas opened El Trigal in 1999 with her husband, Marco Balbuena. Some recipes have been passed down, such as the chocolate pound cake and the tricolor sugar cookie. “That’s what I’ve done all my life,” Rojas says. “That’s what I like to do.”
Japanese sweets and cuisine Jiki
1116 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor; 914.762.4040
Must try: white cake and green tea macaroons
Minyoung Cho Yamaguchi is an artist. Yamaguchi, of Korean origin, was strongly influenced by her training as a French pastry chef and her 20 years spent in a Japanese bakery. In 2011, she opened Jiki with her husband, Masaaki, who is the sushi chef. “Pastry is my happiness,” smiles Yamaguchi. There is a soft elegance in his creations. Its pastries, displayed in a display case near the front of the small 12-seat restaurant, are exquisite – airy bites, like the seasonal apple-pumpkin macaron, that impart the essence of the central ingredient. The space is thoughtful and serene. Desserts are available to take away. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Look for the macaroon inspired by cherry blossoms in spring.
Related: Westchester home bakers make the county sweeter
180 Valley Street, Sleepy Hollow; 914.631.3256
Must try: Hojarasca (layered pastry, topped with meringue) and cachito manjar (horn-shaped pastry, filled with Chilean dulce de leche)
This quiet, unassuming bakery is packed with classic Chilean desserts like pineapple cake, alfajores, and sopapillas (fried pastry bread, topped with honey and cinnamon sugar). Since 1991, Jessica Mejias and her husband Francisco, owners of Los Andes, have carried on the family tradition. Francisco’s father and grandfather were bakers in Chile. Must-haves are pastries like the decadent hojarasca, known as the thousand-layer cake. Stacked in a mountain of gooey puff pastry, such an order means visitors should be prepared to get sticky and get crumbs on their faces. A limited number of seats are available inside and outside the café.