When people think of the holidays, favorite foods tend to circle the mind, and several local and franchised businesses capitalize on that.
Apple Tree Chocolate on Asp Avenue is one of those local businesses, where they are practically filled to the brim with handcrafted holiday sweets, treats and gift sets. Walking into the shop customers will find rows of tables and cabinets full of holiday treats, gift packages and even snowman tins that display the treats held inside.
Holiday spirit isn’t just outside of the display case though. The main attractions can be found behind the glass cases where there are rows and rows of handcrafted chocolates, fudge, peanut brittle, signature caramel apples, truffles, caramel, chocolate turkeys and more. For fudge they have pumpkin praline, peanut butter chocolate, pumpkin spice, pumpkin chocolate swirl, and egg nog.
They also have pumpkin spice truffles, and this is the last month for their pumpkin pie apple.
“Every year we always do some fun offerings with flavors like peppermint. We’ve had peppermint everything — peppermint bark, peppermint fudge and peppermint pretzels,” Scotty Jackson, Apple Tree Chocolate co-owner said.
Owners Scotty and Ashley Jackson have been providing the Norman community with these handcrafted treats for five years. This year they are trying to make it easier for the customer through a holiday catalog, which is available online and in physical form and includes many options for holiday gifts that can be shipped directly to someone.
“When you think about it we have literally tens of thousands of options you could do for a gift basket, and that got overwhelming for the customer and for us,” Scotty Jackson said. “This year we tried to hone it in, so we have several different sized baskets, shipping boxes or just gift boxes that you can choose from.”
They did a hard push for Christmas this year, Ashley Jackson said and have more offerings from other places, but they were vetted for the highest quality. She said Christmas is their biggest month of the year other than February for Valentine’s Day, which is their busiest week of the year.
Hurts Donut Company on Asp Avenue is glazing the holidays into some of their signature donuts. In his green fashion, the Grinch makes an appearance on several donuts, but there are also snowmen, Santa, snow flake, turkey and pumpkin decorated donuts.
Sara Moulsby, franchise co-owner of Hurts Donut Company in Norman and Oklahoma City, said they have holiday shapes too in a snowman, Christmas tree, elf, santa and reindeer. All of the festive donuts will be available through the month of December, she said, and they offer pre-order boxes filled with Christmas donuts as well.
This year they are also providing a Christmas to-go kit in Oklahoma City that includes chocolate, white and red velvet cake donuts, icing and sprinkles for at-home decorating. Moulsby said their four biggest holidays are Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, but they do offer fall sprinkles for the week of Thanksgiving and can accommodate other requests customers think of.
“It’s fun for everyone, kids love it, but adults get a kick out of them as well,” Maulsby said in reference to the festive donuts. “It’s fun to be able to offer a fun food option for people at their Christmas parties.”
With a scoop of holiday cheer, Braum’s annually mixes festive flavors into their signature ice cream, which include egg nog, gingerbread, hot chocolate, peppermint chocolate chip and pumpkin. Amanda Beuchaw, public relations director at Braum’s, said these flavors are available already, and so is their homemade egg nog and apple cider in their Fresh Market.
Specialty breads are also available in the Fresh Market through pumpkin, cranberry and banana nut bread, as well as holiday gift sets with cheese and meat trays or preserves. As well as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, ice cream pies, cinnamon crumb cake, apple cranberry pie and specialty candies.
All holiday items will be sold through Christmas and a little after at Braum’s, but Beuchaw said they stop producing them the week of Christmas.
“We do see an increase in the holiday ice creams, they definitely are a big hit,” Beuchaw said. “We have a lot of people who come in specifically for the egg nog. It’s a huge seller and it will sell very well. Usually it spikes at Thanksgiving and then we will have another spike at Christmas and right after when we are pushing out the final batch.”
Holiday sundaes are also in the mix this year with cinnamon crumb cake and peppermint brownie. Not all Braum’s stores carry these, but the stores with specialty coffee stores also feature their egg nog and pumpkin spice lattes, she said.
Starbucks is also upping its latte game with its own holiday favorites through peppermint mocha, toasted white chocolate mocha, caramel brulee latte, chestnut praline latte and eggnog Latte. To go along with that hot beverage Starbucks is rolling out holiday turkey & stuffing paninis, cranberry bliss bars, sugar plum danishs, snowmen cookies, gingerbread loafs, peppermint brownie cake pops and snowmen cake pops.
Customers hoping to find a nice pairing between their holiday coffee and food can find a “2019 Starbucks holiday coffee and pairings guide.” on the company’s webpage.
Another corporation getting in on the holiday fun is Sonic, which is focusing its festive efforts on bringing back a limited time offer comfort food. Logan McElvany, a brand manager at Sonic, said the 99 cent Fritos chili cheese junior wrap will be available Monday, and has done really well in the past with sales.
“It’s perfect for this time of year going into the holiday seasons as everyone is out and about doing their Christmas shopping and we are all raking up quite a bit of purchases,” McElvany said. “It’s super craveable and very much a comfort food. I think that’s absolutely why for this time of year it hits so perfectly, because it gives you that little bit of food solace from all of the chaos that’s happening around you…”
The wrap will be available all the way into the new year. There are not any holiday flavors coming for ice cream this year, McElvany said, but of course the menu continues to offer any of those ice cream blast needs.
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