Glendale, AZ | La Purisima Bakery.
After more than 25 years, the Arellano family still draws a long line of customers to its industrial-efficient but lavishly stocked Mexican bakery. It can be difficult to get past the melt-in-your-mouth gingerbread pigs, but the bright pink polvorón sugar cookies are also addictive, gossamer-light delights. Another must-try are the savory and sweet empanadas. These are stuffed with pumpkin, peach, or cheese. Our pick: Delectable fresh-made tamales, topped with red or green sauce. 4533 W. Glendale Ave.; 623/842-1400.
Phoenix | The Baker’s Daughter. The father implied in the name is Karl, of the legendary Karl’s Quality Bakery right next door. Christine Boerner is doing something fancier, with her Swiss-style petite patisserie. Cases are filled with dinner-party-ready shortbreads, up to 30 assorted truffles, elaborate gâteaux, whimsical cookies, and cupcakes. Our pick: A caramel–sea salt truffle. 8847 N. Seventh Ave.; thebakersdaughter.net