Everyone dons a grin when they first notice pumpkin treats popping up around town. Pumpkin, in all its colorful vibrancy, aroma and distinctive flavor, grabs us and signals that fall is here or on its way. Here are five locations in the North Bay to savor delicious pumpkin treats.
404-A Mendocino Ave,
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Sift Cupcakes means distinctive cupcakes and delightful desserts. While Sift mainly bakes its signature cupcakes, other goodies like whoopie cookies, French macarons, ice cream sandwiches (known as Sammys) and a salted caramel crispy cake are here too. Joining this delicious group in October at the Sonoma locations are the pumpkin treats: Pun’kin, a pumpkin pie topped with spiced mousse frosting ($3), and a pumpkin French macaron filled with a pumpkin ganache filling ($1.90). See additional locations at the website.
Christine’s Upper Crust Pies
1133 Francisco Blvd., Suite H
San Rafael, CA 94901
Christine’s Upper Crust Pies has been making, baking and delivering freshly baked pies all over the Bay Area, including the North Bay, to markets, restaurants, caterers and other retailers since 1988. The pies are baked from scratch in small batches, using no preservatives or artificial flavors or fillers and come in two sizes. Prices vary depending on filling flavors and from market to market. Near the end of September, the bakery starts baking its traditional pumpkin pies. As an alternative to the traditional pie, Christine’s Upper Crust also offers its famous amaretto pumpkin pie made in a flaky pastry that has ground almonds added. The pumpkin filling has a hint of almond flavor plus a spoonful of amaretto liquor added on top as soon as the pie comes out of the oven. Retail locations in Marin County include Andy’s Market, Fairfax IGA Market, Mollie Stone Markets and Whole Foods Markets. In Sonoma County, locations include Big John’s Market, Glen Ellen Village Market, Petaluma Market and Sunshine Foods. Visit the website to learn more about the bakery and additional retail locations.
Three Twins Ice Cream
641 Del Ganado Road
San Rafael, CA 94903
Three Twins Ice Cream is an all-organic yet classic treat that combines the delicious, creamy ice cream you love in both classic and whimsical flavors with surprising twists that make them Three Twins’ own. This gem of a “green” business follows its passion to make what just may be the best ice cream you have ever tasted. In late October to early November, Three Twins introduces its seasonal pumpkin pie flavor. Visit the website for complete information, additional scoop shops and retail locations where Three Twins products are sold.
Related: Best Pumpkin Dishes In San Francisco
2360 Sonoma Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
Just say “See’s Candies” to the locals and watch the smiles form. A California original, See’s Candies is known for its consistently top-quality chocolates sold in sparkling clean, cool black and white shops by counter ladies wearing white and black uniforms and neat little hats, although these days counter men in white may serve you as well. In addition to the enormous selection of milk and dark chocolate candies with a fabulous array of fillings and flavors enticingly displayed under glass like gems in a museum, See’s also offers other treats along with its much-anticipated holiday candies that emerge to customer grins of recognition each year. Two such holiday favorites are reintroduced each fall, when pumpkin pie truffles and pumpkin spice lollipops hit the aromatic shops. Check the website for additional North Bay locations.
1367 Main St.
Saint Helena, CA 94574
Woodhouse Chocolate defines itself as “an intimate family business that requires the strengths of three generations of the Anderson/Wood family.” It is definitely doing everything right, as the luscious results are what separate Woodhouse from many other chocolatiers. The shop’s large fan base adores the clean and classy chocolate shop, with lovely molded milk and dark chocolates and a wide array of choices, including seasonal pieces and distinctive hot cocoa mixes too. Woodhouse Chocolate will introduce its new limited-edition Halloween chocolate this year, with a pretty piece named pumpkin pie – a white chocolate ganache with organic pumpkin, fresh ginger and spice. The shop also offers its seasonal chocolate pumpkins that look amazing and taste even better. The various pumpkin shapes made for Halloween include extra small pumpkins, jack ‘o lantern, harvest pumpkin, pilgrim pumpkin, pumpkin headed man, caramel mousse mini pumpkins and caramel apple Halloween truffles. Visit the website for photos and additional information.
Related: Holiday Recipes From Peninsula Chefs
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Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.