Italian Wine Cookies

Italian Wine Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Italian Wine Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Although Christmas has past I’m not ready to move on from posting my sweet treats.  This recipe is my husband’s family recipe that I’ve modified to formalize the measurements and find the right wine to use.  The recipe called for muscatella wine – it was an Italian wine made with moscato grapes that couldn’t be found any longer.  The first time I tried making these, I used a red wine and it didn’t work out very well but I’ve been successful several times since then.  I hope to give you all the necessary information for you to be successful too.

The original recipe read something like the following.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • honey
  • 2 glasses muscatella wine
  • 1 glass oil

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt.
Bring wine and oil to a boil and add to mixture.

Roll dough into pieces and roll on cheese grater.
Deep fry pieces.
Pour honey over fried cookies.

My husband’s family (along with anyone else who has tasted them) is thrilled with the results of my changes to the recipe and I hope you are too.  I wasn’t able to find the original muscatella wine that was originally used in the recipe but I have a large liquor store locally and they suggested using Orange Grove Moscatel wine which was more expensive than I would have liked but it was worth it.  This is a very sweet wine that is quite tasty.  It’s worked well for the past few years even though it’s from Spain (the Valencia region) instead of Italy.  Last week I went to purchase some more and found out that they no longer work with the distributer that used to sell them the wine.  Luckily I still had enough to make this recipe.  The liquor store suggested another wine made from moscato grapes from Portugal but it’s sold in bottles that are half of a 750 ml bottle for $11 each and I would need to buy two to have enough for one recipe.  Instead I purchased another wine made from the same moscato grapes but it isn’t as sweet as the Orange Grove wine and it’s a little bubbly.  I’ll have to see how that works with my recipe the next time I make it if I can’t find the Orange Grove Moscatel.

Since this recipe is a little finicky, here are a few detailed tips.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and set aside.

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Add the wine and oil in a sauce pan to heat; stir occasionally.

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Add the wine mixture to the flour mixture and mix together until combined.  Then let cool overnight.

Italian Wine Cookies4 by Bakewell Junction

My husband usually helps with the forming of the cookies, so first he pinches off pieces of dough and rolls them between his hands.

Italian Wine Cookies5 by Bakewell Junction

Then he places the rolled dough pieces onto a cheese grater at the top – the side with the largest holes.

Italian Wine Cookies6 by Bakewell Junction

Then he places the heel of his hand on the dough and prepares to roll the dough to the bottom of the cheese grater.

Italian Wine Cookies7 by Bakewell Junction

After the dough is rolled to the bottom of the cheese grater, there a little divots and nubbies on the dough piece.  So it’s ready to fry.

Italian Wine Cookies8 by Bakewell Junction

While the cookies are being formed, the oil should be heating to 375 degrees.

Italian Wine Cookies9a by Bakewell Junction

To ensure the cookies cook evenly on all sides, I shake the basket to turn them.

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Move drained fried cookies to a large bowl lined with paper towels.Italian Wine Cookies11 by Bakewell Junction

After all the cookies are fried, heat the honey in a medium sauce pan.

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Add the cookies to a rubbermaid container and pour the warm honey over the cookies and turn them to coat.

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Serve and enjoy with Strufoli or your favorite treat.

Italian Wine Cookies14 by Bakewell Junction

Italian Wine Cookies

Yield:  too many to count                  Cook Time:  90 minutes

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 cups muscatella/moscadella wine (I used Orange Grove Moscatel.  You could try Moscato di Pantelleria, Sutter Home Moscato, Marco Negri Moscato, Robert Mondavi Winery Moscato d’Oro, Muscat Canelli or Woodbridge Moscato – I found these other wines on the internet.)
  • 3/4 cup oil (I use olive oil)
  • 20 ounces honey or more to taste, slightly warmed

Decorations

  • Non-pareils
  • White candy coated almonds (Jordan Almonds)

Directions:

Step 1:  Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.  Bring wine and oil to a boil (I let it boil for a bit for the alcohol to cook off) in a medium sauce pan, stirring occasionally.  Add to dry mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until combined.

Step 2:  Cool dough completely (I let cool covered with plastic overnight in the refrigerator).

Step 3:  Roll dough into pieces about the thickness of a pencil (they will puff up a bit as they fry) by 2 inches and roll on floured cheese grater to create divots.  While the dough pieces are being formed, heat oil to 375 degrees in a sauce pan or a deep fryer.  I use a cast iron deep fryer with a basket.  Deep fry dough pieces about 1 to 2 dozen at a time depending on space until dark golden brown and cooked through (this works best if one person rolls the dough and another fries them).  Ensure the cookies are cooked on all sides evenly by shaking the basket to turn them or use a fork.  Place fried cookies in a large bowl lined with paper towels to drain.

Step 4:  Once all the cookies are fried and there is no more dough, transfer them to a large Rubbermaid container.  Heat honey in a sauce pan for at least 5 minutes on medium to high heat until it thins out and is quite warm.  Pour warm honey over fried cookies while they are still warm.  Stir cookies to ensure they are all covered with honey.

Step 5:  Place the cover on the container and flip the container upside down.  Repeat flipping the container every 30 minutes or so to ensure the cookies are well coated.  The cookies will soak up most of the honey as they are coated and recoated by flipping the container over and over.  Before serving sprinkle the cookies with hard candy colored balls (nonpareils) for decoration and add the candy coated almonds also.  Try not to eat them all.

Storing:  Store cookies in a sealed plastic container.  The cookies are fine for many days when stored this way.

Enjoy!!!

Family recipe.

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12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Recipe Roundup

It’s almost Christmas and the blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com ended last week.  I wish it could have gone on longer as I have more Christmas Treats to share but I’m sure I’ll get the chance.  Many thanks to Brenda for hosting.

This is a roundup of the recipes I submitted to the linky party.  They are delicious and there is still some time to make some treats so click on the links below to get the recipes.  Happy baking.

Almond Crescents by Bakewell Junction

Almond Crescents by Bakewell Junction

Pizzelle by Bakewell Junction

Pizzelle by Bakewell Junction

Phil's Grandmother's Italian Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Phil’s Grandmother’s Italian Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Giant Ginger Cookie by Bakewell Junction

Giant Ginger Cookie by Bakewell Junction

Italian Almond Crescents by Bakewell Junction

Italian Almond Crescents by Bakewell Junction

baci di dama by bakewell junction

baci di dama by bakewell junction

Mini Linzer Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Mini Linzer Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Christmas Tree Vanilla Sugar Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Christmas Tree Vanilla Sugar Cookies by Bakewell Junction

Shoofly Pie by Bakewell Junction

Shoofly Pie by Bakewell Junction

Decadent Bourbon Balls by Bakewell Junction

Decadent Bourbon Balls by Bakewell Junction

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 12 ~ Florentines

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

Florentines by Bakewell Junction

Florentines2 by Bakewell Junction

It’s the twelfth and last week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  If you’d like to join us this week, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

This week I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve been making for several years.  They’re always a hit for Christmas or any time.  These look similar to the lace cookies that have been on the internet recently but I think they are sufficiently different that you should give them a try.

My sister and I have made these crisp Italian cookies to bring to several parties and we always get requests for more.  There is a bit of knack to getting these cookies to turn out well, so this week I’m adding some additional pictures so you can get the same results we do.

Next week is the week before Christmas and it’s the week I normally take vacation to do all my baking.  I’ve been doing this for many years now and it’s a little different than everyone else who takes vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day but it works for me.  When I started my Christmas baking I wrote down a list so I would know approximately how much of each ingredient I would need.  This my list.  You can see that I’ve crossed off some things and make others that aren’t even on the list but at least I have an idea of what ingredients I need in total.

Baking List by Bakewell Junction

Here’s the second page.

Baking List2 by Bakewell Junction

When heating the flour and wet ingredients to boiling, let it bubble up a bit,

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After taking the mixture off the heat, add in the dry mixture and stir until completely combined.  Stir occasionally during cooling.

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After at least an hour of cooling time, begin portioning the dough for baking.

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A full baking sheet ready for the oven.

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Hot out of the oven.

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Once the cookies are filled and cooled, store layered between wax paper.

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Enjoy.

Florentines

Yield:  35 – 45 sandwich cookies                  Cook Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced and blanched almonds, chopped in the mini chopper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (I use dried orange peel)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup to 1 3/4 semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Step 1:  Place the oven rack in the middle or top of the oven.  Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Cautions:  Do not use a dark pan or one that is non-stick coated, as these can make the cookies burn; do not skip using the parchment paper, as you will not be able to remove the cookies from the pan without it.

Step 2:  Combine almonds, flour and orange zest in a medium bowl.  Stir until well mixed and set aside.  Combine sugar, butter, cream and honey in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  I let it froth up a little as I believe this will help it hold together better.  Let the batter cool for at least 1 hour.  Be sure to stir occasionally.

Step 3:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using one of the cookie sheets you’d set aside earlier, place 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of the batter for each cookie for 8 cookies.  I use a large cookie sheet and only make 8 cookies at a time because these spread quite a lot.  The cookies are are about 4 or 5 inches apart.

Step 4:  Bake one pan of cookies at a time for 10 minutes on the middle or top rack (they will burn on the bottom rack) until they are lacy and golden.  Begin checking the cookies at nine minutes – the cookies can go from undercooked to burnt in an instant.

Step 5:  Carefully slide the parchment paper and cookies onto a cooling rack.  When cooled, transfer the cookies to paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining batter, alternating cookie sheets for each batch until batter is finished.  If the cookie sheet doesn’t cool quickly enough, I put it in the refrigerator to speed the cooling.

Step 6:  Pair like sized and shaped cookies together.  Melt about 1/3 of the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or a double boiler.  Melt additional portions of the chocolate as needed in the assembly process – this will help prevent overheating and reheating the chocolate.  Spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of one cookie and quickly top with the other cookie in the pair, bottom side down.  Both cookies in the pair should have the smooth bottoms towards the center and the lacy tops towards the outside.  Repeat for the remaining paired cookies.

Tips:  You can substitute milk chocolate, if you prefer.  You can drizzle tops with additional chocolate and add sprinkles if desired.  The cookies are thin and crisp, so be careful not to burn yourself when filling with the melted chocolate.  The number of cookies this recipe makes can vary widely depending on the size of the cookies.  If the cookies run together or get too large, you can break them into smaller pieces – similar to brittle with chocolate filling.  This bears repeating…Do not use a dark pan or one that is non-stick coated, as these can/will make the cookies burn; do not skip using the parchment paper, as you will not be able to remove the cookies from the pan without it.

Storing:  Store cookies with wax paper between layers (the cookies will stick together if not layered with wax paper) on a platter and covered with aluminum foil in a cool place but does not need refrigeration.  The cookies are fine for many days when stored this way.  If you’re making them ahead, the cookies can be stored before filling with chocolate in the freezer.  Be sure to layer with wax paper and carefully store them in a container that will prevent them from breaking.  Let the cookies return to room temperature before filling with chocolate in this case.

Enjoy!!!

Adapted from Florentines courtesy of Giada De Laurentis on FoodNetwork.com.

Have a look at the other great cookies in the blog hop by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.  Sorry my blog doesn’t support the blog hop participant icons directly.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 12, December 13, 2012

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

I’ve seen some of the other bloggers that participate in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats listing their submissions from the prior weeks.  I like this idea, so I’ve incorporated it into this week’s post.  If you’ve missed my posts for the prior weeks, here’s a reminder:

This post may also be entered in the following linky parties.  Click the buttons below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

What's cooking, love?

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats ~ Week 11 ~ Decadent Bourbon Balls

Decadent Bourbon Balls by Bakewell Junction

Decadent Bourbon Balls by Bakewell Junction

It’s the eleventh week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop hosted by Brenda Thompson from MealPlanningMagic.com.  If you’d like to join us, please fill out the form on Brenda’s blog.

This week I’m sharing a quick and easy no-bake recipe that I tried for the first time last year.  These were a hit last Christmas and I made them for the Christmas lunch at work this year.  They are addicting and delicious.  My co-workers loved them and that sort of reaction is the best part of sharing these goodies.

Some time around the end of last year my husband found a new Jack Daniels bourbon – it’s Honey Jack Daniels.  Honey liquor plus Jack Daniels creates a unique flavor.  If you can find some, be sure to try it in this recipe.

Enjoy.

Decadent Bourbon Balls

Yield:  50 balls                  Cook Time:  no bake

Ingredients

  • 60 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (I use Nilla Wafers in the mini chopper)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped (used the mini chopper)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1/4 cup Honey Jack Daniels or your favorite bourbon

Coating

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided

Directions:

Step 1:  In a medium bowl, mix together Nilla crumbs, powdered sugar, almonds and cocoa.  In a small bowl mix honey and butter together until well combined.  Add the butter mixture to the crumb mixture and stir until well combined.

Step 2:  Dissolve instant coffee in the bourbon.  Mix well with crumb mixture and set aside for 15 minutes.

Step 3:  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in 1/2 cup powdered sugar for garnish.  Let sit overnight and roll in remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar for a second coating.

Tips:  You can substitute rum for the bourbon to make rum balls.  You can substitute cinnamon sugar, green and red sprinkles, Christmas confetti, colored sugar crystals or your favorite coating.  Note that Christmas confetti and sprinkles need to be pressed into the dough balls as they don’t stick very well.

Storing:  Store balls in a sealed plastic container at room temperature.  The balls are fine for several days when stored this way.

Enjoy!!!

Adapted from Decadent Rum Balls on Allrecipes.com.

Have a look at the other great cookies in the blog hop by clicking on the Linky Tools link below.  Sorry my blog doesn’t support the blog hop participant icons directly.

12 Weeks of Christmas Treats Blog Hop

Week 11, December 6, 2012

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

I’ve seen some of the other bloggers that participate in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats listing their submissions from the prior weeks.  I like this idea, so I’ve incorporated it into this week’s post.  If you’ve missed my posts for the prior weeks, here’s a reminder:

This post was also entered in the following linky parties.  Click the buttons below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.


Sweet 2 Eat Baking

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