The smells of the season

By Matt Porter

December 23, 2013 Updated Dec 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The kolachkis were piled high at Dan McLarney's Czech Pleeze Cafe and Bakery early this afternoon.

In the last week, McLarney said he's rolled nearly 10,000 of the sweet Slovak treat.

"This tray itself has three different types of kolachki in it. It has poppyseed, lekvar, and nut kolachki. We also offer apricot kolachki," McLarney said.

McLarney said Christmas is his busiest time of year, just ahead of Easter.

With fewer people able to cook the desserts at home, he said his mother's homemade recipes are in high demand.

"Whether it's a health issue or whether they just don't want to do them anymore," McLarney said. "It does take a lot of time and effort."

Just a few miles west at Baked Euphoria in the Town of Union, owner Bonnie Phelps says the holiday season is a merry one.

"You have so much Holiday stuff, you run out of space for everything and you got to keep cramming," Phelps said.

She said the bakeries made more than 8,000 kolachkis and a half ton of cookies in the last week.

"This is our favorite time for being a baker," Phelps said, "Because everyone really thrives on the hustle and bustle."

Phelps loves the chance to bake Christmas foods using ingredients like eggnog and gingerbread.

"I am the biggest gingerbread cookie fan in the world," she said. "So when it comes time to start doing gingerbread, and just the smell of gingerbread cooking, you wait for it all year."

As Christmas Day approaches, the bakery is in overdrive with their refrigerators filled with desserts to be delivered.

Phelps said delivering the sweet treats gives her and staff the chance to celebrate the holidays.

"Since we're so busy inside here and don't have an opportunity to be a part of the outside world's holiday festivities because we're creating them," she said. "This is how we get to be apart of it."

If you are still looking for a last minute treat, Baked Euphoria will be open until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

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