“Wine is bottled poetry.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Today is National Drink Wine Day! So raise your glass to toast the grape, the beautiful fruit that gets better with age. I must confess I’m not much of a wine connoisseur. My palate is pretty immature, preferring Rieslings and sweet dessert wine over hearty red wines.
It’s a rare occasion that I would open a bottle for the sole purpose of drinking it. But on occasion I will have a small glass if I’m cooking with it (quality control and such, of course). And honestly I have very few recipes that call for wine so it doesn’t happen often.
This past holiday season as I was looking for new and different Italian cookie recipes, I came across ciambelle al Vino. It’s an old Italian cookie that works well with any type of wine and is so simplistic in ingredients that I had my doubts about it. But my curiosity got the best of me and I had to try it just because. I’m so glad I did.
The cookie texture is crunchy, similar to biscotti, with a touch of anise flavor. Since it doesn’t use eggs or butter, it’s also vegan. The dough comes together very easily. Probably the most time consuming part is in shaping them like tiny donuts or bagels. There are two different methods for this. You can either roll out 5″ ropes of dough and pinch the ends together in a circle or make 2″ balls of dough and poke your finger through the center to make a donut shape. I prefer to use the latter method.
Once baked, they last quite awhile in an airtight container. I hope you give them a try. Pair with a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea, and you’ll have a delicious dessert or snack. Cheers to cookies and wine 🍷♥️
Ciambelle al Vino
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup wine
1 tsp anise extract
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup coarse sanding sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine granulated sugar, oil, wine, and anise extract. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour to liquids in mixing bowl. Combine on low speed until ingredients are all incorporated together. Using a large cookie scoop, make 2” balls of cookie dough. Poke your finger through the center and shape like a donut or bagel. Roll shaped cookies in coarse sanding sugar and place on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 1-2 minutes before moving cookies to cooling rack. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes approximately 18 cookies.