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Best of bakeries holiday treats 

Part II: Leo's Bakery and Scratch Bakeshop

What are Rochester bakeries doing that's special for the holidays? We asked the four winners of our 2018 Best of Rochester reader's poll that question, and last week we spotlighted the seasonal treats offered by two of them. Here's the second of our two-part series, focusing on runners-up Leo's Bakery and Deli and Scratch Bakeshop. Read on to learn about their offerings, customer favorites, and how to order on time.

LEO'S BAKERY AND DELI

101 Despatch Drive, East Rochester. 249-1000; leoselite.com

Holiday-specific offerings: Butter cookies ($10.95 per pound), fruitcake, fruit stollen, and anise-flavored Christmas cut-out cookies. The shop also sells cookies, candies, and breads, oils, and other goods imported from Italy.

Most popular holiday items: The anise cut-out cookies. "That's the bakery's recipe from the olden days," says Leo's general manager Sam DiPerna. "We get phone calls from as far as Georgia or Florida from people asking us to ship them anise cut-outs each year."

Holiday treats for dietary needs: None.

Custom holiday orders: Cookie trays, custom cakes, cannoli, and Yule log cakes. And you can also order cold-cut or sub platters for your holiday parties, from the deli side of the business.

Ordering deadlines and guidelines: Last day to place holiday orders is Saturday, December 22. Then it's first-come, first-serve with pre-made goodies, but there's always plenty for everyone, DiPerna says.

SCRATCH BAKESHOP

41 Russell Street. 360-4844; scratchbakeshoproc.com

Holiday-specific offerings: "For the holidays we're offering our usual menu plus a larger variety of iced shortbread cookies," says Scratch Bakeshop co-owner Kate Cassels. Shapes include snowflakes, snowmen, Stars of David, and winter hats and mittens. These come as both traditional cookies ($2.50 each) and in vegan and gluten-free options ($3 each), and are available in the pastry case daily and for custom order. "We also make holiday cutout cookie place cards, which are a fun addition to your holiday dinner," Cassels says.

Holiday treats for dietary needs: Vegan and allergen-free options are available.

Custom holiday orders: Scratch accepts custom orders for all types of desserts, including cookies, cakes, and pies (at least one week's notice is required on all custom orders).

Ordering deadlines and guidelines: The shop will be closed on Wednesday, December 26.

<Special events: Scratch will host local pop-up shops every weekend throughout the month of December featuring small businesses, including Chara Dow Rustic Works and The House of Roushey. Visit Scratch Bakeshop on social media for details.

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