Gillian Shaw's pastries are not for the faint of heart.
Shaw considers herself a baker, not a pastry chef, and she embraces the unpolished grace of home-baked treats. To wit, her pastries, sold under the moniker Black Jet Baking Co., are thick and hearty, with an emphasis on such forthright ingredients as chocolate and salt.
And now, Shaw has expanded the availability of her treats. She just added online ordering to her operation, which is based in a kiosk in San Francisco's Ferry Building.
Shaw's PoPs, her version of Pop-Tarts, could be the envy of every toaster-bound relative ($18 for a mix of six). For a fruit variety, Shaw fills the strapping sour-cream-based dough with Blenheim apricot jam from Berkeley's INNA jams. Others get the brown-sugar treatment with a topping of oats and cinnamon, but our favorite contains a swath of Nutella and a crown of salt-roasted hazelnuts.
Shaw exercises aplomb with cookies as well; heart-shaped almond Linzers sandwich INNA's Polka raspberry jam ($15 for six), and her coconut macaroons have been dubbed the "crackaroon" thanks to their intense caramel taste ($15 for six).
Our crush doesn't stop with the baked goods. Black Jet's hand-stamped tags, papery envelopes and brown-paper packaging ensure that sweetness stretches from mailbox opening to final crumb eating.