La Madeleine May Be Ubiquitous, But Come Dec. 23 That Might Make The Chain My Best Friend

OK, sure, they’re everywhere. But ubiquity doesn’t disqualify La Madeleine from easing my burden this holiday season. The chain’s patisserie (French bakery) is turning out a broad enough variety of Viennoisere (Viennese yummies) and assorted hostess/office/family-worthy gifts to solve every potential holiday dilemma I tend to encounter.

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For example: If, like me, the $5 cap on the office Secret Santa has you vexed, go with a two-piece truffle box in fudge love and butter toffee — wrapped and ready to go for $3.99

Got a house full of nibblers? Pick up an assortment of mini Buche de Noel, chocolate peppermint mocha parfaits, mini strawberry tarts, and mini gingerbread crème brulees for a mere $1.69 each.

Saddled with the dessert assignment at the potluck? Grab a full-size buche de noel (white cake layered with chocolate mousse and iced with chocolate ganache, $26) or a sacher torte (layers of chocolate cake filled with raspberry jam and enrobed in chocolate ganache $29). Both are available by the slice, so get a little extra for yourself and eat it in the car. No one has to know.

My family loves nuts, so I’d wager that the pecan tart — buttery-smooth with crunchy topping and hand-made, flaky crust — would make me an instant hero for under $20. The strawberry Grand Marnier cake encased in toasted almonds and topped with sweet glazed strawberries and whipped cream, however, would seal the deal for $30.