Thursday, March 31, 2016

Cookies from Tout Sweet Patisserie

Do you remember, back in 2012, when Tout Sweet Patisserie opened in San Francisco, and I reviewed the macarons?  Or when I reviewed the cookies Yigit Pura (the pastry chef and owner) made at a cooking demo a few months later?  Or a year later, when I reviewed some assorted candies (including the best marshmallows I'd ever had?)  I intended to do a whole series on Tout Sweet, and totally forgot to publish the rest.  Oops!

So, fast forward a few years.  Tout Sweet is still there inside Macy's near Union Square.  Yigit is still around town, often showing up at cooking demos or charity events.  He is clearly a perfectionist, the master of subtleties of flavors and textures.  His creations are never too sweet, often balanced by tartness, bitterness, or saltiness.  For every creamy component, he has a crunchy counterbalance.

Today's I'm focusing on Tout Sweet cookies exclusively, not usually my dessert of choice, but, a staple for many of you.  And ... I'm pretty sure one of these is the first cookie I've ever declared awesome.
"Easter Cookie" ($4.00) and Vanilla Macaron ($1.85). 
The "Easter Cookie" was a walnut shortbread, with lemon icing.  It had a great buttery base, like any good shortbread.  The walnuts added some crunch and additional flavor.  The icing had a slightly lemon flavor to it.  Overall, very tasty, particularly for such a seemingly simple cookie!

The macaron was just a simple vanilla macaron.  Like all of the others I've tried, I thought the cookie wasn't that remarkable, but the filling had a nice vanilla bean flavor.  Overall better than most of the other macarons I've tried from Tout Sweet, but I still don't love them.

I win plating points for this one right?  They did not come stacked like this, but  I thought the macaron looked totally cute perched on top of the shortbread.

Price was a bit high for the shortbread, standard for the macaron.
The Naughty Peanut Cookie: Salted Peanuts, Corn Flakes, Marshmallow, Sea Salt.  $2.25.
Ok, this was kinda awesome.  It just had so many great things going on.  It sounds so simple, really, just corn flakes and peanuts held together with some marshmallow in a cookie base, right?

Imagine the love child of a peanut butter cookie and a rice crispie treat, uh, except where you ran out of rice crispies and used corn flakes instead, and then smushed it flat.  Ok, bad analogy.  It is unlike anything else you've ever had.  It is its own thing, and a delicious thing at that.

First, it was super crunchy.  Now, you may recall that I don't usually like crisp style cookies.  Nothing makes me sadder than chocolate chip, peanut butter, or sugar cookie that isn't a bit under done and ooey-gooey.  But for this type of cookie, it worked, and would have been really strange soft.  It was fun to eat because it was so crunchy, satisfying in the same way as eating potato chips.

Speaking of chips, the other reason they are addicting, besides the crunch, is ... the salt.  And this cookie had that going on too.  The peanuts were salted, and the whole thing was amped up on sea salt.  In the way that made you just want more and more.  You wanted more crunch, you want more salt, more more more!

Yet, it was also sweet, due to the marshmallow.  Salty and sweet. Crispy and crunchy.  Addicting.  This is a winner.

I'm also convinced this is a totally reasonable breakfast item.  Corn flakes? That is just cereal, check.  Peanuts?  Added protein, check!

Since my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I stopped in at Tout Sweet, I came home with far too many treats to consume in a single day.  So I had this cookie a day old (ok, of course I snuck a bite when it was fresh just to make sure it was good!), and it was still perfectly fine.  Next time you stop into Tout Sweet, I recommended getting an extra cookie, and having it for breakfast the next day ...

I also decided that these cookies would go really well with ice cream.  I'm really not sure what brought this thought on, as it was perfectly enjoyable on its own, but for some reason, it was just screaming "go get more of me and turn them into ice cream sandwiches!"  So, on my next visit, I stocked up on a few extra naughty peanut cookies.  I threw them into my freezer for safekeeping immediately.  One evening a few weeks later, when I was in "I need something to cheer me up" mood, I opened the freezer, saw the cookies, saw a pint of vanilla ice cream next to them, and I knew what to do.  About 20 seconds later I was eating a homemade ice cream sandwich, and it was amazing.  So I modify my recommendation further: next time you go to Tout Sweet, get an extra one for breakfast.  And then get a dozen more to stash in your freezer.  They keep totally fine and you can pull them out anytime.  Or for bonus points, stuff them with ice cream.

I've tried a zillion things from Tout Sweet at this point, and this was certainly a highlight.
Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt Cookies.
I attended an event at my apartment building with Tout Sweet cookies (and other treats, stay tuned for  reviews of those!)  To say I was pleased with their choice of sweets provided is an understatement.

The chocolate chunk cookie however was exactly the style of cookie that I don't care for - hard and crispy, although I could appreciate the generous amount of chocolate inside, along with the big disk on top of each.  The sea salt was the winning element, flecked on top.  Salt really does just enhance the flavors of everything, even sweet desserts, and Yigit has figured this out.
Italian Soda with Lemon-Orange Simple Syrup.
At the event, they were serving perrier waters, with lemon-orange simple syrup mixed in.  This was far tastier than the flavor syrups you normally find to mix in waters, and I really enjoyed it.
Tout Sweet Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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