Bang Bang Pie Shop's sweet potato pie (Lenny Gilmore )
Surviving this year's holiday party season will require more than just a few ugly sweaters. You'll need cookies. And chocolate. And probably pie.
Don't have time to lovingly bake your own bundt cake (or just don't want to)? Take one of these seasonal sweets to your next office potluck, family dinner or get-together with friends.
Eggnog cream pie
Bang Bang Pie Shop
2051 N. California Ave.
Bring it because: This candy cane-garnished pie ($24) is based on a recipe from chef/co-owner Megan Miller's great-grandmother, a former restaurateur and piemaker. Miller—who previously sold her old-fashioned pies via food truck—also offers sweet potato pie and a gingerbread custard pie topped with marshmallow whipped cream (both $22).
Ordering info: The Logan Square shop doesn't open until January, but customers can order holiday pies (and arrange pick-up times) at bangbangpies.com. Allow at least two days.
Hanukkah shortbread cookies
108 N. State St. (Block 37, 1st Floor) 312-346-7777
Bring them because: Bags of lemon shortbread cookies ($7), dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with blue nonpareils, make a stellar Hanukkah host or hostess gift. Magnolia also sells a peppermint-infused version of its retro icebox cake with layers of chocolate wafers and whipped cream ($26).
Ordering info: Call the bakery to reserve. Hanukkah items will be sold in-store on Dec. 16 but can be ordered early; peppermint icebox cakes are currently available but often sell out.
Grange Hall Burger Bar
844 W. Randolph St. 312-491-0844
Bring it because: The party-ready pie ($18) comes with a container of fresh whipped cream topping and napkin-wrapped disposable utensils tied with string. Locavores will also appreciate the pie's all-natural ingredients, which include farm-fresh eggs from Michigan.
Ordering info: A few may be available at the West Loop eatery, but Lee advises ordering a day in advance at grangehallburgerbar.com.
Mini mincemeat pies
Pleasant House Bakery
964 W 31st St. 773-523-7437
Bring them because: The Bridgeport bakery recently whipped up these hors d'oeuvre-sized mincemeat pies for the British Consulate-General, and you can also order them for upcoming events. Owners (and spouses) Art Jackson and Chelsea Kalberloh Jackson's party-friendly mincemeat pies, made with dried fruits and nuts, are $4 each with a minimum order of 12.
Ordering info: Call the bakery to order; 48-hour advance notice is recommended.
Chocolate buche de noel
Toni Patisserie & Cafe
65 E. Washington St. 312-726-2020
Bring it because: Chocoholics will flip over this rich take on the traditional yule log cake ($35 to serve 6-8; $57 to serve 12-14), made of Belgian chocolate mousse rolled with vanilla cake, coated with dark chocolate ganache and decorated with chocolate curls.
Ordering info: Call 312-726-2020; allow 24 hours.
Holiday cookie boxes
4917 N. Lincoln Ave. 312-285-5055
Bring it because: You can box up pre-packaged bags of mini-cookies or create your own combo with festive flavors such as eggnog and butterscotch pecan ($20 for a box with three one-dozen bags).
Ordering info: Call the bakery to pre-order; owner Hilary Black also says she will have plenty on hand at her Lincoln Square store.