Italian Wine Biscuits

If you've never had Italian wine biscuits before, give them a try. They're not the prettiest cookies in the world, but the subtle flavors of the red wine, black pepper and a wee bit of salt is sure to get you hooked. This relatively standard recipe originates from a family friend whose father, an Italian immigrant, made his own red wine. The flavor that homemade wine gave to these biscuits was second to none, but if you use a good hearty red like Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon, it should yield great results.

Italian Wine Biscuits
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  • Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Preparation:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center and add the vegetable oil and wine. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To form the biscuits, pinch off 1-inch balls of dough and gently roll into a small log about 1/2-inch in diameter. Bring the ends together to form a circle and pinch to close.

Place the formed biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with the egg-water mixture. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes until solid and slightly crisp on the outside. Note: These cookies do not really brown, so test them after 12 minutes and time them according to your personal taste.

Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

Makes 2-1/2 to 3 dozen

Recipe Notes:
It's important to note that wine biscuits are not really biscuits in the American sense at all - they're cookies! Try serving them with some fruit and cheese for dessert after an Italian menu. They pair really well with fortified wines like a sweet Marsala or Ruby Port.

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