Category Archives: Chocolate

Forget Black Friday; Make It A Brown One (As In Chocolate) Instead

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.

Yes, this is pretty much how I ate this fantastic spread.


See that hazelnut spread above?

I’d like to tell you that I came up with all sorts of inventive ways to use it in baking. But the truth is that I ate that entire jar of Nuubia Hazelnut Spread simply by the languid spoonful, day after day, until it was emptied.

I’m not ashamed. Because it was that irresistible.

So forget braving the malls today. Just do yourself a favor and go Nuubia’s online site to order a jar instead — for yourself or your chocoholic friends. Or take a trip to the Nuubia store/cafe, which just opened this year in the lobby of the Twitter building in San Francisco, or to its Pleasanton headquarters that has an artisan kitchen.

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Prepare Yourself For Guittard’s Luscious Chocolate Banana Blondies

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!

Brownies? Or blondies? Whatever you call them, they are the bomb!


What’s in a name? Well, would you believe these are blondies?

In my world, just by appearance alone, these are brownies.

But in the first cookbook by Burlingame’s bean-to-bar chocolatier Guittard, these are indeed blondies. “Chocolate Banana Blondies” to be exact.

No matter how you refer to them, you will be calling them ravishingly good after one bite.

“Guittard Chocolate Cookbook” (Chronicle Books) was written by Amy Guittard. We should all be so lucky as to have born into a chocolate dynasty. Her great-great-grandfather founded the Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868. It is America’s oldest continuously family-run chocolate company.


You probably know its baking products from store shelves. If you’re a See’s Candies fan, you also know Guittard because it supplies the chocolate that goes into all those homespun bonbons.

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Chocolate Chunk Cookies With — Wait For It — Chicharrones

Chocolate chunk cookies -- hiding a wealth of chicharrones.

Chocolate chunk cookies — hiding a wealth of chicharrones.

Chocolate chunk cookies studded with bacon? Yawn. Been there. Ate that.

But have your teeth ever sunk into “Dark Chocolate Chicharron Cookies”?

Nope, didn’t think so.

I know mine sure hadn’t until I spied the recipe for them in the new cookbook, “Eat Mexico: Recipes From Mexico City’s Streets, Markets & Fondas” (Kyle Books), of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook is by Lesley Tellez, a New York City culinary guide and creator of the blog, The Mija Chronicles, who immersed herself in Mexican cooking when she lived in Mexico City for four years. The beautiful photos are by my former San Jose Mercury News colleague, Penny De Los Santos.

The book includes recipes for favorite Mexican street food such as “Roasted Poblano Pepper Tamales,” “Thickened Mexican Hot Chocolate,” and “Shrimp and Octopus Cocktail.” But where I think the book really shines is in the last chapter, “At Home,” in which Tellez incorporates Mexican flair into unexpected dishes such as “Oatmeal with Charred Poblano Peppers and Cheese” and “Stuffed Cactus Paddles,” which are reminiscent of loaded potato skins.

That last chapter is also where you’ll find this cookie recipe.

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Upscale Candy, Lobster Galore & More

Gummy Love Bento Box ($60). (Photo courtesy of Sugarfina)

Gummy Love Bento Box ($60). (Photo courtesy of Sugarfina)

Sugarfina Coming to Santana Row

Champagne gummy bears? Twenty-four-karat gold marshmallows? Absinthe chocolate cordials?

Nope, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill candies.

Sugarfina, an upscale candy shop out of Southern California, is set to open in San Jose’s Santana Row in August with those goodies and a whole lot more.

Founders Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick set about to create a decidedly adult candy store. That means combing the world for exquisite sweets that appeal to a more sophisticated adult palate rather than a child’s super sugary cravings.

Gold-leaf marshmallow. (Photo by Sugarfina)

Gold-leaf marshmallow. (Photo by Sugarfina)

The 883-square-foot shop will be located next to Donald J. Pliner.

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Just Try to Resist Huckleberry Bakery’s Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Nothing says "I love you'' like a basket of fresh-baked muffins loaded with chocolate.

Nothing says “I love you” like a basket of fresh-baked muffins loaded with chocolate.


There are times when I con myself into thinking muffins are just a smidge healthful.

After all, if I choose one with bran or whole wheat or carrots or blueberries, it’s not so very bad, is it?

I mean, it’s not as indulgent as eating actual cake, right?

Forgettabout it.

Yeah, with “Chocolate Chunk Muffins,” I’m not going to attempt to play that game.


That’s because there’s no getting around it. These muffins are rich, tender, and super chocolatey.  They are like chocolate-chip cookies in muffin form.

And they’re every bit as good as that sounds.

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