Warning: These cookies have more chocolate and nuts then they do dough!

Chunky Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1-pound bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

2 cup pecans, roasted lightly and chopped coarsely

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1-teaspoon salt

2-cups all-purpose flour

Maldon’s Sea Salt



This dough is similar to a shortbread cookie.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and salt, then add them to butter / flour mixture. Add the pecans and chocolate and mix on low speed until the dough sort of comes together.

Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least an hour.

Start scooping the dough into small golf ball sized balls with your hands. When making the cookie balls I’ve found that the dough sometime starts to stick to your hands when you are working with it. If this happens, run your hands under cold water. Then continue to make the cookie dough balls. Firmly shape the cookies into 2 ½ inch rounds and place on a parchment lined backing sheet. Sprinkle sea salt on top before baking.

Bake approximately 18 minutes. Rotate cookie pans if baking more than one sheet at a time.

Remove cookies to a rack and cool completely. Though, they will be tempting to eat. I find it is better to allow the chocolate to become firm again.

Makes 18 – 20 cookies

Join me for tamales & tequila at a special pop-up event. You can also order tamales to take-away! Click the image for MORE! info!!


10x10 hecho tamale

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Images from my kitchen.

Images from my kitchen.

San Francisco is considered one of the Foodie capitols of the world and yet I feel more and more people just aren’t cooking. The influx of tech businesses have brought in a host of young people – who I believe ate their last meal at their mothers table before arriving in SF. So it’s no surprise to me that when I shop at Whole Foods – it’s the prepared food department that is so busy. We live in a city filled with so many great restaurants. Most restaurants have no room for you at their tables, food trucks, and phone apps that get you meals delivered within an hour. So, when shopping I take our local food shops to heart and support the love they bring to their shelves. In my neighborhood I have access to the Heart of the City Farmers Market, Real Foods, Whole Foods and Belcampo Meat Company – all which I frequent regularly.

When I am in the Mission I always stop at Rainbow Grocery on Folsom – which I have been a customer of since the 80’s at their 15th Street location. It’s Rainbow where I always find things a true cook falls in love with. Things that are made by people that care about what they produce. Last week I picked up these awesome items.

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Wild West Ferments – Signature Sauerkraut / Great tasting kraut with coriander and cumin.

Santa Barbara Pistachio Company – Pistachio Flour / I can’t wait to bake a cake with this!

Riverview Orchard – Almond Hazelnut Butter / I think the two ingredients say it all!

Rodolphe Le Meunier – Beurre de Baratte / This great heavily salted rich butter almost tastes like cheese.

I’ve never been much of a leftover eater. That’s probably because my family cooked dinner everyday. My parents didn’t have some vast, crazy repertoire of dishes – but we grew up loving our dinners together. These days I’m pretty well known for sending dinner guests home with all the leftovers. That’s because I’ve probably got another dinner party planned the following night. Historian Helen Zoe Veit wrote about this for The Atlantic.


Chef Cory Armenta at Booty Call Wednesdays

Chef Cory Armenta at Booty Call Wednesdays

Cory Armenta Eats Out

There is no better friendship in the world then one that allows you to sit down to a dinner with a friend and completely rip the food apart trying to figure out how to make it better. That is exactly what Cory and I do best – besides inspire each other in the kitchen.

Cory is currently the executive chef at Castro Districts family-style Mexican restaurant, HECHO. The food has taken a huge turn since he’s been on board. One that has prompted me to stop by at least once a week for his chili verde. He is also the Organizer and Head Chef or the non-profit Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner founded in 2009 – which is serving food and hope to the Tenderloin neighborhood over the holiday.

This winter I will join Cory and the team at HECHO  to create a pop-up Tamale Night celebrating recipes I grew up cooking with my family.

Cory and I at Cleve Jones 60th Birthday Bash.

Cory and I at Cleve Jones 60th Birthday Bash.

Cory answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I don’t even know where to start. If we’re talking right now during fall season, I’d have to say an apple Tarte Tatin with  vanilla ice cream. Frankly, whatever fruit is in season, throw a great pie crust on it, and I’m sold.  Usually, dessert for me is bourbon and a cigarette.

What restaurant would you call your home?

Obviously I am at Hecho the majority of the time, constantly creating new dishes. When I do go out for a meal, it’s Kokkari. They get me. Everyone should love and know Kokkari.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

When I was in culinary school, my classmate/friend was working at Kyo-Ya at The Palace Hotel. I went in for dinner, and was treated to Geoduck clam sashimi…still twitching. That would be the strangest. As for most inspiring, I am constantly inspired by everyone and everything. The simplest meal at a friends home can send my mind racing about what I want to do the minute I get to the kitchen the next day.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I have two. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Because duh. Grape Nuts. Because it hurt my jaw to chew it and I believed that’s what being a grown up must feel like. Yeah. I liked that it hurt.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

I don’t eat after the club. My favorite thing is getting a text from you with a picture of SPAM and fried eggs. The next morning, however…its on.

Cory in the kitchen at HECHO

Cory in the kitchen at HECHO

So many cute images like this fishing one on Miniature Calendar!




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