By Jose Herrera
Signal Staff Writer
October marks the beginning of the holiday season, with the start of Halloween and spooky parties, which for a lot of people means family and friend gatherings, parties and cooking for these grand events.
However, for people who want to save some time and or just skip the cooking altogether, bakers across the Santa Clarita Valley offer an assortment of desserts that satisfy any sweet tooth this holiday season.
“I feel like it’s good to have an option because candy is something you have every single year,” said Marlene Garcia, co-owner of Dangling Carrot Confections. “Most people have it every day, but I feel like it’s always nice to include something creative, that’s a dessert, that you can eat today or tomorrow. You know, something that’s a little tastier. And maybe a little bit better for you as well.”
Various bakers in the SCV, such as Garcia, are conjuring and mixing their fall- or Halloween-themed desserts. Garcia and co-owner Scott Minner, and their staff, bake brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and other treats and serve drinks.
Each year, they fill their white walls with Halloween décor and create their desserts in spooky fashion.
“We have cake pops (in the shape of) monsters, mummies, the three witches from ‘Hocus Pocus’ and Frankenstein. There’s creativity in what we do, and there’s a lot of time and effort put into these trades. So, the alternative from candy, is that we offer handmade creations.”
October is a busy time for the shop as Halloween approaches and parties pop up throughout the month, she said. October also signals the start of the holiday season for them.
She added, her team at Dangling Carrot Confections do their best to make all their desserts the best they can — from creating their treats from scratch to the final decoration on top.
Then there’s Madison Rose Bakery, owned by Kerry-Ann Miranda, a local bakeshop she describes as a “custom order, luxury-vegan bakery offering a wide variety of vegan and gluten-free options.”
Miranda opened her business in 2015, and in 2016 won Food Networks “Cupcake Wars” with one of her gluten-free cupcakes.
“My children have food allergies,” Miranda said. “My son, Brandon, he’s 12 now, I almost lost him when was about 3 to 4 weeks old. He has food allergies, and I swapped him to a soy formula. Immediately, he went into anaphylactic shock and he couldn’t breathe. It was a life-changing experience.”
“I never wanted to bake,” Miranda said. “I don’t mind cooking, but I would always buy treats (for my family) at the store. But I didn’t want my kids to be sad about not being able to enjoy the treats they wanted to eat.”
She added vegans, and people who eat gluten-free, who come for her recipes, are her heart. She said she creates gluten-free options to help prevent anyone from experiencing a near-death experience as her son did.
Madison Rose Bakery offers cakes, cupcakes, brownies, pies, donuts and more, but order only. The shop does not have a walk-in location, but they are open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30-6:30 p.m. Customers are encouraged to call or place their orders online a month in advance for their festivities.
Agustin Prieto, the owner of California Bakery and Café, also has quite to offer for Halloween parties and upcoming Día de Los Muertos celebrations.
Customers can expect bright orange-colored donuts or deep black-colored donuts laced with web icing for Halloween, some bone-resembling Pan de Muertos, steaming tamales and more from Prieto’s bakery.
“I’m from Chihuahua, so we make our tamales in Chihuahua-style,” Prieto said. “There we wrap them in the corn husk, boil the dough and we fill it in with fresh pork. We’re open for six days, 24 hours and we only close one day of the week to get some rest.”
He added his bakery offers Mexican pastries, such as sweet bread and flan. Community members like to stop by and mix and match donuts and sweet bread in their bundles. California Bakery and Café
“It was something that I like to do, love to do,” Prieto said. “I love to create new stuff, and when the customers like what I produce then it inspires you.”
Prieto mentioned that he’s happy to be reopened because they had to close down for two and a half months. His wife, who has diabetes, asked him, “not risk it” and retire, but instead, they remolded the store and waited until they would reopen safely to the public.
“We love the business. It’s our baby,” Prieto said. “It’s also like our customers. They’re good friends, and many of them are good friends. It’s the involvement that we get to enjoy with the community and customers. Our business is how we mingle with the community and everyone comes over.”