January 19, 2012

tartine cookies

I spent $54 at Tartine when we were in San Francisco over New Years. We didn't even sit down, that was just takeout. And Tartine is not expensive, it's just that I bought one of everything. Or at least that is what it felt like. If it was in the case or on the counter I wanted to try it. I basically walked down the line and continued pointing to things and then finished off by adding two cellophane bags full of cookies after the cashier had already rung me up. So let's start with the cookies and work backwards. Wrapped in those cellophane bags were coconut macaroons (coconut is just one way into Zach's heart) and crispy orange-currant-oatmeal cookies. Already packed up in the bag when I grabbed the cookies was a lemon tart, a coconut cream tart, five biscotti, two currant scones and a half a loaf of their famous country sourdough bread. And that's not including what was in my brother's bag - gingerbread, brioche bread pudding and some more cookies. Heaven! It was all absolutely heavenly, especially the chocolate coated crust on the coconut cream pie, oh dear me it was good. The bread, hot out of the oven, was also perfect crusty and wonderfully sour, just as I imagined it would be. If you live in SanFran, I hope you are reading this on your ipad while waiting in line at Tartine. No excuses.
Besides the coconut cream pie crust and the crusty sourdough bread one of the tastiest purchases were the orange currant oatmeal cookies. Before tackling the bread at home (which I've been meaning to do for about a year now) I decided to give the cookies a go. I'm usually a chocolate chip cookie girl, as evidenced by the three or four recipes on this blog, but there was just something about these tangy and crispy oatmeal cookies that I loved.
Tartine Orange + Currant Oatmeal Cookies
adapted from Tartine (adapted only because I didn't have nutmet, corn syrup or molasses)

* a note - this dough needs to sit overnight in the fridge, so a little planning ahead is required.


- 1 1/2 cups currants

- 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (recipe calls for nutmeg)

- 1 cup/ 8oz/ 226g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (recipe calls for 2T corn syrup, 1T molasses)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons orange zest

Place the currants in a bowl and cover them with warm water. Let them sit for about 10 minutes or until they have plumped up a bit. Strain and try them.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon (or nutmeg if using) into a mixing bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugar. Once light in color and consistency, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the whole egg and then the egg yolk, beating each until incorporated. Follow with the vanilla, maple syrup (or corn syrup and molasses if using), salt and orange zest.

Once the wet ingredient are well mixed add in the flour mixture, the oats and the currants.

Lay out 3 sheets of parchment paper and divide the dough into thirds. Roll the dough into logs about 2 inches in diameter and then wrap them in the parchment paper. Once wrapped press slightly to create an oval shape. Place in the refrigerator over night (or do what I do and place 1 log in the fridge for tomorrow and 2 in the freezer for later).

When ready to bake preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unwrap the logs. With a sharp knife slice the logs into ovals about 1/4" thick. Bake the cookies for about 7-10 minutes or until the edges have lightly browned and the centers remain pale. Transfer the cookies to a wire wrack and let them cool.
These cookies are dangerously bite size. It's kinda like eating Pringles, that crunch and crisp gets addictive and you can't stop. Speaking of Pringles, I have an issue where whenever I eat something sweet I then want something salty. I've been eating this cookies and then digging my hand into the potato chip bag. And before we went to Tartine I had just eaten a massive burrito and wanted something sweet. The same is true when I eat ice cream, I then want french fries - McFlurry and a small fry anyone?
Just a couple final snapshots from our trip. The weather was wonderful, typically San Francisco where one minute we were putting on layers and then the next minute we were taking them off.

One quick note about San Francisco. Whenever I'm there I cannot stop thinking about earthquakes. We're driving over a bridge and I'm just thinking, 'not now, not now, just not now'. Anyone else?


  1. Haha - I couldn't help but comment on the earthquake thing! My husband and I just returned home from a trip to SF. As we were walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, I had to force myself to stop freaking out about the possibility of an earthquake. BTW, I love your blog with your photos, recipes and travel stories!

  2. I am so incredibly jealous I don't know where to begin. I started drooling when I read the words brioche bread pudding. Seriously. Might just have to make these cookies to ease the pain a little bit. It looks/sounds like a wonderful trip! Beautiful pics as always.

  3. Wow, what a envy-inspiring post. San Francisco is maybe my favorite place in the US (haha, funny about the earthquakes), and Tartine bakery?! I was just a bookstore drooling over their cookbook. Lovely looking cookies, Talley! And all those pictures and descriptions of the treats are making me hungry, it all sounds so delicious.

  4. Tartine is one of my absolute must places when I travel to SF. I've been known to fly down for business meetings, get up at the crack of dawn and find my way over there for their breakfast rolls. When I get to the point of actually scheduling a trip to SF to go to Tartine, we'll know that I have a major problem. So glad someone else enjoyed it. Great photos and great read.

  5. Gorgeous as always! Anxiously awaiting your sourdough bread recipe...and you can send any test runs over to Stäfa.

  6. Jealous! You make Tartine sound as good as I imagined it would be. I really need to get myself to San Francisco one of these summers.The cookies look fantastic. Will add them to my seemingly endless list of sweets to bake.

    I have your sweet and salty problem too. As a kid, I would get out the vanilla ice cream and then eat a handful of potato chips or two between scoops. Sometimes, I'd just put the chips on the ice cream. I haven't done that in 15 years, but given the chance, I'd probably still give it a try.

    Go for the Tartine bread! I make a loaf almost every week and have basically stopped buying bread.

  7. Lovely photos and those cookies look delicious. Tartine is so wonderful - my gluttonous tendencies always take over when I am there... good thing SF is such a great city for walking! I have the Tartine cookbook and definitely need to test out more of their baked goods (the croissants are to die for, albeit incredibly labor intensive).

  8. I love the Tartine cookbook, and have made several recipes from it. But I have to say that when I was visiting SF last year I thought they were extremely expensive. I mean $8 for a loaf of bread is not cheap by any means. Strangely I never think of earthquakes when I am there, even during the few years I lived there. Only when I was reminded by my German friends or the weekly earthquake report in the newspaper.