Mrs. Prindable's is most renowned for the massive apples liberally spackled in sugary wonder (starting at $22.95). From a giant dark-chocolate-and-cashew-covered Granny Smith to milk-chocolate pecan, the 1.5-pound treats can happily serve eight to ten people. The apples are available in eight signature flavors. For those seeking pure sugar satisfaction, Mrs. Prindable's also offers gourmet caramels ($8.95 for a 4.5-oz gift bag), chocolate-covered pretzels ($5.95 for two pieces), and milk- and dark-chocolate jumbo nut clusters (six for $23.95). Instead of passively waiting around for the Easter lagomorph to strike, be proactive in quenching cravings with a gift basket ($49.95–$199.95) elegantly wrapped in Mrs. Prindable's regal purple ribbon. Choose your own message for $49.95. The Illinois-based company features speedy second-day shipping, or schedule the delivery up to 90 days in advance.
With more than 50 years under its belt, Minelli Meat and Deli constructs hearty sandwiches and complements savory bites with traditional Italian pastries for dessert. The deli counter flaunts large helpings of italian sausage ($3.79/lb.) and italian roast beef ($8.99/lb.) for patrons to take home and share with their families and displaced sasquatches. A fresh meatball sandwich ($5.50) harmonizes well with homemade soup ($2.99). Sub sandwiches can be stuffed with specialty prosciutto, genoa salami, corned beef, and various sliced cheeses (5" for $4). Homespun sweets such as cannoli, cream puffs, and cookies adequately prep sugar testers for midnight chess battles with the Sugar Plum Fairy ($1.50+).
Via Gelato & Café’s owners, Ron and Denise Dean, spent three years mastering the art of making of authentic Italian gelato with all natural ingredients, hormone-free milk, and seasonal fruits. Gaze into their artful gelato case at the vibrant colors of at least 24 flavors, all of which are made daily. Request a sample of the signature Ferrero Rocher, which is infused with morsels of hazelnut and milk chocolate. Or, relish a seasonal flavor, such as biscotti or upcoming fall flavors like cinnamon apple pie or pumpkin cheesecake. Sorbetto selections (such as champagne lemon) are blasted with fresh fruit and made with water rather than milk, making them lighter and more aerodynamic during high-speed Segway chases. Both gelato and sorbetto cost $3.50 for a small serving.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies by Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom, hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are more than 200 Cookies by Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
Cookies in Bloom's dedicated bakers craft daily batches of preservative-free cookies from scratch, often hand-decorating them with thick buttercream frosting. The treat-forgers create more than 300 different shapes of cookies in flavors that include chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter. The shop‘s thematic gift packages laud anniversaries, teachers, birthdays, and congratulations, and brownies and cookie cakes secure givers a special place in recipients' hearts or in the line at the DMV. Each sweet treat can arrive on doorsteps across the country packaged safely and with a crumble-free guarantee.
Everything about Eggsperience Pancakes & Cafe is bright, warm, and sunny. Natural light floods the restaurant's eight locations, which sprinkle across Chicago and its suburbs like powdered sugar over a slice of french toast. Orange and yellow walls surround every dining room, and some locations have fireplaces, which make ideal places to sip Ghirardelli hot chocolate or espresso beverages. Even the food is colorful. Fresh fruits—either in solid or juice form—complement dishes such as the Mediterranean omelette, baked in the French style and filled with a vibrant medley of spinach, tomatoes, olives, and imported feta cheese.
Those omelettes, like what most of what comes from Eggsperience's kitchen, start with grade-AA, farm-fresh eggs. The chefs work magic with those eggs, whipping them into frittatas and poaching them for five different "Eggsquisite Benedicts." They also use them to create their signature pancake batter, but in this case, eggs are only the beginning. Strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits mix into the pancakes.
The creativity shown with those pancakes and egg dishes extends to dozens of other breakfast items, and diners could spend countless mornings at Eggsperience without boring their taste buds. The chefs don't stop at breakfast, either. They simply transition to lunch, when they grill Cajun avocado burgers and pair gourmet chicken-salad sandwiches with a soup of the day.