Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arizmendi Bakery


I recently attended an event with treats provided by Arizmendi Bakery, which gave me a chance to try a bunch of their cookies.  I've also enjoyed their other baked goods in the past, although I only have tasting notes no photos from then. You'll have to do your best to imagine what a muffin looks like! :)

I didn't find the cookies very remarkable, but their muffins and scones are some of the better ones I've had, and their "Chocolate Thing" is pretty amazing.  They have several locations in San Francisco, along with their sister operation, the Cheeseboard Collective, in Berkeley.

Cookies / Shortbreads


Spicy Chocolate Shortbread.
Wow, this packed some heat!  I know it said spicy chocolate, but I didn't expect it to have SOOO much intensity.

Anyway, it was a classic shortbread, with crunchy chocolate bits, and uh, something spicy.  Like Mexican chocolate, but in a shortbread.  I really enjoyed it paired with my coffee.
Cinnamon Anise Shortbread.
This is the one I expected to have the more intense flavor, as it featured both cinnamon and anise.  The top was brushed with cinnamon, and there were little bites of anise in it.  The flavors were subtle though, which was fine, just not what I expected.  Or maybe my taste buds were just blown from the spicy chocolate!  I appreciated the crunch from the anise bits.
Lemon Rosemary / Espresso Shortbreads.
I'm guessing the flavors here, as a friend brought these to a party.

The darker colored one most certainly had espresso in it, super strong coffee flavor, bit of texture from the grounds.  Once I realized it was caffeinated however I didn't have more, as I was avoiding caffeine late in the day.

The other was perhaps lemon rosemary?  It certainly had herbs and a strong citrus flavor.  A decent enough basic shortbread.
Chocolate Chocolate Cookie.  $2.
A hard style cookie, fudgy chocolate base, with chocolate chips.  Pretty intense chocolate flavor.  Not really my style of cookie, as I prefer soft ones.  A bit small for a $2 cookie, but I didn't actually want it to be any bigger.
Ginger Cookie.  $2.
Again, hard style which I don't care for, but good ginger flavor.  Not particularly complex.  Fairly small for $2.  Unremarkable.

Rolls / Breads

Double Chocolate Tea Cake.  $5.50 per loaf.
This was probably my least favorite item. It was dry, and somehow didn't have any flavor.   Even though it had chocolate chips in it, and it was chocolate bread, it wasn't chocolatey.  I had a single slice out of a small loaf, normally $5.50, which seems pricy for the size.
Chocolate Thing. $2.50.
Yes, "chocolate thing" is its real name.  Described as "sweet broiche with chocolate chunks".

It was a moist, good sweet bread, with dark chocolate chunks.  Yum!!!  (Note: It did not freeze and reheat well at all.)

Update review: Good quality dark chocolate, in large chunks, but it was otherwise dry and uninteresting.  We speculated that it would be better warm.
Pecan Roll. $3.
This was very lackluster.  Not moist, not gooey.  Very disappointing.
Raisin Cinnamon Swirls?
Some friends brought these to a party, and dubbed them cinnamon rolls.  This doesn't really match what I thought Arizmendi's cinnamon rolls are like though, so I'm not really sure what these were.

I tried a chunk of one, but didn't really care for it. It was very dry, more like a scone than a roll.  It wasn't very cinnamon-y, but I'm not sure if it was supposed to be?  It had tons of raisins, both golden and regular (meh!).  It had no glaze or icing on top, but did have a little bit of sticky something.  I liked the sticky bits, but there wasn't much of that.

I'm really not sure what this was trying to be, but, it wasn't for me.

[ Not Pictured ]
  • Wolverine: "Sourdough roll loaded with pecans, cherries, raisins, apricots."  $2.50.  Tasting notes:  This was ok, but I don't love sourdough.   Best toasted with butter.
  • Asiago Cheese Roll. $1.50. Tasting notes: Very cheesy! But sourdough, which I don't like.
  • Sweet Brioche, filled with cinnamon and raisins.  $2.50. Tasting notes: Very moist, nice cinnamon flavor, juicy and plump raisins added a nice moisture.  But it dried out pretty fast, better once re-warmed. [ Really delicious, even when frozen and re-heated.  Moist, cinnamon flavor, juicy raisins, sweet, nice dough. ]

Muffins / Scones

Over the years, I've tried several different scones and muffins from Arizmendi.  The Corn Cherry Scone remains one of the best scones I've ever had.  
Daily Fruit Scone.
Some friends brought these to my house for a party, and they didn't know what kind they were, just, the daily fruit scone.  They seemed to be ... blueberry pear perhaps?

I didn't care for them.  The scones were very dry and crumbly, with no interesting flavor in the base.  No tang at all.  The fruit was there, but, overall, these were just dry and flavorless.


[ Not Pictured ]
  • Muffins
    • Cranberry & Apricot Muffin.  $2.  Tasting notes: Very moist on the inside and outside.  All flavor comes from the cranberries and apricots as the batter itself pretty boring and plain.  This froze and reheated fine too.
    • Blueberry Millet Muffin.  $2.  Tasting notes: More flavorful than the cranberry since it has millet to add a nice earthyness.   Again, moist inside and out.  I really liked this, it reminded me a corn muffin and a blueberry muffin crossed into one.  Good quantity of blueberries and nice crunch from the millet.  A great price for a large muffin too.
  • Scones
    • Corn Cherry Scone.  $2.75. Tasting notes:  Really freaking good.  Bursting with flavor from the dried cherries.  And I love corn muffins/corn bread, and this took the wonderful flavors of corn and put them into a scone … genius!  Yum!  One of the best scones I've ever had.
Arizmendi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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