Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
MAKES ABOUT 6 DOZEN
The whole house smells wonderful when wine cookies are baking, and they bring back lots of nostalgic memories for me. This was one of the cookies that all the Italian ladies in the neighborhood made, using homemade wine derived from Concord grapes. They were made for dunking in wine, so they were always on hand when company called. It is best to chill the dough for at least two hours before forming it into small bagel-shaped cookies. These are great keepers as well as great dunkers. The subtle lavender color is pretty, too.
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dry red wine such as Corvo Red
4 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, mixed together for egg wash
In an electric mixer on medium speed, blend together the sugar, vegetable oil, and wine.
Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add them to the sugar mixture and blend together at medium speed until a soft dough forms. The dough should not be sticky, but soft and smooth.
Transfer the dough to a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Once chilled, the dough is very easy to work with.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
To form the cookies, break off small pieces and roll them with the palm of your hand to form a 4-inch rope that is 1/2-inch thick. Bring the ends together and pinch them tightly, forming a circle that looks like a miniature bagel. Place the cookies 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Brush the tops of each cookie with the egg wash.
Bake the cookies for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch and the bottoms are golden brown. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Store the unused cookies in airtight containers.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA — BRINGING ITALY HOME by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2002.