Red wine and dark chocolate cookies

Red wine & dark chocolate cookies

I like wine. It’s almost a defining characteristic. If I was coming over to your house for a meal, you’d probably say, “Claire’s coming over? Let’s see. She’s a vegetarian, so lets get some vegetables, and she’ll be wanting wine, so let’s stock up on that.” And then someone else – the imaginary friend of my imaginary friend – would say, “Should we get a good bottle?” and you’d say, “Nah, she’ll drink anything.” Well, not anything! I wouldn’t drink mad dog 20/20 kiwi strawberry, for pete’s sake. But I am fine with cheap and cheerful, it’s true.

I grew up in a house that had a little silver dish that said, “a dinner without wine is like a day without sunshine,” and I seem to have taken that to heart! When I was younger, before I even drank wine, I would listen to this song by Antoine Forqueray. It must have been wintertime, I remember a glowing sort of light in the kitchen. My mother must have been making dinner. The song sounded like red wine, and I remember thinking, “I hope someday I’m in love, and making dinner, and drinking red wine, and feeling like this song makes me feel.” Welladay! Here we are!

Of course, there’s no combination better than red wine and dark chocolate. And this was the inspiration for these cookies. There’s red wine in the batter. It makes the cookies a little soft and cake-like, but pleasantly so, I think. The taste of red wine in a baked good is quite nice. It’s like a little fruity tang. It’s not overwhelming – you can have these with coffee in the morning. You can feed them to your children. It’s just really nice. These went fast!

Here’s the Forqueray, as played by Jordi Savall. It’s the 2Eme Suite, Chaconne La Buisson. God, it’s gorgeous!!
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Syllabub cookies

Syllabub cookies

Every Christmas we have a special drink/dessert called syllabub. It’s from an old recipe – hundreds of years old! As with most old recipes, there are many variations, but at its simplest, syllabub combines cream and spirits. Our version combines sweetened red wine with whipped cream mixed with orange & lemon zest and juice and sherry.

These little butter cookies are based on this premise. The cookies themselves are made with orange & lemon curd and a little sherry. They’re iced with a red wine glaze. Their taste is unusual, but very good! A nice cookie to have in the afternoon with a glass of sherry, or after dinner with red wine. I should admit that when I made the curd, it didn’t quite solidify. I’m such a coward about cooking things with egg yolks in them on top of the stove. So I panicked and took it off the heat too early. But it didn’t matter! It worked in the cookies anyway. In fact, this is a good recipe to use for any sort of failed citrus curd experiment you might encounter.

Here’s Clash City Rockers, because they sing about oranges and lemons, of course!
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