For many of our friends, when we mention Williams-Sonoma they instantly conjure up images of cookware, cutlery, bakeware and electronics.  Unfortunately, the last time we baked (or even cooked, sigh) seems like it was in the ’90s.  Therefore, a blog post seemed like an odd choice… or was it? While Williams-Sonoma has a lock on top quality products to fill the dream kitchen,  its their easy-to-make mixes, decadent sweets and quick demos that keep us coming back for more.  Add in some guests chefs from our favorite sweet spots – and its a match made in heaven!

Every November, Williams-Sonoma’s Center City store in The Bellevue (Broad and Walnut Streets) debuts a new line of seasonally inspired goodies complimented by a  series of cooking technique demos. Every year, the store fills with classic and trending seasonally-inspired flavors such as pumpkin, peppermint, chocolate, eggnog and more. They take classic recipes that remind us of our childhood and put their own unique spin on them. One of our favorite examples of this was their famous peppermint bark. If you go back  several years, you would find us tasting our very first bark at the Philadelphia-based location. Fast forward to modern times, and they’ve taken this perfect flavor duo to new height with their new Peppermint Crunch Cake.  We spy another example this with the flavor of old-fashioned Snickerdoodles. They’ve taken an understated dessert and made it into a superstar with delicious make-at-home bread mix and a Snickerdoodle frosting.  (And yes, for the record… it is possible that the frosting was eaten before we even fired up the oven. Eh hem, in ALL honesty, the jar of frosting MIGHT not have even survived the trip on the way home….) (Blush)

This year, as a compliment to their sweet offerings, Williams-Sonoma tries to ensure that we have an equally delicious holiday dinner to pair with our favorite course. They offer simple to follow, free cooking demonstrations that are a road map to the perfect holiday feast.  Philly Loves Fun had the pleasure of previewing one of these demos with our readers and media friends. King of the kitchen Jeff Acker walked us through a step-by-step process to making several dishes using ingredients found in the store.  Jeff even introduced us to the mixologists at Restaurant XIX at the Hyatt Bellevue. Together, they armed us with recipes, tips and secrets that would make even our mamma proud.

As we enjoyed Jeff’s wonderful humor and delicious food samples, we spied 2012’s superstar lineup. New (and returning products) that made our “must have list” include Holiday Tree Whoopie PiesAlfajoresEggnog Pancake & Waffle MixPecan Pie In-a-Jar and Gingerbread Spice Quick Bread Mix.

Outside of quality products that meet our seal of approval, and the great demos, Williams-Sonoma brings in guest chefs and bakers to further whet our appetite.

UPCOMING TECHNIQUE CLASSES:

The Side Show
Sunday, November 11 at 11:00am
Monday, November 12 at 6:00pm
While the turkey takes center stage, the side dishes play a strong supporting role and are always a much-anticipated part of the feast. We’ll show you time-saving tips and make-ahead sides, plus hearty vegetarian recipes that can double as a main course. These stellar dishes are so amazing, they just may steal the show!

Pie: The Perfect Ending
Sunday, November 18 at 11:00am
Monday, November 19 at 6:00pm
Learn how to bake pies like a pro. This class will offer step-by-step instructions on making flaky piecrusts from scratch as well as classic seasonal fillings. Learn how to jazz up your favorite pumpkin pie with festive decorations and garnishes, and to bake pies in different shapes. Before you know it, your pies will look as impressive as the ones in food magazines!

UPCOMING GUEST CHEFS AND BAKERS:

Saturday, November 10 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Ms Goody Cupcake from East Passyunk Avenue Demo & Tasting

Saturday, November 24 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Classic Cake Demo and Tasting

Whether you are hosting your first Thanksgiving or your twentieth, Williams-Sonoma will help you whip up a feast to remember.  For spirits cocktails, don’t forget to visit the bar at Restaurant XIX for some of the most unique drinks on the Avenue of the Arts!

For post-Thanksgiving culinary offerings, visit Williams-Sonoma for a list of classes and activities.  Stay tuned to our Philly Loves Fun Facebook page for more photos and news on upcoming contests.

Disclaimer: No compensation was received in exchange for this blog post, with the exception of food and drink samples.  Facebook, Twitter and Google are not affiliated with this giveaway. Data collected will not be shared.

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About Philly Loves Fun

A blog about Philadelphia's fun and unique adventures, arts, events, food and opportunities.

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