Monday, December 31, 2012

A Small Bite Before the New Year

This is it...the last day of 2012.  The morning started off on an odd note...there was a weird power surge on my block.  Everything powered down and right back up and you could hear...something.  Don't ask me what caused it, because I have no idea.  I went outside this morning, saw my next door neighbour and asked him if he had the problem too...just to make sure it wasn't only me.  It seems only odd occurrence for an odd year.

But it's time to move on and count down the few hours that remain until 2013 arrives here.  New Year's for me is still based on East Coast time, so I'll have my glass of cava at 9pm, watch the ball drop in Times Square, and most likely be in bed before it's midnight in Los Angeles.  Go ahead, say it...I really know how to party.

It's going to be a quiet night.  I'm still debating on what to make for dinner.  There's an excellent chance that dinner will be lots of nibbles.  A carryover from my last life...where my partner and I usually stayed in on New Year's Eve and had a table full of small bites, antipasto, and hors d'oeuvres the we grazed on over the span of the evening.

I have eggplant dip in the fridge, fresh ricotta I made the other day, and wine biscuits on the counter.  With as many times as I've made them, I'm surprised I haven't really mentioned them more on here.  One of my BFF's asked me to make wine biscuits for the birthday party she threw herself yesterday.  I had them ready last Thursday, but since I can't have them sitting around without being continually tempted, I made more yesterday afternoon before the party.  I replaced the ones I ate over the past couple of days, added a few more, and kept a little for myself.  They really are amazing little cracker-like biscuits and a perfect project if you have the remains of a bottle of wine sitting around.  For some of you, that may not happen, but when I open a bottle of red, I usually spare the half cup required for this recipe.  I've been meaning to try them with white wine, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

This recipe comes thanks to the wonderful King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion (I also think they have the recipe posted on their website).  I've done a little adapting, making them more savoury than sweet.  I use a lot of black pepper in them, loving the bite it gives them.  They pair fabulously with ricotta, drizzled with a little olive oil, scatter them onto a cheese plate, or do what I them by the handful on their own.

Happy New Year, everyone...I wish you all an amazing, successful, and prosperous year!

Wine Biscuits
Adapted from the King Arthur Baker's Companion

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 teaspoons sugar (I use 4, if you want them sweeter, use more)
2 teaspoons black pepper (I use about 3 tsp)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons red wine
1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)

Whisk the olive oil and wine together.  In a mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients, then mix in the wine and oil.  I mix it by hand, but you can use a mixer.  Bring your dough together, then chill for at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Split the dough into three pieces.  Roll out each piece and cut out biscuits with a 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter.  You can also use a larger size if you want.  Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes, about 30-35 minutes if you make them larger.  

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