At the A-Frame Bakery in Williamstown, Sharon Sutter is preparing pies — apple, pumpkin, cranberry and blueberry, pecan, maple apple mincemeat … and tarts, pumpkin rolls, and maple-glazed cheesecake. Later she will make Hanukkah treats, often for families wanting to send a holiday memory to students away from home.
Christmas brings cakes, she said — Yule Logs (Bûches de Noel) filled and frosted with chocolate and decorated meringue mushrooms, and Red Velvet, and tortes. People also come in for baked goods for breakfast: crumb cakes, scones, muffins and quick breads.
From Cakewalk in Lee, Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic and Patisserie Lenox in Lenox and Great Barrington to Tunnel City Café in Williamstown and Crazy Russian Girls in Bennington, local bakers and pastry chefs are rolling up their sleeves.
At Bakkerij Krijnen in Bennington, Hans and Jennifer Krijnen have brought Dutch flavors to Route 9 in Bennington for more than six years.
Hans’ father and grandfather were bakers in the Netherlands, in the small town of Terheijden, Jennifer said. Like them, he makes everything from scratch, and always with butter.
Linzer tortes and shortbread cookies fill the bakery case, and pastries filled with almond paste or apples. They make their own croissants (with 27 layers of pastry dough) and puff pastry (1140 layers). They have a sheeter to roll out the dough, she said, and the butter is incorporated by hand.
At Christmas, they also make kerststollen, a rich fruited bread with almond paste in the center. Hans plans to bring these back in the first week in December. And in cold weather they enjoy stroopwaffels, crisp wafers with caramel centers.
Traditionally in the Netherlands, people will set one on top of a hot cup of tea and let the steam soften it. Hans makes his own version with ginger, a variation he has seen nowhere else.
“They’re a favorite,” Jennifer said. “We love to make s’mores with them.”
In the photo at the top, an array of pastries glisten with glaze at Patisserie Lenox. Photo by Susan Geller