WOW. What a long week it's been, don't you think? Perhaps the anticipation of this upcoming three day weekend is partly to blame, but I've also been incredibly busy! This past weekend, Tony, Molly, and I traveled up north to Manteca, CA for a short visit, where I was able to spend time with family and friends. We mainly came up to attend a friend's wedding and my grandma's 90th birthday luncheon (I'll share both of these events with you soon). Both events took place on Saturday, but Tony and I decided to head up to Manteca early, on Thursday, so that we could have the entire day on Friday to do something fun together.
Since Tony and I have never been to San Francisco together as a couple, we decided to spend our Friday exploring the city. I was particularly excited about this since I used to go there all the time with friends, before I moved away. It's only a little over an hour away from Manteca, so it was an ideal location for those times when I just wanted to get away for the day. We arrived in San Francisco just an hour or so before noon, and made our first stop at one of the most popular tourist attractions: Pier 39.
|Tony and I at Pier 39|
|From right to left: Ace Joker Cider, Trumer Pils Pilsner, Pale 31 California Pale Ale, and Blonde Bock|
After Beer 39, we headed off to the Mission District for lunch. My brother, Marco, lives in San Francisco, and my dad was also in the city for a follow-up appointment for his most recent surgery, so meeting up for lunch was the perfect way to spend our afternoon. We met with Marco and my dad at a small, authentic Mexican restaurant, called Puerto Alegre. Unfortunately, at this stop my mind was focused on only food and not picture taking, so I have no photos to show, but I can guarantee the food was very satisfying! After lunch, my brother suggested that we all head down the street a few blocks to a special bakery he visits frequently, called Anthony's Cookies. Of course, I required no convincing, so off we went to fill our stomachs even more.
Anthony's Cookies is a nice local bakery that prides itself on baking fresh, homemade cookies. Although it's small, it's easily identified by its big, inviting red front door. Once we opened this door, I was immediately overwhelmed by the sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies. It smelled just like my mom's kitchen, and I couldn't wait to try them! If the cookies tasted as good as they smelled, we were in for a real treat.
At Anthony's Cookies, there is a cute chalkboard menu, displaying the cookie flavors of the day. Honestly, I wanted to try them all, but in the end I went with my brother's recommendation (cookies & cream) and my own personal preference (cinnamon spice). Tony tried cookies & cream and walnut double chocolate chip.
These cookies & cream cookies were AMAZING! It tasted similar to chocolate chip cookie dough, except the chocolate chips were replaced with crushed up Oreos. This is definitely a cookie that I will have to recreate in my own kitchen soon.
The cinnamon spice cookie was also very good. It was a little thicker, with a chewier texture than the cookies & cream, and had a nice blend of spices. I could taste nutmeg and cloves, and I also tasted molasses, which probably contributed to its chewy texture. The cookies & cream flavor was the stand out for me, but I would love to eat both of them all over again.
After Anthony's Cookies, we parted ways with my dad and brother, and then...we did not head home. Not yet. Instead, we continued our food journey in San Francisco, and traveled a few more blocks, to Tartine Bakery.
I've heard a lot about Tartine Bakery, most often because of other bloggers mentioning their popular cookbook: Tartine Bread. When my brother mentioned that the bakery was only a few blocks away, I knew that we had to make this one last stop, no matter how stuffed we were! I had read before that Tartine always has a line, no matter what time of day, and this information was correct. We arrived there a little before 4:00 PM and there was a line reaching the door! Luckily, Tartine is pretty used to this type of crowd so the line moved very fast and we were able to get our sweets in just a few short minutes. Tony chose modestly, with a small walnut-chocolate tart. I, of course, have no limitations when it comes to food so I went for it and ordered a slice of their tres leches cake.
Ohhhhhh my, that tres leches cake. I'm still thinking about it and want another piece. It was perfectly light and sweet, and had just the right amount of moisture without being soggy, like some tres leches cakes may be. The frosting reminded me of the texture of the mascarpone filling in tiramisu. It was light and creamy, with just enough sweetness to satisfy and not too overpowering. I also really liked the fact that they used real vanilla bean, which was made apparent by the visible vanilla bean specks throughout the cake.
After this last bakery visit, we were beyond stuffed and had to leave the city before we ate more and regretted it! It was a great, yet exhausting day, but we couldn't have been happier. The weather was perfect, the food throughout the day was perfect, and so was the company. I hope the next time I go I can visit some more foodie finds, since the city is full of them!
Now, with all this talk about sweets, I must accompany this post with a sweet recipe for you to try! I've been hanging on this recipe for a while now, so I'm glad I finally have an opportunity to share it with you. These Lemon Crinkles are straight from one of my favorite food blogs, Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I absolutely love anything flavored with lemon, so I knew these would be a favorite of mine. I also loved the crackled appearance from the powdered sugar on the tops of the cookies. These cookies would be a perfect sweet summer treat for a Memorial Day barbecue you might have planned for this weekend, or for just because. These Lemon Crinkles are really quick and simple to make, so they're a great last-minute option!
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Print this recipe
Yield: 2-3 dozen cookies
Recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, originally from Lauren's Latest
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly coat with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix until just combined. Place the powdered sugar on a large plate or shallow pie dish. Roll tablespoon-size balls of dough in the powdered sugar to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will not be browned on the edges but they will have lost a bit of their shininess on top. Don't overbake! Cool the cookies on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container or eat immediately.