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Cookies & Wine, Plus Cookie Swap Ideas

Posted on 11/01/2011 by Marissa Jamison

Want a more sophisticated snack for Santa? This year, offer Biltmore Wine with those cookies! We’re sharing some of our chefs’ favorite cookie recipes with you, plus wine suggestions. Just bake up a batch or two, open a couple of bottles of wine, and host a cookie swap. You’ll finish the day with a new variety of cookies and warm memories of time spent with friends.

Cookie swaps are a fun, easy way to get a jump on holiday baking: simply make several dozen of your favorite cookies (as a general guideline, bake a dozen cookies for every person invited to the event) and bring them to the swap, along with your recipe. Everyone shares their cookies, so you’ll end up with a variety of tasty treats you can enjoy throughout the season.

Pair wine with cookies as you would other foods: treat savory cookies like savory foods and pair sweet cookies with sweeter wines. Wines with good acidity complement rich cookies while chocolate cookies deserver a fruit-forward red wine.

If you’re participating in a cookie exchange or swap, you can please every taste by bringing both our Century White Wine and Century Red Wine to the festivities. The Century White pairs well with a savory and spicy cookies like the Gouda Bouchees and Lebkuchen, and the Century Red complements the sharp Parmesean wafers and the chocolaty magic bars.

On the other hand, winemaker Sharon Fenchak suggests a sparkling option. “Sparklings are versatile—they take the guesswork out of pairing and make a great complement to many styles of food.”

 

Parmesan Wafers

A savory and sharp crispy wafer. Serve leftovers with a warm bowl of tomato soup.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
• 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl; stir just until moistened. Spoon mixture by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet. Spread each spoonful into a thin round.

2. Bake at 350° for 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Yield: 12 wafers

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Pinot Noir

 

Gouda Cashew Bouchées

Bouchée is French for “small patty” or “mouthful”. Each one of these savory “mouthfuls” is crowned with a buttery cashew.

Ingredients:
• 11/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Gouda cheese
• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp dry mustard
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 14 whole cashews

Method:
1. Combine cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.

2. Combine flour, mustard, and salt; add to cheese mixture, beating until dough is no longer crumbly. Shape into 24 (1 inch) balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets; press a cashew on top of each ball. Bake at 375⁰F for 16-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool on wire racks.
Yield: 2 dozen

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Estate Chardonnay

 

Lemon Thyme Shortbread

Brighten up the cooler weather with these fresh cookies – and enjoy leftovers with a hot cup of tea.

Ingredients:
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
• 4 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
• 1 1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 tsp pure lemon extract
• 8 oz white chocolate, high quality (not white chocolate chips) chopped

Method:
1. Place 2 tablespoons of the flour, the almonds, thyme leaves and lemon peel in an electric food processor bowl fitted with a metal blade. Cover and pulse for about 20 to 30 seconds or until the mixture is finely ground.

2. Sift the remaining flour and salt together into a medium bowl. Stir in the almond mixture until the ingredients are mixed. Set aside.

3. Beat the butter and both sugars in an electric mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until light and fluffy.

4. Reduce the speed and gradually beat in the flour mixture, until just combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 -1/4 inch thickness, adding only enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut dough with a 2-inch round cutter. Place the rounds about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the shortbread is lightly browned underneath. Remove immediately to wire racks to cool completely.

7. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second bursts stirring each and every time until smooth and completely melted. Dip half of each cookie into the white chocolate then place on parchment paper until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Estate Chateau Reserve Blanc de Blancs

 

Orange Drop Cookie

Speckled with grated orange rind, these simple cookies go perfectly on any Christmas platter.

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 each egg
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 1 lg navel orange

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.

2. Cream together butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.

3. Sift together your dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Beat well after each addition.

4. Grate the orange rind and squeeze the juice of the orange. Add to the batter and mix well.

5. Drop one teaspoon, about two inches apart from each other, onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottoms are a light golden brown.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Pinot Grigio

 

Lebkuchen

These spicy honey cookies have been part of German Christmas tradition for hundreds of years.

Cookie Ingredients:
• 1 cup honey
• 1 egg
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp grated lemon rind
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground allspice
• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp ground clove
• 1/3 cup finely chopped citron*
• 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
• Egg wash

Glaze Ingredients:
• 1 tsp cornstarch
• 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup water

Method:1. Heat the honey until it simmers. Remove the honey from the heat and allow it to cool.

2. Beat the egg until foamy. Add the brown sugar 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the honey, lemon juice, and lemon rind and mix well.

3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove and add to the honey mixture. Add the citron and nuts and mix well.

4. Divide the dough into four parts. Wrap in foil and chill overnight.

5. Sift together the cornstarch and the confectioners’ sugar for the glaze.

6. Cook the sugar and water until it reaches 230° F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the confectioners’ mixture.

7. Roll the chilled dough into a 2-inch round log. Cut each cookie to 1/4-inch thick. Spread the cookies 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet and brush with an egg wash.

8. Bake at 400° F for 10-12 minutes.

9. Immediately brush with glaze upon removing the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool.

*Citron is a minty candy fruit that is often used in European desserts. You can leave it out or substitute with dried fruits plumped in sugar syrup.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Riesling

 

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These lightly spicy and sweet cookies are a delicious alternative to traditional holiday cookies.

Ingredients:
• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
• 1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
• 2 eggs
• 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 cups white chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Method:
1. In a small bowl, sift the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda together. Set aside.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin puree, then scrape down the bowl. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until combined, then mix in the flour mixture. Stir in the white chocolate chips and pecans.
3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon at least 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, waxed paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake at 325° for 15–20 minutes or until just set.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Christmas at Biltmore White Wine

 

Magic Bars

Many flavors and textures create a rich and decadent cookie.

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or peanuts)
• 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
• 1 1/3 cups coconut flakes
• 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs then press into the bottom of a greased 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle evenly across the crust the chocolate chips, nuts and coconut. Pour the condensed milk evenly over the top.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting into desired size.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Biltmore Limited Release Chenin Blanc

 

Chocolate Peppermint Stick

Dark chocolate with a light touch of candy cane - two Christmas favorites.

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2/3 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
• 7 oz Dark Chocolate
• 1/4 cup Toasted Shredded Coconut

Method:
1. Put the water and the sugar in a pot and cook until it reaches 280° F on a sugar thermometer.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract.

3. Poor the mixture onto baking paper and let set.

4. Once cool break up the peppermint mixture into a small bowl and use the end of a rolling pin to crush it into small pieces.

5. Melt the chocolate. Mix in the mint pieces and the toasted coconut.

6. Lay a 12x10 inch sheet of baking paper on a flat surface and spread the chocolate into a 10x8” rectangle.

7. When firm to the touch cut into 2 1/2 inch wide strips with a sharp knife.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Christmas at Biltmore Rosé Wine

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