Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies - copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table

RECIPE: Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies For The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Note: So many travel adventures to share with you all! Stay tuned in 2016 for some exciting news with Tanaya’s Travels!

I grew up loving the holidays so much that there are recordings of me singing Christmas songs year-round. Even in 75-degree weather, every so often on family road trips I’d bust out with “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” (Yup, for some reason I placed great emphasis on the “wish” part.)

The holidays just gave me such a joyful feeling, a feeling of safety and love and happiness thanks to my festive and fun-loving family.

Something extra I looked forward to this holiday season was participating in the annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, since really I enjoyed doing it last year despite going through some tough times during the holidays. I suppose it brought a bit of normalcy to my anything-but-normal year in 2014.

Last year, I made Bourbon Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Cookies. Since this holiday season had a strange kind of calm to it in comparison to my 2014, I decided my cookies should reflect that. Because what’s better than sitting back with a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate when you’re catching a much-needed (somewhat of a) break?

I decided to infuse some Merlot for a little tang, as well as some Himalayan Pink Salt to balance and round out the sweetness of this decadent, fudgy cookie. Here’s the recipe, hope you enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cookies - copyright 2015 Tanaya's Table

DARK CHOCOLATE RED WINE COOKIES

Ingredients: (makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies) – Adapted from Simply Scratch

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick unsalted butter (softened)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup red wine (I used Merlot, but you could use pinot noir, red zinfandel or any red table wine you’d enjoy with chocolate)

3/4 bag (about 10 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chunks)

1 teaspoon Himlayan pink salt (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt & baking soda.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing  bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  Next, add in the egg, vanilla & red wine. Mix together until well incorporated.

Gradually add dry ingredients until well combined, folding chocolate chips in last.

The batter will have a mousse-like, slightly fluffy consistency. Oh, and it tastes DIVINE!

Place heaping teaspoons or tablespoons (depending on size desired) onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, a couple inches apart.

Sprinkle a few flakes of Himalayan pink salt on top of cookies, if desired.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size and desired gooey or crunchy level.

If you’re sending your cookies across the country like I did for this cookie swap, bake those batches a little longer. Otherwise, enjoy these moist, gooey, chocolatey wine-infused cookies to enjoy at home or to share… and be proud of yourself for finding a delicious way to enjoy your dark chocolate and red wine antioxidants! 😉

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

I sent these cookies to the fab bloggers at Freshly Baked SweetsIn Natalie’s Shoes and Hye Thyme Cafe. I also received some incredible cookies from the talented bloggers of Sweet-E Pie & Babycakes, Kitchen Gidget and Creative Touch. Thanks for so much cookie love, everyone!

Check out the Tanaya’s Table Instagram photos with the #fbcookieswap hashtag for photos of the awesome treats. Participating bloggers’ cookie recipes, including mine, can be found here. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

 

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Tanaya’s Table On Live Bakespace Video Chat + Throwback Thursday Cookies

UPDATE: Here is the link to our full live chat recording… hope you find our creative baking chat and tips fun and useful!

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Hey guys! Here’s a little Throwback Thursday post to gear up for my Tanaya’s Table guest speaker gig on Bakespace this Sunday, April 19 at 2pm PST.

We’ll be discussing Creative Baking with a few other awesome food bloggers and bakers on a live Google Hangout, so bring your questions, recipes and photos!

You can follow along with the #GetBaked hashtag on social media. Just tune in live right here, or just re-visit the page for the recording of the video afterwards. Here’s all the info you need:

Join me on the Bakespace #GetBaked live chat this Sunday at 2pm PST!

Join me on the Bakespace #GetBaked live chat this Sunday at 2pm PST!

I’m pretty excited to be a guest panelist on my first live Google Hangout. Looking forward to chatting with you all!

Without further ado…

Here’s that Bourbon Pecan Pie Throwback Thursday recipe. Enjoy!

Tanayas Table Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies 1

What’s better than cookies and pie? How about cookies AND pie, wrapped up in one delicious and decadent cookie?

Pecan pie is a favorite with my family during the holidays… and really, almost any time of the year. So I thought, why not blend our favorite pie into cookie form for my first year participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap for a great cause?

These Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies are gooey, sticky and nutty with a a hint of chocolate and the aroma of vanilla and bourbon to bring it all together. I thought they would make great batches to send to three of my fellow food bloggers to whom I was assigned to send a batch of cheer, in the form of cookies.

I also baked some more of these cookies to share with my fellow Los Angeles-based food bloggers at our annual cookie swap. Last year I made red velvet gooey butter cookies, and these pecan pie cookies seemed to be just as big a hit! In fact, all my fab food blogger friends brought something irresistible to the table.

Check out this one-minute Tastemade video for some baked goods highlights!

The most delectable cookies made in L.A. all crammed into a 1-minute video!

The most delectable cookies made in L.A. all crammed into a 1-minute video!

Being especially short on time this year due to a major family emergency, instead starting from scratch in formulating this cookie-pie mashup recipe, I decided to do a little background research first. After all, reinventing the wheel is not the greatest use of time, right?

Thank goodness for this Spend With Pennies recipe, because it provided me with a solid base and allowed me more time to adapt the recipe to my taste… and to dress it up with a little bourbon love!

You can definitely modify the recipe below however you would like, depending on how much time you’ve got to do your baking this year. Hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Perhaps you can even start your own cookie swap tradition!

Tanayas Table Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies 2

Bourbon Pecan Pie Cookies

Ingredients

    • 1 prepared pie crust (check out Crazy for Crust’s all butter from-scratch recipe here)
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup pecans, lightly toasted & chopped
    • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup corn syrup
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 large eggs, beaten (set aside 2 tablespoons for egg wash)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup bourbon (or more, if desired!)
    • 1/4 cup semi sweet or milk chocolate chips (optional)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large non-stick pan, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, bourbon and salt. Over low heat, slowly stir in eggs (minus the 2 tablespoons for egg wash). Continue to slowly stir on stove over medium-low heat just until slightly thickened (just about the consistency of pudding). Stir in vanilla, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Roll out dough and use a 3″ cookie cutter (I used the rim of a glass) to cut out circles. Gently fold the edges in, about 1/8-1/4″
  4. Brush the egg wash around the pie crust edges for a glossy finish. Sprinkle with granulated sugar for a golden brown crust, if desired.
  5. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of the pecan pie filling into each circle. Top with chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until filling is just set and crust is lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Enjoy!

Speaking of cookies, check out the L.A. Cookie Con & Sweets Show & Baker CakeMaker behind-the-scenes coverage!

L.A. Cookie Con Official Blogger Badge Tanaya's Table

VIDEO: CREAM Opens In Downtown Los Angeles

Backstory: Went to Berkeley back in 2013 for a few hours to visit a friend. Heard of CREAM, the Berkeley-based ice cream sandwich place that always has a huge line. Pressed for time, we bypassed the line, hoping to try it someday.

Flash forward to present: CREAM has opened in Downtown Los Angeles, right near USC on Figueroa. The line for free ice cream sandwiches wrapped around the block, but I had to bring you guys the “scoop” (pun totally intended), right?

Here’s what we got, and a word from Hector, the owner of CREAM (which stands for Cookies Rule Everything Around Me, by the way):

Check out the one-minute rundown on CREAM, the newest ice cream sandwich on the block.

Check out the one-minute rundown on CREAM, the newest ice cream sandwich on the block.

The final verdict for me is that it’s worth a try, but they will never come close to what Diddy Riese has done for UCLA and Westwood (which CREAM is said to be trying to do with the USC area).

I have attended both schools and yes UCLA is my alma mater so there is a slight bias by default, but nothing beats Diddy Riese in its history, charm, authenticity, and just the OG experience in general.

Their cookies also go better with the ice cream, in my opinion, but I will say that when the CREAM cookies get soaked in melting ice cream, they have a delicious texture and flavor that makes me very very happy.

They also have ice cream made in-house & vegan options… but what I really love are the toppings you can add to your ice cream cookie sandwich. Everything from Oreo pieces to sprinkles and gummi bears.

However, I wish they had a few more unique flavors, and that their salted caramel had more saltiness to it. I wasn’t mindblown for all the hype, but it was a very solid and satisfying ice cream sandwich. Plus, the service was great.

Go check CREAM out for yourselves in you’re in the downtown area, and share your verdict!

VIDEO New Opening: 4th Street Market, SoCal’s Most Epic Food Hall

Watch the video for a taste of the good eats you can find at this hip new food hall!

Check out the 1-minute video for a taste of the good eats you can find at downtown Santa Ana’s new food hall!

There’s a hip new food hall in town, and it’s the best one I’ve seen yet! Located in downtown Santa Ana, this new hub of cutting-edge eateries and small food businesses just opened and is ready to please palates.

My wonderful foodie friend Kelli and I ventured over to the new space over the weekend, and we were impressed at how it exceeded our expectations for design, variety, and innovation in their food offerings.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Food Hall

I started off with a Radical Botanicals rawktail, which is a raw (non-alcoholic) cocktail made with citrus and coconut milk. It was so delicious, and really settled my stomach to prepare my body for all the awesome food we were about to consume.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Radical Botanicals Pressed Juice Raw

Although there are 15 highly select food and drink vendors (there’s even a bar called Recess, by the Playground folks!), we finally settled on the Thai “khao soi” noodles from Jason Quinn’s Noodle Tramp, and the tater tot pork poutine from Stockyard Sandwich Company.

The noodles had a perfect bite and chew to them, and the sauce was rich in flavor and complexity. The tater tot poutine had juicy pork, plus a fried egg on it… so in other words, it was also amazing! The video above has more on these dishes.

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Khao Soi Noodle Tramp Poutine Stockyard

After enjoying our food in the outdoor patio decorated with bold, colorful graffiti art and planters, we went back inside for some dessert.

Chunk-N-Chip really stood out to us, and what caught my eye the most was their champagne cookies and their French toast with bacon ice cream! I had to get it in sandwich form, I tell you. Who doesn’t want a little libation AND breakfast in their dessert, right? Ha.

The storefront is the ice cream sandwich maker’s first brick-and-mortar, as it started as a food truck. Claudia, the lovely owner, told us they are expanding their flavors and cone options. For now, they have brownie and red velvet waffle cones, but they will soon be rolling out at gluten-free, vegan cone.

I also went behind the scenes to create this video for the making of their brownie batter cones. Trust me, you need to try it for yourself!

Tanayas Table 4th Street Market Chunk N Chip Ice Cream

There is so much more to try at the newly opened 4th Street Market, and I can’t wait to be back soon for the rest.

Check out the video above for the food in action, as well as some shots of the awesome decor. LOVED the quotes from famous foodies on the ceiling!

To find out more on the 4th Street Market, and for hours and directions, go here. Until next time, cheers!

VIDEO: Sweets, Food Stars + Demos At L.A. Cookie Con

Check out highlights from L.A. Cookie Con!

Highlights from L.A. Cookie Con are right here in this one-minute video, including a shoutout to you guys from MasterChef & Food Network stars!

This past Sunday, I was honored to cover the magnificent first annual L.A. Cookie Con as an official blogger. It was a sold-out convention for sweet lovers, featuring a ton of baked goods and other delectable treats. A dessert fanatic’s heaven!

The event, held at the Pasadena Convention Center, featured special guest Ron Ben-Israel of “Sweet Genius” on Food Network, along with “MasterChef” fan favorites Ahran Cho, Daniel McGuffey and Monti Carlo. The immensely talented child chefs also represented, with “MasterChef Junior” stars Dara Yu (better known as “Dara the Bow Girl”), Troy Glass and Sarah Lane taking part in the panel discussion involving all culinary TV personalities. Stacey Poon-Kinney of “The Next Food Network Star” also joined them, along with other talented stars.

Stacey, Monti, Ahran, Daniel, Sarah and more!

Stacey, Monti, Ahran, Daniel, Sarah and more were in attendance

There were tasty pastries of all kinds, from the good old traditional kind, to organic, raw, gluten-free, sugar-free, local and other types of specialty creations. There was something for everybody… and then some!

Some of my favorites (although really, there were way too many to list!) included the newly opened BakerCakemaker, as they were serving their buttery Filipino ensaymadas (they even looped my video feature on them throughout the entire day!). I also loved the unique and rare Baba Raspberry Jam crafted by Coldwater Canyon Provisions, and the perfectly chewy cookie bars that J & D Catering served.

LA Cookie Con Peacock Table

The peacock-themed entry into the dessert table design competition. My personal favorite!

It was wonderful to not only support my friend and L.A. Cookie Con producer Nancy, but also to see so many of my food blogger friends and a lot of my Tastemade family there at the event! We had fun exploring the demos, VIP lounge and photobooth!

Check out the one-minute video above for highlights, including a beautiful peacock dessert table display, photobooth shenanigans, and a hello to all of you from the talented food celebrities in attendance.

LA Cookie Con Macaron Garden

Stay tuned for Dine L.A. coverage of Prova Pizzeria coming soon. Go check it out while you can, there’s only a week left!