Around these parts, we have been baking cookies like mad! I have been creating my perfect entry for the Fonseca Bin 27 Port Cookie Rumble – and my husband has been loving it! I’m not sure that we have really drank port before (or at least one that we genuinely liked) and in the past three weeks, we have emptied TWO bottles!
Fonseca Bin 27 Port is fantastic, and we are thoroughly enjoying creating a cookie that pairs with it well – and the best part? Our entire family loves nomming these huge cookies packed with cherries, currants, almonds and LOTS of chocolate and spice to make it nice!
Here’s the skinny on the contest, you simply create a cookie that pairs well with Fonseca Bin 27 Port and post it on their Cookie Rumble contest page on Facebook then the judges, Dorie Greenspan and Jacques Torres will bake and eat all the delicious creations to determine a grand prize winner who gets two tickets to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, a KitchenAid Induction Range, and finally a Pro-Line Series 7 Qt Stand Mixer! The People’s Choice award, given for the recipe with the most votes will receive the stand mixer – what a perfect prize for someone who has been without a stand mixer for two years!! I’m hoping to win the People’s Choice award, but I need YOUR help to do it!
Each person can vote ONCE per 24 hour period for the next three weeks until the contest closes, you can find the link for my cookies here, under “Alice – Penn Valley.” Why is it the “Better Together” cookie? Simply because the cookie is delicious on it’s own, especially with a cup of joe in the morning, and the port is certainly fantastic as a stand-alone drink as well, but together? They compliment each other well and the one makes your mouth water for the other… does it get any better than that?
To find out more about the Cookie Rumble, check out Dorie Greenspan’s blog for a short video, a recipe idea and all the details! For the “Better Together” cookie recipe, scroll to the end of this post!
In other cookie news, I have also signed up for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2013!
Essentially, you get three dozen cookies, one dozen each from three other bloggers in addition to mailing out three dozen cookies of your own creation to three fellow bloggers and make a donation to a lovely charity in the process. What could be better?
This is my first year of participation, but I can’t wait to see who I get paired with and I’m still pondering what cookie I will be baking off and mailing out! Maybe everyone will receive their cookies in a lovely tin to boot? I just dont know yet, but there is still plenty of time to think up a delicious and mouth-watering cookie to bake off and woo some fellow bloggers with! What is your favorite cookie to make for the holiday season?
INGREDIENTS for the “Better Together” Cookie: yields 1-2 dozen
- 4 TBS Fonseca Bin 27 Port
- 1 TBS water
- 1 C dried sour cherries
- 1/2 C dried black currants
- 1-1/2 C whole almonds
- 2 C unbleached, all purpose flour
- 1-2/3 C bread flour
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 C brown sugar
- 1 C granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Fonseca Bin 27 Port
- 566 grams bittersweet chocolate 80%, coarsely chopped
Ingredients for Spice Dust:
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
Bring the port and water to a boil, reduce the heat to low, add the cherries and black currants and stir casually until the liquid evaporates. Turn the fruit into a bowl; cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on the baking sheet and toast for about 20-30 minutes, turning every ten minutes until the nuts turn slightly more golden brown and you can smell a toasty, nutty smell from the almonds, remove and cool then coarsely chop and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl, mix well then set aside.
Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars until it becomes very light, about five minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then stir in the vanilla extract and port, reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the dry ingredients gradually and mixing until just combined.
Drop in the coarsely chopped chocolate, port soaked cherries and blackcurrants, and coarsely chopped almonds and incorporate them into the dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop six mounds of dough onto a plate using a 3 TBS capacity scoop. In a small bowl, combine the spice dust ingredients, mixing to thoroughly combine them.
Roll each mound of cookie dough between your palms to create a golf ball sized ball, then gently roll it in the spice dust and place on a prepared baking sheet.
Bake until golden brown, about 16-20 minutes,let cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes then transfer to a cooling rack for at least ten minutes before serving. Serve a plate of cookies with a serving of Fonseca Bin 27 Port and enjoy! These cookies are delightful on their own, but “Better Together” paired with the port!
Dont forget to go vote for these cookies here!