Experts on The Food Network have noted that the modern and fast-paced world where the phrase "killing two birds with one stone" has trickled into nearly every area of life. "Believe it or not, it applies to a trend showing up on the restaurant scene, too," Food Network contributor Carlynn Woolsey wrote. "Chefs nationwide are combining desserts and drinks to make for some super special — and convenient — creations."
And, that's what Cymande Hagans has done for patrons of Baltimore's Christmas Village.
She is inviting all to "come taste temptation" at her Cynful Bliss stand at West Shore Park, that's now a traditional indoor and outdoor German Christmas Market.
"It's cold, but we are enjoying Christmas Village in Baltimore," said Hagans, the founder of Cynful Bliss, an online boutique and mobile baker specializing in alcohol-infused cupcakes, cakes, candies and other desserts. "We also offer traditional non-alcoholic dessert options for any occasion."
However, what’s making the mouths of customers water are Cynful Bliss Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake, Cynful Colada, and Chocolate Covered Cherry. Also appealing are her creations: Greed, a peach cobbler mixed with peach brandy; Envy, a red velvet cake with rumchata; Gluttony, a chocolate cake with Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey's; and Lust, a raspberry cheesecake with white chocolate liqueur.
"It's all a little naughty and taste so good," Hagans said. "We have something for everyone. This is the first year at Christmas Village in Baltimore; we were at Christmas Village in Philadelphia last year, but after doing some wine festivals here, we decided to come to Christmas Village."
When Christmas Village closes in December, the delicious desserts won't. Cynful Bliss will continue to take orders on their website, at www.cynfulbliss.com. Hagans says the company allows customers to "get blissed" with services that cater to weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, and even fundraising events.
"We can come up with the perfect item to sweeten any occasion, including at schools, clubs, and for groups and organizations," Hagans said. "It's always great watching people enjoy our desserts for the first time. Our flavors aren't too overpowering."
Hagan and her Cynful Bliss will remain at Christmas Village through the closing date of Christmas Eve.
This year, Christmas Village has a remodeled and expanded layout, with a new and expanded open floor plan for the stage, added decorations and space for the Christmas Village Beer Garden, a brand new centerpiece in the middle of the wooden shopping huts, an expanded outdoor food and drink area, a new kids' corner, and the addition of a second circle of wooden shopping huts.
The 65 feet tall Christmas Village Ferris Wheel returned next to the Visitor Center. Like last year, its colorful lights will shine bright throughout the whole Inner Harbor. The Christmas Village Christmas Tree will again light up at the Inner Harbor Ice Rink, which is sponsored by Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Fund, this year.
In partnership with Waterfront Partnership, Christmas Village, Christmas Village Ferris Wheel, Inner Harbor Ice Rink, and other festive attractions will again create the Holiday District in Inner Harbor. Other exciting changes include an expanded selection of mulled wine, even more food options, new artists and vendors, and updated theme weekends.
"It's the most wonderful time of year on the Baltimore Waterfront," Christmas Village Project Manager Nancy Schmalz stated in a news release. "After a terrific year last year, we want to continue to surprise and delight with even more new additions, new vendors, more food, and changes in how we use the space."
The Christmas Village will be open until December 24. Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The village is closed 9, 10, 16, and 17.
For more information about Christmas Village, visit: www.baltimore-christmas.com