Spokane area wineries are getting ready for the annual spring release party this weekend.
The wineries open the doors to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Mother's Day weekend for wine tasting, spring releases and fun. The tasting rooms are open noon to 6 p.m. each day.
Fans of Bridge Press and Emvy Cellars will want to help the wineries celebrate the grand opening of their new winery and tasting room at 39 W. Pacific Ave. Workers were putting the final touches on the outside patio and fence there.
The lineup of other participating wineries includes:
Arbor Crest Wine Cellars, 4705 N. Fruit Hill Road and 808 W. Main, 3rd Floor
Barili Cellars, 608 W. 2nd Ave.
Barrister Winery, 1213 W. Railroad Ave
Bridge Press Cellars, 39 W. Pacific Ave.
Cougar Crest Estate Winery, 8 N. Post St., Suite 6
Emvy Cellars, 39 W Pacific Ave.
Grande Ronde Cellars, 906 W. 2nd Ave.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars, 13030 E. Indiana Ave.
Liberty Lake Wine Cellars, 1018 S. Garry Road, Liberty Lake
Nectar Tasting Room, 120 N. Stevens St., will have wines from Hard Row to Hoe, Northwest Cellars, Skylite Cellars and Terra Blanca.
Nodland Cellars, 11616 E. Montgomery Dr., Ste. 70, Spokane Valley
Overbluff Cellars, 620 S Washington St.
Robert Karl Cellars, 115 W. Pacific Ave.
Townshend Cellar, 16112 N. Greenbluff Road
Vintage Hill Cellars, 319 W. 2nd Ave.
Whitestone Winery, 8 N. Post Street, Suite #8
There is a map at the Spokane Winery Association website.
I noticed a few longtime Spokane wineries were missing from this year's list, so I made a few phone calls.
Jill Rider at Townshend Cellar said there are no longer plans for a tasting room in the Spokane Valley at the Townshend winemaking facility, so wines from Caterina Winery, Lone Canary and Mountain Dome Winery won't be poured during the spring release weekend events.
Owner Don Townshend previously purchased the wineries and had plans last fall to open a tasting room for them on Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley. However, the wines are still available at stores around town and online.
Townshend Cellar wines will be poured at the tasting room at Green Bluff for the weekend.
Knipprath Cellars also is missing, but I couldn't reach anyone there to get more details. It looks like they are no longer members of the Spokane Winery Association, but may still be hosting a spring release event of their own. I'll update with details as I get them.
UPDATE: Knipprath Cellars will be open for spring release. I overlooked an event on the winery's Facebook page when I made the earlier post. The winery will be open noon to 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well. Knipprath Cellars is at 5634 E. Commerce Ave.
There's just something about senbei.
Perhaps it is the combination of salty and sweet. Maybe it is the satisfying crunch… I'm not exactly sure what it is, but they are delicious.
This year, the volunteers at the Spokane Buddhist Temple invited me to stop by the kitchen on Super Senbei Saturday. Minister's assistant Jefferson Workman and a the sangha - that's a Sanskrit word for Buddhist community - were working hard to mix, roll, cut, fry and toss the senbei crackers in sauce for the upcoming Haru Matsuri, or Spring Food Festival.
More than 50 temple members gather to make some of the foods for the annual event during Spokane's Japan Week for a few weekends in advance. In addition to senbei, they offer teriyaki chicken dinners with miso soup and rice, various kinds of sushi and some baked goods at the festival. This year it is Sunday, April 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at the temple, 927 S. Perry St.
By noon on Super Senbei Saturday, the crew had already been working for more than four hours. Volunteers at different stations were running the sesame-studded rice flour dough through pasta rollers. Or, they were cutting the long strips of dough into small crackers. Still others were stirring as the crackers fried in a large wok in the kitchen.
Workman was tossing the fried crackers into the air from a stainless steel bowl to ensure that they were well coated with the sweetened soy sauce. The crackers were then dried in the oven before they were bagged for the sale.
By the end of the day, 230 bags of senbei were finished for the sale.
You can take your chances that there will still be some of the crackers left when you swing by on Sunday. (Be warned that there were rumors that some people buy extra bags to store in their freezers. I'm thinking of becoming one of those people). Or, pre-order crackers (or anything else on the menu) on the temple's website.
When you stop by for the Japanese food, walk through the beautiful temple which will be open for tours.
For those who miss out on the Spokane Buddhist Temple fundraiser, there's another chance for senbei the following Saturday, April 27 at the Highland Park United Methodist Church's 64th Sukiyaki Dinner.
I went to see their senbei making operation last year.
The sukiyaki dinner will be held at 611 S. Garfield St. noon to 7 p.m. Dinner is $12.50 per person, there will also be a bake sale, senbei, a sushi bar and craft sale.
Reach the church at (509) 535-2687 to make a reservation or get more information.
And the winner is… not Lynette Pflueger.
Food & Wine magazine editors announced Tuesday that the winner of the People's Best Pastry Chef Competition is Jodi Elliot of Foreign & Domestic in Austin, Texas. The link for all of the details is here. After 25 years of picking the nation's best new chef, Food & Wine magazine editors asked readers to get into the action and pick the country's best new pastry chef.
Congratulations to Pflueger for her nomination.
A set of photos taken by Revel 77 barista Kaiti Blom has made her a finalist in the Barista Guild of America's contest.
Contest organizers asked baristas to share pictures that show what coffee means to them for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to barista camp. Blom said in an email message that some of her life's pivotal moments have taken place over coffee, including her first date with fiancee Christine.
“To me, coffee is the life blood of the community. Coffee houses provide a place to meet and promote friendships and relationships,” she wrote.
The couple in the top candid photo are Blom's friends Shannon and Vanessa, who were recently engaged. The bottom photos include the hands of her friends and family who came together to help her take the photos.
“I put a call out to my community to gather and be subjects in my photos and almost 20 people showed up with less than an hour's notice. This simple act solidified for me that Coffee = Community,” Blom wrote.
Blom titled the photos Coffee Unites Us.
Revel77 owner Deb Nelson said another employee, Aaron Monheim, also submitted a photo to the competition. However, he has conceded defeat and is now supporting Blom's entry.
To vote for Blom's photo, Facebook users must 'like' the Barista Guild of America's page and then click the 'vote' button with her photo.
Here's the link.
The Barista Guild of America's homepage is here.
Lynette Pflueger, a Spokane native and the former pastry chef at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, is up for the title of The People's Best New Pastry Chef in a competition sponsored by Food & Wine magazine.
Pflueger is one of 16 chefs named by Food & Wine magazine among the best new pastry chefs in the West. The magazine picked 50 chefs nationwide. Reader votes will determine who wins the title. The voting closes on April 8.
Pflueger grew up in Spokane and went to North Central High School. She attended the Washington State University hospitality program for three years, spending one abroad in Australia before she decided to go to culinary school. She attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Santa Monica, graduating in 2006.
She worked in Florida and Connecticut before returning to Spokane to work for Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie from July 2009 to February 2011.
“I wanted to gain more experience in fine dining and was seeking out a James Beard award winning chef or a Michelin star chef,” Pflueger wrote in an email message.
She works for Chef Mavro in Honolulu, which has been honored by James Beard and had Michelin stars in France. Chef Mavro also has five diamonds from AAA and has been honored as one of the top 40 restaurants America by Gayot.
In the competition, Pflueger describes her quintessential dessert as Island Madre chocolate crisped with black walnut, truffle white chocolate, tarragon ganache, pear coulis and Molokai black salt.
Here's the link to vote for Pflueger.
Savory Restaurant and Lounge owners announced they were closing with a Facebook posting for customers on Saturday.
The restaurant, 1314 S. Grand Blvd., opened two years ago after extensive remodeling of the former Blockbuster video store. Saturday night’s dinner was the last meal served there.
Owner Mike Schneider, of Spokane Restaurant Equipment, said he was thankful to everyone who supported the restaurant over the past two years and that he felt terrible about closing Savory, when reached by phone on Monday.
“It was beautiful. I just fell in love with what we did there,” he said. “It wasn’t profitable. Blame tough economic conditions; we just had to do it,” he said.
He declined to go into further detail about the reasons Savory closed.
The restaurant fixtures and equipment are for sale with an assumable lease at that location.
The Spokane-based dressing maker Uncle Dan’s will be front and center at the Super Bowl of eating in Philadelphia on Friday, Wing Bowl 21.
Chris Stevens, president of Uncle Dan’s Authentic Salad Dressing Mixes, is supplying the bleu cheese dressing mix that contestants will be drowning their wings in during the competition. The Wing Bowl was started in 1992 by a couple of Philadelphia radio DJ’s who were convinced that the Eagles would never make it the Super Bowl again. The DJs at SportsRadio 94WIP created Wing Bowl, which initially was just a wing eating competition between the two of them, Stevens said.
It has grown to draw an audience of more than 20,000 people in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Tickets for this year’s event sold out in 48 hours, Stevens said. Last year’s winner of the wing eating competition was Takeru Kobayasi, who faced 29 other eaters and set a Wing Bowl record by eating 337 wings in an hour.
“Last year, they ate over 6,000 wings … so I am making lots of bleu cheese to go with that,” Stevens said in a news release.
Uncle Dan’s is a 46-year-old business started by Stevens’ father. The dressing mixes are manufactured in Kent, Wash., for the Spokane-based business. Stevens said the company was approached by Wing Bowl organizers, who were initially looking for a Philadelphia-based dressing maker. When they couldn’t find one that made the dry dressing packet mixes, Stevens said they invited Uncle Dan’s to supply the competition. They have distributed the dressing mixes only in the region, but will use the Wing Bowl publicity to expand into the Philadelphia area, and other place across the country.
In this area, viewers can tune in for Wing Bowl action and video highlights from previous competitions at wingbowl.cbslocal.com. Or, there’s a link on the Uncle Dan’s website at www.uncledans.com. Uncle Dan’s also offers dozens of recipes for using the products on the website.
Stevens said he’s planning a qualifier event for Wing Bowl 22 that would be held in Spokane in the fall or early winter. Uncle Dan’s will team up with The Onion Bar & Grill for the event. More details will be released as the event comes together.
The Lantern Tap House is expanding.
Owners Mike and Melinda Dolmage, along with partner James Pearson, will introduce their plans to stretch the tap house into the space next door with an open house and food drive this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Mike Dolmage said the space next door to the tap house, 1004 S. Perry St., became available when the Perry Street Cafe closed in December. The Lantern partners plan to remodel the space into a public house, serving casual fare. The family-friendly restaurant would serve quality, but reasonably priced pub grub, including burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, chicken wings, fries and potato skins.
The planned construction would open up the tiny Lantern Tap House to the adjoining space a little bit, but Mike Dolmage said they hope to preserve the tiny bar the neighborhood regulars love.
“We still want to have that quaint atmosphere in the bar area,” he said.
The bar would continue to serve those 21 and older and patrons could order food. They also hope to extend the feel of the neighborhood pub into the new space.
Originally called the Lantern Tavern, the little bar opened in 2009. Dolmage and his wife purchased the Lantern in July 2012.
They are introducing plans for the former Perry Street Cafe space with an open house and food drive this weekend. The lantern has teamed up with Ninkasi Brewery, of Eugene, Ore. Bring a non-perishable food item and there will be $3.50 pint specials on Ninkaski Renewale ESB, Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, Ninkasi Redunkulous, Ninkasi Oatis Stout.
The Lantern Tap House is open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They'll close at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at midnight on Sunday.
Dolmage said he and his wife love the neighborhood and are excited to share the plans for the expanded tap house.
“We couldn't be more happy to be a part of the South Perry neighborhood,” he said.
They're hoping to host an open house again mid-way through construction. They'd like to open the expansion by the weekend of St. Patrick's Day.
Roast House coffee has released new coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo that has local coffee lovers talking.
The coffee was grown by members of a cooperative of farmers called SOPACDI in the highlands of Congo near Lake Kivu. Years of conflict and civil war nearly destroyed the local coffee business and many growers were killed as they tried to protect their farms or smuggle coffee out of the country. The group supports the widows of men killed in the conflict and smuggling coffee with a premium price for their crops.
It is the first time coffee from the fair-trade cooperative was offered in the United States. Buyers grabbed it in less than 24 hours. Roast House, owner Deborah Di Bernardo, who had been looking for ways to support women who grow coffee and their families, is excited about the new coffee. They got just two bags, or about 280 pounds, of green coffee. But it's not just a good cause. The coffee is delicious, too. It features notes of tangerine and chai-like spices.
This promotional video was made by C3M Productions as Roast House released the coffee to their business partners. C3M shared it with us.
Roast House Congolese coffee is available in limited quantities and is only available as pour-over coffee, Chemex or French press because it is a delicate coffee bean and a light roast. The coffee is more expensive due to its limited availability.
Several coffee shops and restaurants began offering the Roast House Congolese coffee on Monday. Most shops are charging about $3 per 12-ounce cup.
Atticus Coffee & Gifts, 222 N. Howard St., (509) 747-0336
Boots Bakery & Lounge, 24 W. Main Ave., (509) 703-7223
Cannon Coffee and Cone, 1925 W. Fourth Ave., (509) 413-1898
Chairs Coffee, 113 W. Indiana Ave., (509) 340-8787
Manito Tap House, 3011 S. Grand Boulevard, (509) 279-2671
The Mason Jar, 101 F St., Cheney, (509) 359-8052
The Scoop, 1001 W. 25th Ave., (509) 535-7171
The Wandering Table, a traveling monthly dinner, www.thewanderingtable.com
Roast House will take telephone and email requests for the Congolese coffee and roast it to order, as long as it lasts. It sells for $15 per pound. Reach Roast House at (509) 995-6500 or email@example.com. The microroastery is located at 423 E. Cleveland Ave., Suite C, in Spokane.
Texas-style pit barbecue is coming to Spokane starting Friday.
The first area Dickey's Barbecue franchise is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on Jan. 18 at 12628 N. Division St., according to company spokeswoman Kate Morganelli. The franchise is owned by Dawn Carr and Walt Buyea. The location was formerly home to Camino Real.
The first 100 customers will get a free Pulled Pork Big Barbecue Sandwich.
Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants has more than 270 locations in the United States, with four restaurants on Washington’s west side (with one more coming soon in Issaquah, Wash.) and three in Idaho. Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened in 1941 in Dallas, Texas by Travis Dickey. According to the company's website, space on the restaurant’s sign was rented to help pay for start-up costs and the menu included only beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, beer, bottled milk and sodas.
In 1967, brothers Roland and T.D. Dickey, Jr. took over the business from their father and expanded the signature hickory-smoked meats throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth area, and then north Texas. They began franchising in 1994. A third generation, Roland Dickey, Jr. took over the family business, becoming president in 2006.
Dickey’s provides extensive support for franchise operators, beginning with a three-week “Barbecue U,” where owner/operators learn to run the restaurants from open until close.
Dickey’s is known for a family-friendly atmosphere and its beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, served along with sides such as jalapeno beans and macaroni and cheese. Meats are smoked at each restaurant, just as it was done in the original Dickey’s in 1941. Rolls are served with every meal, along with complimentary ice cream and dill pickles. The first menu change in 50 years was a spicy cheddar sausage, which was recently added after rave reviews from customers.
The Spokane restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reach the store by calling (509) 465-9999.
The menu and other restaurant details can be found online at www.dickey’s.com.
The Santorini's Greek Cuisine in downtown Spokane is closed.
Reached by phone, owner Sally Tsakarestos would only say that they sold the restaurant, 112 N. Howard St. She would not reveal who purchased it, but said the new owners will not run it as a Greek restaurant. She said the new owners will make an announcement about their plans soon.
Pete and Sally Tsakarestos opened Santorini's in 2008. They are not opening another Greek restaurant anytime soon, Sally Tsakarestos said.
Santorini's in Coeur d'Alene, 4055 N. Government Way, is owned by Tsakarestos' in laws and it is not affected by the sale of the Spokane restaurant.
I'll post an update on the new restaurant planned for that location as soon as I get more information.
Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie, 404 W. Main Ave., will reopen for dinner tonight after a break-in overnight.
The restaurant closed Friday at breakfast and lunch while workers cleaned up broken glass. Thieves smashed the glass and grabbed the cash register, according to owner and chef Jeremy Hansen.
The restaurant lost a small amount of cash that was in the register, but thieves did not haul off a prosciutto or any wine.
Sante is keeping the restaurant's Facebook page updated.
My colleague and Slice writer Paul Turner shared some mail he received from a reader.
The reader said she is a “thrift store cookbook seeker” and found a recipe for Spokane Cookies in a book that she picked up on a trip with her daughter.
She copied and sent the page from a church cookbook compiled by the Woman's Society of Christian Service at the Ninth Street Methodist Church in Three Rivers, Mich.
“I wonder how many cooks in Spokane will be baking 'Spokane Cookies' for their friends,” she wrote in her note, which landed on my desk before the holidays.
I haven't come across a similar recipe searching the Dorothy Dean archive over the years. A quick web search didn't turn up any similar “Spokane Cookies.”
It makes me wonder if it was a recipe shared between friends and family, or if it is a reference to something other than this area.
Have you ever come across Spokane Cookies? What would you consider a Spokane cookie?
If you haven't already wrapped up your gift giving for the season, here's a great last-minute idea.
Dry Fly Distillery recently began releasing some more specialty offerings in the new Dry Fly Creel Collection. Among the goodies are a barrel-reserve gin (that was bottled for the first time today), a port-finished wheat whiskey and a triticale whiskey.
The gin is a blend of Dry Fly gin that was barrel aged in the distillery's used wheat whiskey barrels. It gives the gin nice vanilla notes and lovely smoothness. The 375-milliliter bottles sell for $24.95.
The Port Barrel Finished Wheat Whiskey is the Dry Fly signature wheat whiskey that has been aged in Townshend Winery's barrels that have been used for huckleberry port.
Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye grains. The Dry Fly team tasted seven different kinds of triticale before they settled on the grain they are using in the Straight Triticale Whiskey.
These early offerings won't be around long, so if you have a few minutes this weekend stop in to the Dry Fly headquarters: 1003 E. Trent Ave., No. 200. Call (509) 489-2112.
The Perry Street Cafe is closed.
Owners Debbie and Geoff White said the breakfast and lunch restaurant served its last meals on Sunday.
The phone number for the cafe now rings at the Perry Street Cafe in Cheney, 24 W. 1st St. “It is very said. We're going to miss it,” Debbie White said.
The couple opened the Perry Street Cafe, 1002 S. Perry St., just after they were married in 2006.
Terry and Sue Hackler are celebrating the first anniversary of Twelve String Brewing Co. starting today with the release of Anniversary Ale Volume 1.
The beer is a double IPA style with 9 percent alcohol by volume and 100 international bitterness units, said brewer Terry Hackler in a news release. It packs a huge amount of hop flavor and aroma, he said.
The beer in being released for the first time today at the Twelve String Brewing Co. taproom in Spokane Valley, 11616 E. Montgomery Dr., Suite 26. Pints Alehouse in north Spokane will host a release party on Wednesday and The Hop Shop on Spokane's South HIl hold one on Thursday. Along with the Anniversary Ale Volume 1, the shops will also feature the first release of a cask conditioned 12 Strings of Winter Ale and a limited edition barrel aged Blackberry Stout.
The Twelve String Brewing Co. taproom is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 3-10 p.m.; Friday, 3-11 p.m. and Saturday noon to 11 p.m.
If you need me this weekend, I’ll be in the kitchen making my holiday cookies and gifts.
There’s still time to join me and whip together some treats for others before the season slips away. I'm fussing over ideas for the Meyer lemons I found this weekend at Costco. I was thinking of lemon curd, but I'm cranky about the recipes I've found because they call for bottled lemon juice to ensure they are canned safely. I may end up with a freezer curd instead. I'll report back on what I make.
Here are some of the recipes I’ve made in the past that were well received:
From “Gifts Cooks Love,” by Diane Morgan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010)
2 1/2 pounds (6 to 8 medium) oranges (such as Valencia or Cara Cara)
3/4 pound (2 large) lemons
6 cups cold water
20 green cardamom pods, crushed
8 cups granulated sugar
Prepare the fruit 12 to 24 hours before you plan to cook and preserve the marmalade. Wash and pat dry all the fruit. Trim and discard the stem ends. Cut the oranges and lemons into quarters and poke out all the seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Reserve the seeds in a small covered container. Using a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline, cut all the citrus, including the rinds, into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Put the sliced fruit in a large pot, including any juices left on the cutting board. Add the 6 cups of water. Gently press down on the fruit to make sure it is submerged. Cover the pot and set aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (This softens the rinds and releases the pectin.)
The next day, bring the pot of sliced fruit and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils steadily without splattering, and cook for 30 minutes. Wrap the crushed cardamom pods and the reserved lemon and orange seeds in a cheesecloth bag tied securely with kitchen twine.
While the fruit is cooking, prepare the preserving jars and bring water to a boil in a water bath canner. Sterilize the jars and lids.
Add the sugar to the fruit mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the cheesecloth bag of cardamom and seeds. Continue to cook the marmalade at a steady boil until it reaches the gel stage (see note) or reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
Remove the cheesecloth bag from the marmalade, pressing any liquids back into the pan.
Remove the marmalade from the heat. Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the marmalade into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil, such as a chopstick or wooden skewer, between the jar and the marmalade. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to the manufacturer’s directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes, and then lift the canning rack and, using a canning jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined, sturdy rimmed baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals, wipe the jars, and label.
Note: Here’s an easy way to check whether the marmalade is set. Put a small plate in the freezer. When the marmalade looks thickish and a bit gelled, put a small amount of the marmalade on the frozen plate and return it to the freezer. After a couple of minutes, run your finger or a spoon down the center and see if it stays separated and is a bit wrinkled. If so, it is done.
Storing: Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
Yield: 11 half-pint jars
Nutella Biscotti with Hazelnuts and Chocolate
From “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet (Andrews McMeel, 2008). These crisp, twice-baked Italian favorites are perfect for dunking in coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They’ll keep in an airtight container for two months.
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup Nutella, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chopped skinned toasted hazelnuts (see note)
5 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch chunks, or 1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) superfine sugar, optional (see note)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position oven rack in the center.
For the dough: Place the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. You also can use a hand mixer in a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results.
Add Nutella and blend well. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (15 to 20 seconds) and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly, just until there are no more patches of flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and mix on low, just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure the nuts and chips are evenly distributed and there are no patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.
To shape and bake the dough: Divide the dough in half. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, gently squeeze and roll each piece to shape into logs about 13 inches long. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the logs on the sheet about 4 inches apart. Press down the logs, flattening them slightly until they are each about 2 inches across the top. Place a second baking sheet under the first (to prevent the bottoms of the logs from browning too quickly).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the logs cool completely. (If you attempt to slice them while warm, the chocolate will smear and the cookies will look messy.)
Cut the logs and bake them a second time. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees and position two racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Carefully transfer the cookie logs to a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to slice the logs on a slight diagonal into cookies 3/8-inch thick.
Line the second baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cookies, cut side down, on the parchment-lined sheets. (You’ll need both sheets to hold all the cookies).
Toast the cookies in the oven, switching the sheets between the rack and rotating each front to back halfway through, for 30 to 40 minutes, until dry and lightly tinged with color. Transfer to a cooling rack.
While the cookies are toasting, prepare the finishing sugar if you like. Whisk together the superfine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven and off the rack, immediately roll them in the cinnamon sugar and return to the baking sheet to cool completely.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 months. If the cookies soften during storage, re-crisp them in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool and return to storage container.
Notes: To toast and skin hazelnuts, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 10 to 14 minutes. The skins will begin to split and come away from the nuts. Transfer the hot nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them lightly inside it so the steam will help loosen the skins. After 3 to 4 minutes, rub hazelnuts vigorously inside the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Depending on the variety, you may be able to remove some of the skin, but sometimes very little rubs off. Don’t worry, the remaining skin will add flavor and color to your baking.
Superfine sugar is sometimes labeled “baker’s sugar.” To make your own, whirl granulated sugar in the food processor for about 60 seconds. You can substitute superfine sugar for granulated sugar on a 1 to 1 ratio one to one.
Yield: About 45 biscotti
Cranberry Turtle Bars
From “The Gourmet Cookie Book,” from the editors of Gourmet magazine. The recipe is also available at www.epicurious.com, along with dozens of other cookie and treat recipes. I chopped the cranberries when I made this recipe, but some reviewers suggested keeping the cranberries whole. I’m going to try that when I make these again.
For the base:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the topping:
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed; 6 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups pecans (12 ounces), toasted and cooled, then coarsely chopped
For the decoration:
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), very finely chopped
Special equipment: a candy thermometer
To make the base: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides. Butter all 4 sides (but not bottom).
Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer. Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.
To make the topping: Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245 degrees F on thermometer, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.
Cut and decorate bars: Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 crosswise strips, then 6 lengthwise strips to form 36 bars.
Melt half of chocolate in top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a tiny piece of one corner to form a small hole, then pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about 1 hour.
Note: Bars keep in an airtight container (use wax paper between layers) 1 week.
Yield: 36 bars
The Spokane Winery Association will host the annual Holiday Wine Fest starting Friday, Nov. 16.
Local wineries and winery tasting rooms will be open noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday for the event.
Here's a map to the wineries and tasting rooms: www.spokanewineries.net.
The Spokane Winery Association is also working with area restaurants on a corkage free program, enabling winery customers to purchase a bottle and enjoy it the same day at a participating Spokane restaurant without a corkage fee.
Details and restaurant listings may be found at www.spokanewineries.net.
Iron Goat Brewing and vegetarian fare will be featured at the Sunday, Nov. 11 brewers dinner at Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge.
Dinner starts at 6 p.m. chef David Hill will prepare a four-course meal, matching each course to one of Iron Goat Brewing’s beers for the restaurant’s 31st brewers dinner. Iron Goat is based in Spokane. There is a seafood option for the main course.
The meal starts with Iron Goat Blonde Ale and grilled portabella sushi roll with ponzu, wasabi and pickled ginger. Iron Goat Scotch Ale will be paired with “almost-classic” French onion soup with roasted shallot and frizzled onions. The Impaler Imperial Stout IPA (8.5 ABV/72 IBU) will be served with the main course of either rosemary vegetable or shrimp and vegetable phyllo tart with couscous and sautéed spinach with garlic. Dessert features a stout and macadamia nut brownie with grilled pineapple kebob and the Goatmeal Stout (5.4/38)
Dinner is $39 and includes tax and tip. Call ahead for a reservation (509) 747-3946.
Roast House owner Deborah Di Bernardo will brew six different coffees from the Spokane microroastery to taste with chef Ryan Stoy’s tiramisu. Each coffee will bring out different flavors of the dessert, Di Bernardo said. The typically bright Latin American beans might add a to the dessert, while a coffee with natural chocolate notes could bring a new depth to the flavors, she said.
Roast House specializes in what they call “farm to cup” coffees and pay better than fair trade prices for organic, sustainable beans that are roasted in Spokane. They have poured thousands of cups of free coffee to get the word out about their small roastery.
Roast House is located at 423 E. Cleveland, Suite C. Reach them at (509) 995-6500.