Apple-cranberry galette ($32) from Manresa Bakery. (Photo courtesy of the bakery.)
Pre-Order At Manresa Bread Bakery
Yes, Manresa Bread Bakery in Los Gatos is now taking online pre-orders for breads and pastries up to two weeks in advance.
For Thanksgiving orders, you can pick up your items anytime from Nov. 20 to Nov. 25. Just note that the bakery will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after that holiday.
For those of you in Santa Cruz, you can even choose to pick up your items Nov. 25 at the bakery pop-up at Assembly in Santa Cruz.
The super-sized kouign-amann. (Photo courtesy of Manresa Bakery)
Items that can be ordered ahead include baguettes, brioche rolls, almond croissants, apple-cranberry galettes, pumpkin loaves, pumpkin pie, and even a giant version of the kouign-amann ($28) that feeds 6 to 8 (or probably one in my case).
Stock Up on Pies and Cakes To-Go at Presidio Social Club
Up in San Francisco, Presidio Social Club is also making it easy to enjoy fresh-baked pies and cakes this holiday season.
It’s guaranteed to be a sweet time when yours truly teams with Executive Pastry Chef Samantha Miotke of Palo Alto’s Mayfield Bakery & Cafe for a delightful cooking demo 2 p.m. Sept. 19 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Miotke was hooked on creating sugary treats ever since she was a little girl, playing with her Easy-Bake Oven.
Pretty tomato tartines at Kristi Marie’s in Redwood City.
If you’ve spent anytime in Menlo Park, you know the Borrone name.
As in the beloved Cafe Borrone next door to the equally cherished Kepler’s Books on El Camino Real.
Rose and Roy Borrone opened the European-style cafe more than a quarter century ago.
Their son Peter and his wife then opened the wood-fired pizza joint, Vesta, three years ago in Redwood City in the same location the first Cafe Borrone was established before it moved to Menlo Park.
And just a month ago, following in the family’s footsteps, Rose’s and Roy’s youngest daughter Kristi opened Kristi Marie’s bakery in downtown Redwood City with her husband Zu Tarazi. The couple previously owned Station 1 restaurant in Woodside.
The colorful sign painted on the side of the building.
Owners Kristi Borrone and Zu Tarazi.
The slender, shoebox-sized space once housed a hair salon. Now, it’s where Kristi and former Station 1 Sous Chef Alex Avery turn out sweets with Tarazi lending a hand with the savory side.
Discover Korean walnut pastries.
I am drawn to bakeries. What can I say?
So even after gorging one evening on fried chicken at Vons in Sunnyvale (a must-try for the “crispy” chicken, by the way), I still felt compelled to stop in at a bakery steps away in the same strip mall on El Camino Real.
What enticed me was Cocohodo’s sign: “Walnut Pastry.”
Walnut pastries? Korean ones? What could those possibly be?
Why, quite delicious, that’s what.
A sticky bun that’s less sweet and a whole lot more enjoyable to eat.
I love the idea of sticky buns. But the execution? Not so much.
That’s because the standard avalanche of goopy glaze is more than even my sweet tooth can bear.
So I beamed when I received a review copy of “Baking With Less Sugar” (Chronicle Books) by one of my favorite pastry chefs, Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe and Myers + Chang in Massachusetts.
In this day and age, where we’re all trying to eat better, this timely cookbook is all about making sweets — but with only natural sweeteners and little white sugar. Yes, the perfect way to enjoy dessert without your body paying such a high price later.
The book includes more than 60 recipes, both new ones and reformulated ones from Chang’s bakery, that make use of maple syrup, honey, molasses, dates, juice concentrates, coconut, and bananas and other fresh fruit.