By Meda Kessler
Chefs know exactly what Santa goes through on Christmas Eve: Think massive amounts of prep work and lists to be checked.
Then there’s the need to be jolly when greeting the public; the hopes of making everyone happy when that’s really an impossible task; the realization that some dishes/items will be returned. So who better to ask about which late-night snack they would set out for the big guy in the red suit (or for the moms/dads who tackle last-minute wrapping and assembling chores without breaking a sweat). We prefer plating the nibbles on something unbreakable, so Santa doesn’t have to worry about dropping your heirloom Rosenthal. Using a sleigh instead of fueling up the Gulfstream means he’s probably eco-conscious, too, so he’ll appreciate the sustainability of these bamboo plates.
Hans Peter Muller
Swiss Pastry Shop 3936 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-732-5661
The veteran baker loves the combination of booze and chocolate. His seasonal rum balls are the best of both worlds. And who wouldn’t enjoy them, as they’re made of chocolate cake trimmings, bittersweet chocolate paste, raspberry jam, rum-soaked raisins and rum extract. Then they’re dipped in dark chocolate ganache and rolled in dark chocolate sprinkles. “I figure Santa could use a little nip during a stressful night in the weeds.” Look for limited quantities in the bakery case before Christmas. Follow SPS on social media for alerts. facebook.com/swisspastryshop
TX Brisket Biscuit 2390 Fuller-Wiser Road, Euless, 817-554-2120, txbrisketbiscuit.com
The Grapevine baker founded her take-and-bake company with the goal of creating a biscuit that goes from the freezer to the oven with no muss or fuss. She continues to experiment with flavors, each with its own complementary compound butter. Shelar thinks her Texas-inspired OG is the perfect savory snack for Santa (or anyone): “What’s better than good ol’ smoked Texas brisket on a West Texas buttermilk biscuit?” She betters it herself with a hickory-brown sugar-BBQ butter with a hint of chipotle heat. The biscuits are available full size or as two-bite minis. Shelar opened a Euless storefront in July but also sells select flavors and sizes at The Table in Fort Worth and farmers markets. Check the website for more information.
Leaves Book & Tea Shop 120 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth, 682-233-4832, leavesbookandteashop.com
While coffee, milk, beer and bourbon all were discussed as a liquid refreshment, Howard had the perfect suggestion. “Santa doesn’t need a caffeine jolt, so why not a calming chamomile tea with ginger to keep his stomach calm, too.” It’s made in-house at Leaves and served hot or cold; you also can purchase it by the ounce for home brewing.
Carpenter’s Cafe & Catering 1116 Pennsylvania Ave., Fort Worth, 682-499-8630, carpscafe.net
Rischer-Carpenter is in the throes of redoing her cafe in Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood (close to the hospitals) while still operating her catering business; she knows what stress is. For Santa, Katrina makes her signature bread pudding topped with a rich caramel sauce, chopped pecans and whipped cream. It’s really good warm out of the oven but equally tasty at room temperature, which is important when your guest is a drop-in.
The Bastion 2100 Hemphill St., Fort Worth, 817-913-6972, bastionrestaurant.com
A longtime pastry chef who trained in France and has worked in hotels and restaurants around the globe, Riccetti has made the same trio of snacks for her Santa for more than 20 years. “He’s really fond of my gingerbread cookie, my shortbread sugar cookie with frosting that I only make once a year, and white chocolate mousse tartlets with fresh berries.” And they’re all bite-size to help Santa watch his waistline.