The sweetest gift ever

By Jessica Schein

For a sliver of the good old days brought right to your doorstep, turn to Grand Traverse Pie Company. Mario Batali happens to be "hooked on" these pies made in Michigan and we are too. For a taste of the tart, pucker up to the cherry ganache pie; made entirely in house with the Great Lake region’s own cherries, its flaky crust holds together a fruity center topped with a delectable layer of savory, rich chocolate. If such sweetness isn't your thing, consider the Northport pumpkin pie, voted number one of its kind by The Detroit News and described by Country Living Magazine as having a “dense, mousse-like texture and a crust detail that won our hearts.” We couldn’t have said it better—or had enough, which is why you should heed mom’s mealtime advice from childhood: Make sure to save room for dessert, especially if there’s a Grand Traverse Company pie in your holiday future.

Oh gosh, ganache! A step-by-step how to (adapted from

1. Chop 9 oz of bittersweet chocolate into very small bits and put them to the side in a medium bowl.
2. Bring one cup of heavy cream just to a boil in a medium saucepan. Watch it carefully so that it doesn’t boil for more than a few seconds, or else it will go over the sides.
3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and stir together.
4. Let the ganache cool some before adding it to your dessert of choice.