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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Victoria Pastry's Pignoli by the Pound

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Oh, the joys of bulk food: The torrents of brown rice that gush out of the dispensers at Whole Foods. The deep sense of righteousness that comes from hefting a scoop out of a tank of rolled oats and pouring the whole grains into a recycled brown paper sack. The 24-packs of Cheetos from Costco, which leave their purchaser feeling overcome, even a little ravished. Cookies by the pound at Victoria Pastry Co.

Pick-a-mix cookie cases like the ones at this 96-year-old bakery, located on a block of North Beach that Chinatown swallowed a few decades ago, are becoming a rare sight. So the compulsively inclined may find themselves tempted to walk out with a pound of tiny almond macaroons, hazelnut meringues, and mini palmiers ($17.50) for fear they'll never encounter such an assortment again. Resist! Walk out with a pound of just the pignoli.

These pine nut cookies are built like amaretti ― that same hollow crunch, the same almond-scented sweetness ― only softer, even a little chewy. The sugar is grounded by the toasted pignoli baked into the surface of the golf ball-sized cookie. That transition from light to earthy can be repeated, handful after handful, until the body cries out for the bitter jolt of espresso to stop it from careening into a sugar crash. Which Victoria Pastry also supplies.

Victoria Pastry Co. 1362 Stockton (at Vallejo), 781-2015

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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