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Dining in Disneyland: New Holiday Desserts at Disney California Adventure!

I know I am not alone in believing that there is nothing like a visit to the Disneyland Resort during the holiday season.

Their spectacular decor adorns every nook and cranny of the parks. The sights, the scents, the holiday cheer; it’s really an amazing experience. The Disneyland Resort goes above transforming both parks into “The Merriest Place on Earth.”  They transform everything from Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the menu boards at many of their eateries.

Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle

This year, I had the pleasure of meeting two very special people that help create the magic that happens on those menu boards.  Karlos Siqueiros & Mechelle Miller both play important roles in Disney Food & Beverage Concept Development.  This past Saturday night, I attended a special event (courtesy of Disney) that showcased their latest holiday delights.

Karlos & Mechelle from Food & Beverage Development

After enjoying an amazing dinner, fun activities, and special photo opportunities, Karlos & Mechelle took the stage with Chef Goofy to share the Resort’s special holiday dessert menu items.

Holiday Chef Goofy

Brand New Holiday Desserts to Be Revealed at Disney California Adventure Restaurants

Although I know both Anaheim resorts offer special holiday menu items, these particular goodies are brand new to the parks and are only available at California Adventure.

The presentation was creative and fun, and as each item was described Cast Members dressed in their holiday best pranced out to show off each dish.

Almond Cookie Sandwich Presentation

When the dessert “show” was over, we turned around to find that some Disney Magic had taken place behind our backs and a beautiful buffet featuring all of the presented dishes had been set up! I decided an organized right-to-left situation was necessary so I wouldn’t miss anything…

Homemade Almond Cookie Sandwich with Strawberry Creme

First up was the Homemade Almond Cookie Sandwich with Strawberry Creme from the Lucky Fortune Cookery.

Normally I’m not a strawberry fan unless it’s straight-up fresh strawberries, so I didn’t think I was going to love this dessert as a whole. However, I was completely surprised to find that it was actually one of my favorites!

The cookies were not typical “crumby” almond cookies; they were smooth and soft in texture and the strawberry creme was not overly sweet — much more of a natural fruit flavor.

Full Sized Homemade Almond Cookie Sandwich with Strawberry Creme from Lucky Fortune Cookery

Sample Sized Homemade Almond Cookie Sandwich with Strawberry Creme

Mango Parfait

Next up was the Mango Parfait, also from Lucky Fortune Cookery. This dessert was not my favorite, but it was still pretty tasty.

This consists of a layered parfait topped with toasted coconut and garnished with a fortune cookie. The dessert is smooth and creamy; I really enjoyed the top two layers, which were a custard and fruit type compote. But the third layer is where it went wrong for my personal taste. It was a little too tart for my liking, like tart yogurt, which is why I wasn’t a huge fan. I definitely prefer sweet yogurt to tart.

Full Sized Mango Parfaits from Lucky Fortune Cookery

I did talk to a friend who enjoys tart yogurt and this was one of her favorite items of the night; so if you’re a fan of tart, this one’s for you. Also, a quick tip, the Mango Parfait is available in a Gluten-Free version. So if you have special dietary needs or know someone who does, add this treat to the list of must-eats!

Mini Sampler Mango Parfaits from Lucky Fortune Cookery

Sourdough Bread Display

The center of the table was adorned with a bountiful sourdough bread display from the Pacific Wharf Cafe.

The talented bakers over there have created so many fun loaves, you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for any holiday party you attend. From turkeys to snowmen, candy canes, and even bouquets of baguettes, your hostess gift of a holiday loaf would definitely get you invited back again next year!

Pacific Wharf Cafe Sourdough Holiday Bread Basket

Sourdough Turkey

Sourdough Candy Canes

I didn’t sample any of the breads, but I did see lots of children carting them around while digging into them. They appeared soft and fresh, and brought smiles to everyone’s faces.  Oh and don’t forget you can also pick up Mickey Face Sourdough Loaves from Pacific Wharf Cafe!

Snowman Sourdough Loaf

White Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding

Next up, we have what I think was my favorite item of the night. I am a huge bread pudding fan, so when I saw the Warm San Francisco White Chocolate & Cranberry Bread Pudding, I got pretty excited.

The bread pudding can be purchased at Pacific Wharf Cafe. It’s served warm and moist, with a hint of cranberry that adds a sweet tartness to the dish. The melted white chocolate bits were hard to notice, very subtle, but this was a perfect way to sneak in a little chocolate without being overwhelming.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Bread Pudding from Pacific Wharf Cafe

Topped with vanilla sauce, this dessert is really one that I wish was not seasonal. I will be making sure to visit Pacific Wharf to get some more of this before it’s gone for the season.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Bread Pudding Close Up

Dulce de Leche Nachos with Fruit Topping

After the bread pudding, I moved on to another favorite: Sweet Dulce de Leche Nachos with Fruit Topping from Cocina Cucamonga.

I was so surprised by this dish, it was super simple and super tasty. Crisp, cinnamon-coated “chips” were drizzled with caramel and smothered in strawberry topping. All of this was finished off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sweet Dulce de Leche Dessert Nachos with Fruit Topping from Cocina Cucamonga

This dish was delish and easy to eat. A great combination of textures and flavors, I found the “nachos” to be a hit with both the kids and adults in the room.

Dulce de Leche Dessert Nachos Close Up

Holiday Brownie Skewers

The final dessert item of the night were the Holiday Brownie Skewers from Paradise Garden Grill, which I’d had before — minus the festive holiday sprinkles.

Holiday Brownie Skewers from Paradise Garden Grill

These were also a huge hit, especially since there was a “make your own skewers” table set up. The kids were having a blast creating their own version of the skewers.

Full Size Holiday Brownie Skewers

When you place an order for these at Paradise Garden Grill for these, they include moist brownie cubes, marshmallows, and strawberries skewered to perfection, then topped with caramel, chocolate and now holiday sprinkles! This is one of my family’s favorite desserts at California Adventure.  It’s delicious and the portion is great for sharing.

Sample Sized Holiday Brownie Skewers

All in all, you can see that there are some wonderful new holiday offerings this year at the Disneyland Resort.  There’s something for everyone, now you just need to decide which one to try first!

I’m sure Chef Goofy would like you to try them all, so get yourself over to California Adventure and enjoy!

Have you tried any of the new dessert offerings at California Adventure? Do you have  a favorite?  Or which ones are you most looking forward to trying out?

Thanks to Disneyland for the invitation to this great event! Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

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8 Comments

  1. Kat says:

    All the dishes look amazing! I wish they would offered the Almond Cookie Sandwich with Strawberry Creme in Disney World.

  2. Tom Bricker says:

    Awesome! We tried about 20 Christmas desserts at Disneyland the past few days. Our waistlines didn’t appreciate it too much, but our taste buds were quite pleased!

    Were you at the media event on Friday during the day, as well?

  3. Miranda says:

    Oooh! I wish I was going to Disneyland this Christmas! They all look so tempting!

  4. AJ says:

    Kat — Me, too! Doesn’t that look delish!

    Tom — Ha ha! I can’t wait to see your photos! Not sure if Heather was at the event during the day or not…

    Miranda — You and me, both! I had to cancel my trip; I really regret it! Thank goodness Heather’s there to capture it!

  5. Noone says:

    Trying to manage expectations: are all of these available in the parks already?

  6. Heather Sievers says:

    @Kat – It’s so yummy! You’d love it!

    @Tom – No, I got there at 1:00 on Saturday and participated in the events from 1:00 on.

    @Miranda – Come on out!

    @Noone – All of the items are currently available at California Adventure.

  7. Kristen says:

    What the…nom nom nom. Why was I not invited to this?! It looks like heaven! My two favorite things: sourdough bread & sweets!

  8. Heather says:

    OH boy I’m so excited to get to DL!

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