Leave the holiday cookie baking to the professionals.


At cheery Sun Street Breads, baker/co-owner Solveig Tofte dives deep into yuletide baking. Picking a favorite isn’t easy, what with ginger-seasoned thumbprints filled with rich chocolate ganache, buttery cornmeal cookies finished with chocolate and almonds, crisp gingerbread guys and gals and crumbly, toffee-packed tea cakes. But the top pick just might be the $6 bags of tender, bite-size Pfeffernüsse, dusted with powdered sugar and perfumed with orange zest and Minnesota honey.

4600 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3414, sunstreetbreads.com


Patisserie 46 baker/owner John Kraus makes the holidays special in countless ways, starting with his exceptional confectionary skills. But he’s no slouch in the cookie baking department, either. Along with delicate, star-shaped Zimtsterne (with their memorable almond- and cinnamon-laced bite), Kraus shows off his considerable cookie-cutter skills with a knockout of a Linzer sandwich cookie, a splurge worthy of its $3 price tag.

4552 Grand Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-3257, patisserie46.com


Yes, that’s a sugar cookie in the shape of a Dala horse in the case at the Swedish Crown Bakery. Baker/co-owner Eva Sabet also prepares polar bear and Christmas tree cutouts, plus hazelnut-rich candy cane-like cookies, traditional Swedish ginger snaps (decorated and plain) and dainty spritz. A cookie-centric December is a new holiday tradition for Sabet, a native of Malmo, Sweden. “It’s funny, but we don’t really have cookies for Christmas in Sweden,” she said. “If you went to someone’s home, there would be fudge, and mints, and chocolates, so many candies. It’s endless, really.”

530 W. Main St., Anoka, 763-427-0506, swedishcrownbakery.com