Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Italian White Wine Cookies

I was at the Eataly in Rome today, which is essentially a Disneyland of Italian food, and they had a huge section for really good, top-quality cookies.  I don't know if you, my dear loyal reader, have noticed, but with this post included, I have 70 recipes under the tag Cookies and Sweets.  That is why I never buy cookies.  No matter how tempting and delicious they look in those packages or at the counter of bakeries, I always think I can make it myself.  It's not so much an ego thing as a cheap thing really.  Why spend £4 for a package of cookies when it just consists of cheap staple ingredients like flour and sugar?  Make it yourself. 

So I moved out of my flat a few days ago, and as I had packed away all my kitchen stuff, I couldn't cook, so I went to the supermarket and properly explored the ready-made microwave food section.  Yes, as a university student it took me 4 years to actually stop by that aisle.  I always think I can make it myself and ok, maybe not always with cookies, but with ready made stuff, I know I can make it better myself.  Well, I thought so at least -- my mind was blown.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for good packaging (hats off to the Tesco Finest packaging designers), but my goodness, I see why people don't cook anymore.  The curries, noodles, lasagne, stir-fries, roasts, they all looked delicious.  And the variety!  The expensive ranges of course.  The cheap value ranges looked doubtful, as expected.

Anyway, these cookies you can probably buy at an Italian deli, but save yourself some money and make these cookies with love.  It's a good way to use up that little bit of white wine left, or you know, good excuse to open up a bottle of white wine, use half a glass and drink the rest. 

Recipe from Giallo Zafferano
Makes about 40 cookies
500g flour
125ml vegetable oil
150g sugar + more for dipping
135ml dry white wine
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
8g baking powder
a pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Put the fennel seeds in a bowl along with the wine.

In a separate bowl, mix in the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Put on a work surface, make a well in the center and add the oil and the wine that's with the fennel seeds.  Mix everything together until it comes together into a dough.

Take about 1tbsp of the dough and form into a long log, then close the ends to form a ring.  Repeat with the rest. Dip the cookies in sugar and put on a greased baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. 

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