What with all the holiday planning and the onset of cold weather, it’s nearly impossible for the unsuspecting sweet tooth not to get a little carried away in November and December. There are holiday parties with bars, cookies and cakes, holiday gifts of truffles and fudge tied up in pretty packages, and of course, the pies that are a natural fit at family gatherings. If you’re one of those people who can’t stop thinking about the flavors of the season – pumpkin, apple, pecan, nutmeg, cinnamon and more – once the calendar turns to November, you’re going to love our list of restaurant desserts you can savor about town for the next few months. Pear and Cinnamon Bread Pudding Dehn’s Country Manor Mike Dehn describes the desserts served at Dehn’s Country Manor as “homestyle and rustic, like something your mother or grandmother would make.” The bread pudding is no exception, and throughout the season, the kitchen has several takes on the classic dessert with an almost universal appeal. The pear and cinnamon variety is made with nutmeg and craisins, and other flavors include banana and chocolate chip and traditional with raisins. The bread pudding switches out every 10 days or so and generally runs about $5.95. Other desserts to try this time of year, and there are a few, include apple blackberry cobbler, apple crisp, mango passion fruit cheesecake and Snickers pie. 11281 Fernbrook Lane N., 763.420.6460 Apple Crepe Lynde’s Restaurant Crepes were added to the menu at Lynde’s restaurant toward the end of summer, and if you haven’t already discovered it, the apple crepe with whipped cream ($3.95) is one you’re going to love. Other fruit crepes include strawberry, peach and blueberry, and there’s also a savory breakfast crepe with sausage and cheese. Lynde’s also serves pies by the slice, including apple and French silk. And if you’re looking for a value, Lynde’s is onto you with its new Tuesday night special, when you can get a burger with French fries and a beer for just $5.99! 209 County Rd. 81; 763.424.3696 Gingerbread Chai Mountain Mudd Espresso Are you one for drinking your dessert? The famous chai at Mountain Mudd – made in house rather than from a prefab mix – gets the holiday treatment once November rolls around. The Gingerbread Chai is spiced up with a gingerbread spice powder and can be made with milk, or hot water if you’re avoiding dairy. Other festive drinks include a pumpkin latte topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice, a cinnamon spice latte, a cinnamon mocha, and a hazelnut latte. Specialty drinks like these range from $3 - $4.50 in price. Pastries like the pumpkin bread also fly out the door at this time of year. 9712 63rd Ave. N.; 763.533.9683 Pumpkin Mousse Chez Arnaud Chez Arnaud has been in business for less than a year, and head pastry chef Mia Hobus is having great fun with some of the bakery’s new creations for its first fall season. One of them is a pumpkin mousse, which is made into an individual sized portion and can be easily packaged to go. She is planning to do a pumpkin éclair, launched around the holidays, and the bakery was launching a new line of chocolate truffles, perfectly packaged for a last-minute gift solution. The prices for individual treats like the pumpkin mousse are under $5. Items are available for large catering orders with advance notice. 13332 Bass Lake Rd.; 763.568.7756 Apple Crisp Henry’s Café Owner Henry Lange likes to put a little twist on his apple crisp at Henry’s Café by making a crust of the oat crumbles on the bottom before he layers on the apples and more crumbles, giving the dessert a nice chewy base. A few of his other favorite desserts for this time of year are a classic bread pudding with his own butter sauce, pumpkin bars and chocolate banana cake. All desserts are made from scratch and availability can vary, but with most priced at $1.50, they’re a steal. 9691 63rd Ave. N.; 763.533.2304 Pumpkin Cheesecake 3 Squares The pumpkin cheesecake ($5) has gotten to be a signature at 3 Squares for this time of year, and chef Trevis Langley says it reappears on the menu annually at the end of October. This dessert is made in an individual-sized circle mold, starting with a layer of graham cracker crust, filled with a layer of classic vanilla cheesecake, and topped with pumpkin meringue that almost has a pumpkin pie filling-like quality. It’s topped with whipped cream. If you go for sweets in the morning, be on the lookout for the pumpkin pancakes, which also return every fall. A stack of four is topped with almond whipped cream and powdered sugar, and comes with a side of bacon or sausage ($11). 12690 Arbor Lakes Pkwy.; 763.425.3330 Bourbon Pecan Pie Houlihan’s Houlihan’s has some spectacular desserts that you won’t want to miss, including a selection of mini-desserts if you’d like to watch your portion size. It hardly gets more fitting for Thanksgiving time than the mini Bourbon Pecan Pie ($3.25), which starts with a homemade pastry crust, filled with a mixture of pecans, corn syrup, bourbon, butter and vanilla. It’s baked until gooey in the center and topped with Cointreau Chantilly cream. The Italian-style Donut Flight ($6.25) is a featured dessert and a top seller. The donuts are similar to a cake donut or a fritter and dusted with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. They come with a Kahlua fudge sauce and white chocolate Bailey’s sauce for dipping. All desserts are made in-house, from scratch, every day. 12725 Elm Creek Blvd N.; 763.494.5380 Pumpkin Muffin Panera Bread The Pumpkin Muffin ($1.89) stays on the menu year-round at Panera, but it’s worth checking back to see what other seasonal treats have been brought on for the season. Items like gingerbread lattes and pumpkin spice lattes are popular holiday-inspired treats and return annually, much to the delight of regular customers. Larger quantities of pastries and cookies can be ordered with a one-day notice. 7778 Main Street N.; 763.416.0436 Chocolate Coffee Shake Potbelly Sandwich Shop It might be cold out, but that’s no reason to stop eating ice cream. The hand-dipped chocolate coffee shake at Potbelly is blended with a hint of coffee and chocolate and garnished with mini butter cookies ($2.80 - $5.60). “My favorite combination is to dip one of our new chocolate brownie cookies in a chocolate coffee shake,” says general manager Chad Pratt. “It’s a perfect treat.” They take great care with the desserts at this location, and it must be working, because it sells more desserts than any other Potbelly location in Minnesota. 12409 Elm Creek Blvd A28; 763.424.3193 Pumpkin Pie Perkins Perkins would love it if you gave fresh-baked gifts to everyone on your list this year. That’s why it’s offering not only the classic pumpkin and pecan pies ($9.99-$12.99) that it is already known for, but a whole slew of celebratory desserts. There’s home-style apple pie ($12.99), chocolate French silk pie ($13.99), and a new Candy Dream pie made with Butterfinger candy pieces. Other gift items might include a tin of mini-muffins or mini-cookies ($9.99). All pies are available by the slice in the restaurant or as a whole pie to go. Be sure to reserve a pie in advance for special days like Thanksgiving. 11801 73rd Ave N.; 763.424.2020
Maple Grove Fall and Winter Desserts
These cold weather comforts have us feeling all warm and fuzzy.