Creating a Recipe for a contest… Divine Triple Chocolate Port Wine Cookies

The people who make Fonseca Bin #27 offered up a challenge and I just couldn’t resist.  After all, I’ve been using red wine (alternating between a dry red from James River Cellars Winery OR Fonseca Bin #27 Port wine) in my “standard” chocolate chip cookie recipe for the past 15 years or so… why not write the actual directions down and see if people like it, right?TripleChocolatePortWineCookies

I decided to call the recipe:  Divine Triple Chocolate Port Wine Cookies.  I use chocolate chips in three different sizes and degrees of sweetness, then included Port Wine and a few other “choice” ingredients.  I am deviating from my traditional way of using The Force when I cook and have provided actual directions for this recipe.  It was tough, but I just had to try it.  While my recipe may seem a bit unorthodox, my family and friends seem to find them absolutely divine.  I hope you enjoy them as well.

Divine Tripe Chocolate Port Wine Cookies:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and assemble all ingredients in recipe before you begin.

Start with the following ingredients in your mixing bowl:
1 cup butter crisco
1/2 c white sugar + 1 c brown sugar
1 t salt + 1 t baking soda
2 T Fonseca Bin #27 Port Wine
1 t blood orange balsamic vinegar
1 t dark chili powder
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1 t vanilla extract + 1/2 t almond extract
2 eggs (at room temperature)
Cream all ingredients together until well incorporated
Slowly add 2 1/4 c flour and mix well.

Add 1 cup each: mini chocolate chips, regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, and bittersweet chocolate chips.

Using a small cookie scoop, place batter, teaspoon by teaspoon, onto a baking stone. Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 11 minutes (you may need to adjust for your own oven temperature). Allow cookies to sit for a minute on the baking stone before removing to a wire rack to cool.

I like to keep this cookie dough recipe in my fridge so I can make fresh cookies at a moment’s notice, as my boys’ friends can attest. These are wonderfully divine!

If you feel so inclined, please consider voting for my recipe, using this link.  I hope you try this recipe and enjoy making it and sharing it with the ones you love… after all, isn’t that why we cook in the first place?

Recipe: Chambourcin Drizzle

I was trying to create something to add to a salad, when I came up with the idea of trying to use James River Cellars’ Chambourcin as the star ingredient… as luck would have it, a reduction of this sweet wine was just what I had in mind.


I started with 1 1/2 cups of James River Cellars’ Chambourcin wine.  Since our winemaker creates ours as a sweet wine, rather than a dry one, it seemed like the obvious choice to me.  I simmered the wine in a medium saute pan until much of the liquid had evaporated and the wine had thickened significantly.  I didn’t want to do a quick/hard boil on this, so it took about 40 minutes or so for this thickening to happen.

Once the wine was thick, I added 1/2T butter, 1t sugar, and 1T heavy cream to the mixture.  When the butter had melted and the sugar and cream had incorporated thoroughly, I poured the wine drizzle back to the glass measuring cup, where I was able to see that the mixture had reduced down to 1/4 cup of drizzle.   It was tart, yet had a bit of sweetness in the background that I thought would pair beautifully with some blue cheese and chicken in a salad.  Adding some crunch (some nuts, perhaps?) would have been nice touch, but I was more concerned with assembling a simple salad that would be filling and delicious.  The drizzle was relegated to the fridge until it was time to put my lunch together.

When lunchtime rolled around, I was more than ready to dig into this yummy salad.  NOTE: Since butter was used in creating the drizzle, you may want to allow the drizzle to warm ever so slightly so you don’t have any clumps in your drizzle.  Beating it lightly with a small whisk will accomplish the same task.  I sliced some romaine lettuce and used that as the base for my salad.  I thinly sliced a cooked chicken breast, use as much as you’d like and laid the slices in a pleasing array atop the lettuce.   NOTE: I used a breast that I had roasted the night before, but could have easily used pieces of a pre-roasted chicken from the local market. I crumbled some blue cheese over the chicken and lightly seasoned everything with 1T olive oil, salt, and pepper.  

Now was the time for my Chambourcin Drizzle to shine.  I used approximately 2 teaspoons of drizzle to “glaze” my salad, so there was plenty to use for a few servings.  Once I tossed the salad, the entire salad became slightly pink in color… it would have been wonderful with some crusty bread, but I loved all the flavors that combined to create something fun and tasty.

Hope you’ll try making something unique for your next luncheon.  A port wine would have been delicious in this recipe as well… maybe I’ll have to try that version next time.

Enjoy your taste tests… I know I do!