It's that time of year when we start thinking about what to give our neighbors and friends for Christmas. It's easy for us; we just send our kids an Amazon card via Punch Bowl Greeting Cards. And, of course, in January 2018 we'll be going back to the States for the "twins" -- both our daughter-in-laws are pregnant and due at the same time. We thought it was so kind of them to coordinate that for us!
But what about our friends in Cuenca, what do we give them? We have our guards and their families; our friends; our pastor and our goddaughter and her boyfriend, and the list goes on. Well, in the past I made my own cookies, but I found a better way! AbueSofi is a new pasteleria (bakery) that I found near Supermaxi (Don Bosco). It's two blocks east (going toward Mall del Rio), turn left on Av. Francisco de Orellana (past the Condominiums Yanuncay) and you'll see AbueSofi on the right. Juan Pablo is the owner and he makes a variety of cookies every day (chocolate chip, banana chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, lemon, oatmeal -- to name a few). The thing is they don't taste like your average cookie from the bakery; they taste like they're from your mom's kitchen! He also makes brownie bites (my personal favorite), cakes, and sugar cookies. These are no ordinary sugar cookies; they come individually wrapped or you can order them by the dozen and the recipe is like my mom's recipe.
Juan Pablo is also available for your catering needs; he makes bocaditos (appetizers) and my personal favorite is his cheese cracker/biscuits with herbs that are perfect for a cheese platter.
His prices are also amazing! Twelve of his specialty cookies are 12 for a dollar. Oh, did I mention he makes scones (chocolate chip, strawberry, and berry). I don't know of any place in Cuenca that sells scones. They're 40 cents a piece or five for $2.00. Recently, I ordered cookies for a women's event and they flew off the plates; they're that good!
For a box of two-dozen sugar cookies (decorated), it's $10.00 or 40 cents a piece (cheaper by the dozen!) or you can buy them individually wrapped for 50 cents. In fact, we just might decorate our Christmas tree with cookies this year.
Finally, after seven years, we found someone who makes cookies that taste better than homemade. Juan Pablo lived in the States for a number of years and so all of his recipes are American (I could taste the difference immediately).
He makes sandwiches as well, including chicken salad sandwiches. Your holiday entertaining just got easier. Call Juan Pablo with your orders and they can be delivered to your home.
Here's Juan Pablo's information:
Juan Pablo speaks perfect English and he answers his emails every day (seven days a week).
And if you have a real sweet tooth, then you can combine cookies and candy. At MercArt, I met Gaby Ordoñez who has a dulceria. I'm a See's Candy lover and I have to say that she's my new See's Candy source in Cuenca. She makes candy for all occasions (especially weddings). She makes a chocolate heart filled with peanut butter; Nutella squares; toffee and chocolate crunch (vanilla and chocolate) and peanut butter crunch. My absolute favorite is maracuya and coconut. The smaller candies are 3 for a $1.00 and the larger ones are $1.00 a piece. The chocolates are individually wrapped in specialty wrappers (all different), so they look sensational in a box with a clear lid and tied with ribbon. Gaby also speaks perfect English.
Here's Gaby's information:
Agustin Cueva 8-57
There you have it; your Christmas shopping is complete. Now that Cuenca has blueberries, homemade sugar cookies, and "See's Candy"; I don't feel the need to leave Cuenca (except to see our kids, grandkids and my parents).
Life just got a little easier and whole lot sweeter in Cuenca!
Until next time...hasta luego!