Marisol’s Heavenly Muffin Goddess

Perched atop the bluffs of Shell Beach, The Cliffs Resort offers gorgeous ocean views, making it the perfect place for vacationing families and their dogs, romantic wine country getaways, and those in search of exquisite culinary exploration. Case-in-point: Marisol at the Cliffs, their critically acclaimed restaurant.

Specializing in California fresh fare, chef de cuisine Gregg Wangard creates delicious menus, beautifully complemented by Marisol’s award-winning wine list. Regularly scouring local farmers’ markets, Chef Wangard handpicks the ripest produce and the freshest seafood from Morro Bay. He also grows his own vegetables in the restaurant’s garden and has farms deliver produce directly to the kitchen.

Executive Chef Jose Garcia oversees the weekend brunch brimming with Latin American inspired dishes made from hand-rolled tortillas and flavorful savory salads. He says, even though eating healthy is the latest trend, the Eggs Benedict remains the most popular dish.

But connoisseurs know that to gauge just how important good food and quality ingredients are to a restaurant, one of the most important questions is “are the pastries and desserts created in-house?” David Kline, Marisol’s maître d’ and social director answers unequivocally “yes, the educated consumer knows the difference and it says a great deal about how much regard we have for creating magnificent food.”

In Marisol’s patisserie, Pastry Chef Hannah Ingham, better known as the Muffin Goddess, creates blissful pastries for Marisol’s legendary brunch. To say she is sugar, spice and everything nice isn’t enough A sun-kissed, strawberry blonde beauty, she is the personification of good health and good living. She reigns over the bakery, where pure nutritious ingredients yield flavorful creations pleasing to both the eye and palate.

“I have always baked to connect with people, to create joy and memories that come with sharing good food,” says Hannah. “While I love to treat people to a decadent experience, I feel the pull to eat nutritious food and to help others learn more about the healthy alternatives to stuffed croissants, glazed donuts, and cupcake-like muffins that pass for breakfast foods nowadays.”

Hoteliers know that people are seeking out healthier options from the restaurants and resorts they choose.

“The health conscious consumer wants to enjoy delicious food of very good quality and well worth the splurge,” explains Kline. “We offer healthy options with fresh seafood and customized omelets with choices like eggs whites, fresh peppers, tomatoes.”

Hannah’s inspiration comes from her world travels. “The ingredients, scents, and tastes I encounter when traveling are the kind of culinary kicks that jumpstart my imagination. When I was only five, my family and I visited Todos Santos, a small fishing village in Baja. I remember the scent of their baking in the hot sun — that sticky, sweet smell of mangoes was so warm and inviting — just tasting one of those gorgeous fruits transports me.”

Hannah’s candy cap mushroom panna cotta of rosewater and dried rose petals with maple pecan brittle proves her an extraordinary talent. “I look for what is fresh locally first and then, I try to think out of the box.”

So when you close your eyes and breathe in the scent of roses and ripe raspberries from Hannah’s heavenly pastries, you may very well begin to hear the celestial harps.

Visit Hannah’s blog at Marisol at the Cliffs, 2757 Shell Beach Road, Pismo Beach, California, 805-773-2511.

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

by Pastry Chef Hannah Ingham

4 cups of butter

3 cups of peanut butter

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of brown sugar

4 eggs

1 ½ tsps of Vanilla

½ tsp of salt

7 cups of flour

1 tbsp of baking soda

Cream the butter and peanut butter together until fully incorporated. Add sugars and blend well. Add eggs and vanilla at the same time mix together well. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix until incorporated. Place batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take a jar of nutella and spread through with a knife . One fourteen ounce jar should be enough. Take a yellow scoop and begin to scoop cookies on to a lined baking sheet. Bake for ten to twelve minutes at three fifty.