Only available in the winter months, the Peppermint Gelato ($12) at Otto is not to be missed. Every spoonful is silky, cooling fresh peppermint to the tongue. The gelato, a creamy shade of white, comes studded with irregular shards of chocolate bits. Some melt at the touch of the tongue, and the other, larger ones linger for a bit longer.
At Buddakan, pastry chef Vera Tong does up the classic Bûche de Noël ($10) in chocolate mousse form. It's whipped and positively buttery with the silky dark chocolate exterior practically melting onto the mousse. Pair with that side scoop of candy cane ice cream, complete with crushed candy chunks with each bite. Festive and elegant.
Remember Andes Mints? Those silky chocolate-mints, each individually wrapped in bright green foil? Li-Lac's French Mint Bars are a fancier version. Made in small batches, the creamy green mint filling sandwiched on both sides with just a slip of dark chocolate. Four squares for $2.75. Pop in your mouth and let it melt.
Dominique Ansel Bakery
Dominique's Kouign Amann and Gâteau Battu may be the stars of the show at his namesake Soho bakery, but don't pass on the ice cream and matching miniature meringue toppings. The meringues are better known as 'Mini Me's', and the crunchy peppermint ones (complete with red sugar) go best with a spicy scoop of ginger ice cream ($4.75, add $1 for meringues).
Peppermint Meringues ($3.75) are sold in sets of four at Épicerie Boulud. The pastel green meringues are piped in tight ribbons and textbook light with a delicate crunch. The peppermint flavor is equally delicate with a clean breezy mint finish. Dip into a cup of hot chocolate (also available at the Épicerie!) for the ultimate afternoon indulgence.
Doughboy Bake Shop
Look out for not one, but two types of peppermint treats at Doughboy Bake Shop. First is a Peppermint Brownie ($3.50, pictured) which comes with peppermint cream layered into every bite; that cream bakes up crisp, but then melts in your mouth. There's also a peppermint cupcake ($3.50), a chocolate cake base stuffed with peppermint cream and minty chocolate frosting, candy cane included.
Doughboy Bake Shop: 535 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 (map); 212-206-8135
Ample Hills Creamery
At Ample Hills Creamery, a double dose of peppermint comes through in each serving of the Peppermint Pattie ($4/scoop). First, a clean hit of the peppermint ice cream, simultaneously cool and rich. Then, the housemade peppermint patties, chopped and folded into the velvety ice cream base. And because chocolate and peppermint go hand in hand, one more swirl of dark chocolate to complete.
Peppermint Patties ($3.50) from Bouchon Bakery are wrapped tight in shiny green foil, then sealed with that signature Bouchon Bakery sticker. Inside, a silky smooth peppermint creme enrobed in dark chocolate. Nibble and savor throughout the day; the creamy peppermint makes for effortless eating, and the small size is a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
They offer over a dozen different lattes ($3.75-$4.75) at the recently opened Vagabond Cafe on Cornelia Street—chocolate chip cookie dough and banana split, among many others. Here's their Peppermint Patty latte which marries equal doses of peppermint and chocolate syrup with a straightforward, well-executed latte.
Fat Witch Bakery
They seem to have a brownie ($2.95) for every holiday and season at Fat Witch Bakery, and the Peppermint one (inspired by the musical Wicked) comes with a sparkly green shower of sprinkles. There are mint-chocolate chips folded into their classic brownie batter, and the chips get all soft and gooey, making for one minty and festive brownie.