I am not a wine expert. Occasionally a birthday cake or Twinkie expert, but for me, wine is something I enjoy without necessarily having a great deal of knowledge. In fact, if I may, let me share a funny anecdote which illustrates just how much the opposite of a wine expert I am.
One day, I was at a store picking out some wine. As usual, I was scanning the shelves for cool-looking labels and then doing a cross-examination of the bottle's price. If it has a cool label and is under $10, it's great in my book. Choosing one that fit my needs, I plucked it from the shelf, only to turn around and see some dude looking at me. He then said, "you just picked that because of the label, didn't you". Note that it wasn't so much a question as a statement. Yup--busted.
That tale is meant to amuse you, but also to lead into the fact that when I received some sample bottles from SkinnyGirl wine, I wasn't 100 percent sure how to feel about them. My sister wanted to open and try some, so we did. To me, it just tasted like wine. It didn't taste lower calorie or anything, although technically, it is.
But there was one thing I was sure of, and it was that if I was going to use it for baking, I'd definitely have to fatten it up. Really, there's some logic to this: after all, if you're depriving yourself of all those precious calories in the wine, you'll have to make it up some other way, right? So now, you can have your wine and eat your cookies too.
And after a quick google search on the subject, I knew exactly how I wanted to do this: by making Italian Wine Cookies. I found a great-looking recipe here, and was happy to discover I already had all of the ingredients on hand, except anise. I don't like anise that much (personal thing), so I used vanilla extract instead.
While it's possible that mixing with a stand mixer instead of by hand made the texture of my cookies a little different, I've got to tell you that taste-wise, they came out very well. This is an intriguing cookie--not extremely sweet,
Ciambelline - Printable recipe here!
Adapted from Olive and Owl
Makes about 30
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of anise
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- a little extra wine and sugar for topping
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
Then pour in the wine and oil and mix by hand or on low speed with an electric mixer until it becomes a dough. It will be a fairly stiff dough. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into strips about the thickness and length of your index finger, about 3 inches long and 1/2 wide.
Wrap the strip of dough around your finger and crimp the ends shut.
Then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 350 until golden and crisp. Note: these will be fairly hard--they are a dunking cookie.
Not necessary, but if you'd like, mix some more wine and a little confectioners' sugar to make a glaze; also not necessary but cute, why not top with sprinkles?