January is ending soon, but to those in the Asian diaspora who celebrate Lunar New Year, the festive mood has just begun. Known by many names, Tết in Vietnam, Chunjie in China, Solnal in Korea or Losar in Tibet, Lunar New Year is one of the biggest annual holidays, when families gather and feast on a wide spread of dishes (before Covid.)
Even though this year’s celebration is quieter, we can still enjoy ourselves. Let’s welcome the year of the ox with these dessert boxes. Their East-meets-West flavors will lift your spirits whenever your sweet cravings strike. They make beautiful gifts for family and friends too.
Owned by husband-and-wife duo Bruce Lee and Stephanie Duong, Roselle is a famous name among dessert lovers in Toronto.
After graduating from the Culinary Arts program at George Brown College, the couple travelled in Europe and worked in prominent pastry kitchens there. With these years of experience under their belt, they opened Roselle in the Corktown neighborhood in 2015. The bakery is known for its handcrafted French-inspired pastries blended with local influence.
Their Lunar New Year Cookie box includes different types of cookies with various flavors, such as oolong, earl grey and coconut. You can find cashew brittles and caramels, common treats in Lunar New Year’s snack platters, too.
A small tin costs $40, while a large one sets you back $50. These cookies sell out fast, so make sure you order when the website opens!
The Social Blend is a café with industrial décor in midtown Toronto, founded in 2019 by three university friends (also coffee enthusiasts) who met in college. It serves ethically sourced coffee beans roasted by Hatch and Korean-inspired macarons.
Their pastries are Instagrammable, with their plump filling sandwiched between two layers of bright macaron shells. These are definitely chunkier than the original French version. You can find a wide variety of flavors that rotate monthly, ranging from peanut butter, matcha to black sesame and red bean.
The Social Blend’s Lunar New Year edition offers nine macarons in nine flavors for $40. You can pre-order now on the website and pick up or have it delivered from February 11 to February 17.
Taiwan-based Hazukido is the newest kid to the Canadian fancy croissant scene. Its store at Toronto’s Bay-Dundas intersection, opened during the pandemic, is its first foray into North America.
The bakery incorporates East Asian flavors with French-pastry techniques to come up with 14 varieties. Their prices range from $3 to $5.5. You can find basic plain-vanilla croissants with custard or more unusual ones, such as salted egg yolk. There are truffle-crab and butter-garlic flavors for those who want to enjoy these buttery pastries with a savory touch. Drink options include hot and cold coffees, as well as bubble teas. Hazukido’s Lunar New Year Box costs $26 for six croissants in six different flavors (honeycomb, deluxe chicken, smoked cheese chicken and three surprise flavors.) You can pre-order now and pick up at the store or have it delivered.
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