Did you know The Commissary in the Presidio has a secret weapon? It comes in the form of Kristi Gauslow, the restaurant's executive pastry chef and the creator of one of Food and Wine magazine's "Best Cheesecakes in America" (September 2015).
Kristi got her start at a small Italian restaurant in Oregon. At the time, she had no experience with pastry, but the menu was tiny and the pastry chef had just quit. Kristi was interested in the position, so she asked the owner if she could take on the role. Fortunately for us sweets lovers, the owner agreed and Kristi ended up gaining some brief hands-on experience with the departing pastry chef. She would later make her way to the Bay Area where she honed her skills with great mentors at Sobar at Solage Resort and Spa in Calistoga, Murray Circle at Cavallo Point, and now at The Commissary – named one of the San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Restaurants in the Bay."
Though she won't reveal the secret to her award-winning cheesecake, Kristi is more than willing to help us ring in the season with her favorite cookie recipe. These treats are easy to make, beautiful, and a great way to spread holiday cheer.
Sunflower Seed Shortbread Cookies
1 ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
11.5 ounces butter
In a food processor, mix together seeds, sugar, and flour till well combined and seeds are broken up. Measure out butter into a mixing bowl and add dry mixture. Paddle till just combined. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate dough until firm (about 30 minutes). Set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Take top piece of parchment off of dough and sprinkle dough with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating half way through. Use cookie cutters for desired shapes. Spread favorite kind of jam and place another cookie on top.
Upcoming Food Events in the Presidio
Every Tuesday: "Make Tuesdays Better" at Arguello Restaurant
Monday through Friday, 5 to 7:30 pm: Social Hour at The Commissary
First Mondays of the month: Open Kitchen Guest Chef Series at The Commissary
By Friday, December 16: Pre-order special holiday pies at Presidio Social Club
For more information about dining around the park, visit our website>>