Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Nathan and Devon Yanko opened the doors to M.H. Bread and Butter at the end of May. Now, with regular 12-hour days under their belts, the former Tartine baker thinks they’re building more than just bread; they’re building a community.
I haven’t made a coconut cream pie or tart in years. After discovering Tartine’s velvety indulgence, I figured what was the point. How could I replicate their flaky crust topped with a layer of dark chocolate and caramel (and, I think, a few flecks of fleur de sel?) and then crowned with a rich coconut pastry cream? And then something happened. I began to crave coconut cream but was too busy and lazy to drive across the bridge to purchase one from Tartine. So, with Easter only a few days away and a holiday dessert in order, I decided I would create my own coconut concoction — something that reminded me of the sweet perfection available across the bay, but different enough that I wouldn’t constantly compare my tart to it.
According to The Journal of Antiques, Gingerbread has been around for centuries, first appearing when the Medieval Crusaders returned from the Middle East bringing back spices, sugar, and citrus fruits. Then, Catholic monks started adapting the ingredients into themed cakes and carved cookie boards. Today, the ingredients and method are much the same, although the shape and presentation obviously differ. For this post, I visited many of my favorite local bakeries to check in and see how they’ll be adapting the seasonal favorite this year. From the standard to the standout, here are a few treats that I’m pretty sure will warm your spirits in the weeks to come.