Thursday, 3 September 2015

Italian Red Wine Cookies

They smell like Christmas but look like Halloween.  It's a rather off-putting grey-caramel, I know, but the burgundy doesn't quite come through without food coloring I'm afraid.

 With a half open bottle of red wine in my house, instead of appreciating the act of drinking alone, I just thought of marinades, stews and cookies, as I'm still a child.  

 The recipe was found on an Italian website named "recipes from grandma", so obviously it was a reliable source.  They're crunchy and sweet, with a lovely depth to it.  They're some of my favorite cookies -- good on their own, or dunked in a glass of red wine or even with Nutella if you're feeling extra indulgent.  Last time at a restaurant in Rome they were given to us with a dish of Nutella at the end of the meal, and personally, it was sickening.  I say just leave the Nutella, it ruins the cookies.

On a side note, that was a wonderful restaurant, Roscioli.  I was there with my boyfriend and my parents and it was still one of the first few encounters between them, so needless to say, it was awkward.  I was the one feeling most awkward, just eating my way through the delicious cookies at the end as my intimidating father blatantly told my poor bastard across the table that he should shave his beard.

Also, if you don't have the patience of braiding these cookies, then don't.  Just make little loops.

Recipe adapted from Ricette della Nonna
Makes about 30 cookies
125ml olive oil
150ml dry red wine
1 tsp baking soda
180g caster sugar
500g flour (I did 1/2 with whole wheat)
Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Mix the olive oil, wine, sugar and baking soda together, then slowly incorporate the flour.  Mix until it comes together then wrap in cling film and leave at room temperature for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a baking tray.  For each cooking, pick out two pieces that are about 10g in weight and roll out into a strand that's about 15cm long.  Place the two strands side by side, pressing together gently, and twist, then pinch ends to seal to form a loop.

Place them on the baking tray, sprinkle on the granulated sugar, and bake for 25-30 minutes.  They'll crisp up when they cool. 

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