SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Amber Blalock is Pastry Chef of Craftsman and Wolves (CAW), an award-winning contemporary patisserie and cafe with a nod to classic French technique and an emphasis on seasonal change. Working with Chef/Partner William Werner, Amber and team offer pastries, desserts, confections, confitures, breads, as well as savory fare and signature drinks. The “Rebel Within” by C&W – a muffin with soft boiled egg inside – remains my favorite breakfast treat.
Current locations include Craftsman & Wolves Valencia in the vibrant Mission District of San Francisco; Craftsman & Wolves Pacific in the growing Russian Hill/Nob Hill neighborhood; and The Den in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Craftsman & Wolves also has a farmers’ market stand at the venerable CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market; and an online retail shop shipping nationwide.
A California native, Amber grew up in Salinas. In 2007, she moved to Chicago to attend the French Pastry School, and over the course of eight years gained experience in pastry at the Park Hyatt Chicago; chocolate at Barry Callebaut; bread for One Off Hospitality Group under Chef Paul Kahan; and a host of other restaurants including Alinea, Floriole, and River Valley Cafe.
Amber will be representing C&W at the CUESA Sunday Supper this Sunday, October 16th where yours truly will be the emcee.
I met with Amber recently at the C&W Den in the Bayview in San Francisco. We talked about Amber’s sweet journey and the opportunity at Craftsman & Wolves that brought her home to California to work with James Beard nominated Chef William Werner.
Enjoy our conversation & the Matcha Snickerdoodle recipe featured below.
Craftsman & Wolves’
Makes 50 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons plus
- 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha, divided
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and 2 tablespoons of matcha in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, and lemon zest, and mix until very pale, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and, with motor running, add the flour mixture; mix until no dry spots remain. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix in the white chocolate.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill at least 2 hours and up to 5 days. If chilling more than a few hours, let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour to soften before scooping and baking.
- Whisk the 1/2 cup granulated sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha in a small bowl; set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Scoop the dough by the scant tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each about 1 inch apart.
- Bake the cookies, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until bottoms and edges are barely golden and cooked (top will no longer look wet), 8 to 10 minutes.
- Immediately, but gently, toss cookies in the reserved matcha sugar and place on wire racks; let cool. Store cookies airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.
For locations and more info on Craftsman & Wolves, visit their website at www.craftsman-wolves.com