…I’m no stranger to Bouchon or its sister Bakery – I’ve been to each of them at least once and to the Vegas location multiple times on each previous trip. Like my previous stays in Vegas this vacation would be no different – except this time the offerings featured a holiday appropriate theme. Visiting the bakery four times during out five days in Vegas many repeats were ordered and all remained as excellent as prior – the Carrot Cake cookie, the Nutter Butter, the Red Velvet Cupcake, the Pistachio Macaron, and the Pain au Chocolate to name a few. Focusing my own ordering on new items and holiday themed selections I managed to sample six new items during the various visits.
Beginning first with the croissant of the month, December featured Dutch Apple. While I personally feel that “croissant” is a bit of a misnomer for such a dense pastry, the dough was unmistakably the same – the difference was the presentation. Essentially a hemi-sected butter croissant topped with cinnamon roasted apples and buttery strudel topping the flavor was that of apple crisp in a warm and portable form.
Moving on to the holiday items, my first would be the Christmas Tree TKO. For those unfamiliar with Keller’s famous take on the Oreo, the recipe is out there and the cookie is divine. This time cut into the shape of a Christmas tree and filled with a mint chocolate cream I personally fancy the original more so as I find mint to be overpowering. On the contrary, however, my mother loved this cookie and ended up with two in her luggage in addition to the two she ate while in Vegas.
Another holiday special featured a frosted shortbread snowflake. At a cost of $4.50 the palm-sized cookie likely weighed in at nearly 8 ounces and if I had to guess the cost was almost entirely based on the full stick of butter included. Dense and crisp, the cookie quite literally melted in the mouth leaving behind a sweet buttery memory. Not for the faint of heart (or high in cholesterol) a single cookie was almost “too much,” but thankfully there was a group of four to split the pair we ordered.
The gingerbread man (and accompanying woman) were a bit of a letdown in my personal opinion. Lightly frosted and quite thin the cookies were hefty in cinnamon and sweetness, but rather lacking in the characteristic gingerbread flavor.
A fan of all things mint and equally of macarons, the Peppermint Macaron was a no-brainer for my mother. For those unfamiliar with Bouchon’s style of Macaron, they are approximately the size of an adult male palm and when fresh they are every bit on par with the best I’ve tasted in the United States. A shining example, the peppermint variation featured the characteristic crackling shell which gave way to the soft and supple cookie within. Filled with a cocoa accented peppermint ganache I know some folks contest that Bouchon’s macarons are too sweet and while I’ll fully admit this was the sweetest I’ve tasted, the flavor was akin to a York Peppermint Patty in cookie form – it was delicious.
The final selection of our visits to Bouchon Bakery would be the Chocolate Bouche de Noel. Served as a 1.5 inch thick slice of the “log” and garnished with meringue mushrooms and cocoa covered almond stones, the chocolate Génoise was rolled and frosted with chocolate buttercream and lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar snow. Dense and filling I was glad I ordered coffee with the cake while my companions contested this was the sort of dish best enjoyed with milk.
Rarely one to revisit the same spot multiple times at all let alone on the same visit I will continue to frequent Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery whenever I have the chance – like when I visited the Beverly Hills location on December 22nd and the Vegas location for Christmas brunch.