“You have some balls to come to New York to sell a San Francisco cheesecake,” Peter Rizos recalls someone saying last summer at the New York Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty foods trade show in the country. Rizos owns the San Francisco Cheesecake Co. and he was there to introduce his treats to anyone who’d stop by his booth.
That pumpkin cheesecake is currently in stores. One of Rizos’ newest creations is a snickerdoodle cheesecake fragrant with cinnamon purchased from the Oaktown Spice Shop located near Lake Merritt in Oakland. “They grind all their own spices,” says Rizos. “I love going there.”
It’s been over a decade since Rizos started making cheesecakes, but he talks about them with the giddiness of somebody who’s just getting started.
“I make delicious food,” he says. “People love it.” With that, he grabs a spoon and dips it into a bowl of chocolate-fernet cheesecake batter. He pushes the mouthful toward this reporter and waits, with an expectant smile.
Visit www.sanfranciscocheesecakecompany.com for a complete list of of where to buy the cheesecakes.
Peter Rizos’ Chocolate Chip
Graham Cracker Cookies
Peter Rizos makes his own graham crackers, but you can use packaged graham crackers and crush them into crumbs.
1¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter, softened (1½ sticks)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix in on low speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Add chocolate chips and mix in for 15 to 20 seconds.
Form into balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.