Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Cocoa Vino Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

These red wine and dark chocolate cookies are a socially acceptable, gluten free and vegan way to indulge in a tipple at work! 

Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Cookies

I'll let you all in on a secret: I loathe wine. Unlike every adult in my family (except my sister), I find the beverage bitter, sour and tannic to the point where my mouth feels like sandpaper. Luckily, my intolerance to alcohol allows me to skip the toasts at birthdays, weddings and the like, but every year I wind up the recipient of at least one bottle from a well-meaning parent or a fluke Secret Santa swap.

While I may detest the flavour of wine in a glass, I find I don't mind it as an ingredient in recipes. When the inclusion is a key component of a savoury dish - coq au vin, for instance - a good wine choice can accent the savoury flavours of the other ingredients and add a layer of luxury. In sweet recipes - especially those with a chocolate component (like brownies, sundae sauce and muffins) - red wine is an excellent bearer of complimentary berry and other fruit notes. The presence of alcohol in chocolatey desserts also serves the purpose of heightening the cocoa and vanilla elements of the dish by releasing the organic compounds in those ingredients. In the case of gluten free baking, the right wine, paired with the right cocoa, can obscure the "off" flavours sometimes present by the flour blends.

In these cookies, however, I am happy to report the wine is not there as a mask, but as a makeup of sorts - the rich berry notes of the Chianti I had on hand opened up the floral aspects of the high-end cocoa I received for Christmas, and the combination of the wine and the Dutch process cocoa turned the baked cookies a lovely deep red-black colour. The aroma of the wine was present during baking, but faded into the merest afterthought when the cookies had cooled, giving them an edge of "grown up" sophistication without screaming "frat party". Come Valentine's Day, these would be a great treat regardless of whether you are attached or not - chocolate is the food of love, so why should it be wrong to love chocolate?


Chocolate is always in fashion--but no time more so than in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. So whether you are baking for your honey or just baking for fun, we have chocolate cookies to inspire you!

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Cocoa Vino Cookies
Adapted from Laurie Sadoowski
Makes ~20
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
½ cup vegan buttery spread, softened
½ cup + 2 tbsp (150mL) dry red wine (I used a Chianti)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (this is my favourite, but I used this one because I had it on hand)
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
½ cup teff flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tsp guar gum
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup allergy-free semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  1. Cream together the sugars, salt and vegan butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Beat in the wine and vanilla.
  3. Beat in the cocoa powder, flours, tapioca starch, chia, guar and baking powder until well combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
  5. Wrap in plastic and chill 1 hour, or freeze up to 4 months.
  6. Scoop 2-tbsp balls of dough 2” apart onto parchment-lined baking sheets and flatten slightly.
  7. Place cookie sheets in the freezer while the oven heats.
  8. Heat the oven to 375 F.
  9. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the centre just becomes firm.
  10. Let cool on the baking sheet.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 199.8
Total Fat: 9.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 45.5 mg
Total Carbs: 31.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.3 g
Protein: 2.6 g