We don’t know about you, but we’ve never met a pastry we didn’t like. That’s why we’re thrilled to celebrate National Pastry Day on December 9th. Pastries date back to ancient times: the ancient Egyptians made pastry dough out of grain meal and flour and sweetened it with honey, and the ancient Greeks and Romans made sweets out of paper-thin pastry dough (the predecessor to what we now know as phyllo dough). Pastries traveled to Europein medieval times, where they added fats like butter and shortening to make a sturdier dough. You’ll find pastries in pretty much every culture you can think of, but pastries became incredibly refined in French kitchens during the 18th century. There’s a reason we think of France as the pastry capital of the world. Today there are countless types of pastries out there, and we’ll take one of each, please.
National Pastry Day Activities
1. Go to your neighborhood bakery
No matter whether you live in a tiny, remote town or a huge city, we pretty much guarantee that you won’t have to travel too far to find a delicious bakery. Walk in, don’t you dare think about the word “calories,” and buy as many pastries as your heart desires. You’re supporting a local business, after all.
2. Watch cooking shows
Eat with your eyes and binge-watch a bunch of pastry baking shows. There’s the recent mega-hit “The Great British Bake Off,” or the singular-pastry-focused “Cupcake Wars.” If those aren’t enough to satiate you, try “Ace of Cakes,” “Top Chef: Just Desserts,” or one of our personal favorites: old YouTube footage of Julia Child.
3. Make pastry dough
We know it can be tempting to take a pastry shortcut and buy premade dough from the freezer aisle at the grocery store. But in honor of National Pastry Day, why not try your hand at making pastry dough entirely from scratch? It might not be easy, but it will be extremely rewarding. Plus you’ll get to channel your inner child and sneak bites of the unbaked dough. Set aside an afternoon, throw an apron on, and get to kneading. Just make sure you have plenty of butter on hand.
Mouthwatering Desserts That Will Have You Drooling
It might sound like "bomb baloney," but the similarities end there. This vanilla cream-filled, sugar dusted delicacy is closer to a donut than anything else. I'll take 17.
2. Toasted-Marshmallow Butterscotch Pie
This isn't your ready-in-a-jiffy dessert. Decked out with chocolate, cream, brown sugar, and a WHOLE lot more, this one'll have jaws dropping.
3. Jam-Filled Cronut
Croissant? Donut? We don't even care. We'll go nuts for cronuts any day of the week.
4. Nutella Palmiers
Peanut butter might be more popular, but there's no convincing us that Nutella's not the best spread out there. When combined with pastry? Heaven.
Hold up, croissants — there's another hybrid dessert on the block. After trying one of these gems, there was only one question: why didn't someone think of this sooner?
6. Caramel-Filled Chocolate Munchkins
In case the bombolonis were a bit vanilla for you, we've got something with even MORE decadence. Meet this majesty — they've probably got enough sugar to give an elephant a rush, but who's checking labels?
7. Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
You're probably more familiar with this cupcake's cousin, the snickerdoodle cookie, but it's time to get to know the real star of the family. Snickerdoodle cupcakes are SURE to be a crowdpleaser.
Why We Love National Pastry Day
A. It gives you an excuse to indulge
Carbs, fat, and sugar: they're three things we love, but aren’t necessarily the healthiest foods to put in your body. But hey, if there’s only one day of the year where we get to celebrate all things pastry, bring on the donuts. And croissants. And eclairs. And fruit tarts.
B. It celebrates skill
In the culinary world, becoming a pastry chef is no cake walk (see what we did there?) It takes a ridiculous amount of professional training—baking is, after all, more of an exact science than cooking. There’s a lot of chemistry involved! It’s very easy to screw up a pastry if you don’t get the measurements or temperatures just right. The job also requires a lot of creativity to take the different kinds of pastry dough and make them into a vast variety of desserts. Pastry chefs don’t often get as much acclaim as regular chefs, so we’re glad we can take this holiday to applaud them.
C. It has a savory side
When we say the word “pastry,” we imagine your mind immediately jumps to dough-based sweets. But there are tons of delicious savory pastries out there, too. Think quiches, vegetable tarts, biscuits, and popovers. Yes, that does mean that you can celebrate this holiday by having a pastry for your main course and a pastry for dessert. We won’t tell.