Saturday, January 30, 2010

Red Wine Valentine - Remix

Every year around this time, couples, lovers, friends, and admirers keep their eyes open for that special gift for their significant other. Chocolates and flowers are sweet. Jewelry is a nice thought, but something different, something new is always a sure-fire way to score a lingering hug or an extra long kiss. Fewer things can be more meaningful than a homemade treat. Whether it's made by your own hands or crafted from an independent bakery, these Red Wine Valentine cookies will spark an interest in your other's eyes.

These cookies are fit for sophisticated taste buds and wine enthusiasts galore. Using the best ingredients will make this simple recipe shine.

The cookie baking process can be split into two days for those with hectic schedules. Make the dough a day ahead. Roll, slice, and bake when you are ready to present them.

Red Wine Valentines
· ½ cup port wine
· 2 Tbsp. beet juice*
· 1 cup butter
· 1 ¼ cup sugar
· 1 egg
· Zest of half an orange
· 3 cups flour
· ¼ tsp. salt
· 1 tsp. baking soda
· 1 cup dried currants
· Sesame seeds
In a small sauce pan bring wine and beet juice to a boil. Once boiling occurs, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-22 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, orange zest, and cooled wine/beet reduction. Mix until combined.
Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated. Add currants.
Divide dough into thirds and roll into logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough logs with wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Unwrap dough and roll/press dough into sesame seeds.
Slice log into ¼ inch slices. Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and centers appear undercooked. Let cool on baking sheet.

*Note* You might be wondering why beet juice is included in this recipe. It is only necessary to keep the cookies looking pink and appealing. The "red" wine is not so red when mixed with yellow egg yolk. So if you don't mind bluish-green cookies, you may omit the beet juice. Just replace the 2 Tbsp of juice with an extra 2 Tbsp of port wine.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you cookie lovers and wine drinkers. Cheers!

*The Hot Cookie is a small, all-natural cookie company in Indianapolis run by two go-local/pro-green ladies with a thirst for life and a hunger for sweets. All of their two-bite cookies are made in small batches with as many high quality, local, and organic ingredients available.

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