Wine Loves Chocolate, Chocolate Loves Wine

Thursday, January 5, 2012
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Taste of WGBH: Wines of Italy

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
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Jan. 20, 2012


WGBH celebrates the regions of Tuscany, Lombardy, and Puglia with an opportunity to meet winemakers and sample their wines! (Floris M. Oosterveld/Flickr)

Thanks to all our members and guests who braved the cold to join us for a taste of Italy's bounty!

Of course, Italy is a source of inspiration at WGBH for its beautiful art, its rich musical heritage and the delicious culinary traditions as well. Explore to learn more about Italy's incredible culture. Here are a few pages to get you started.

From the archives of The French Chef


Foccacia for Dessert? Executive chef Craig Kominiak at Ecce Panis Bakery in New York City visits Julia Child in her kitchen. Kominiak bakes focaccia, testing the elasticity of the dough by stretching it to see the "window." He creates a sandwich with the baked focaccia. Baked with fruit and topped with sugar, focaccia can be also used as a dessert or a breakfast item.

Chocolate Napoleon & Fettucini Ice Cream Sandwich Pastry chef Gale Gand of Brasserie T in Northfield, Ill. creates a towering chocolate napoleon and a fettuccine ice cream sandwich. Gand demonstrates how to make chocolate filo dough, poached pears, cranberry compote, whipped cream with ginger, and the mocha granache for the napoleon. He creates a filo dough "fettuccine" for the ice cream sandwich with raspberries and a fresh fruit kabob.

If the wines and recipes inspire you, be sure you have music to cook Italian by! Trio Settecento offers up pieces by Corelli and Veracini, among other early classics. If the kids are helping in the kitchen, let violinist Gil Shaham talk in detail about Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

We hope you enjoyed the event. Be sure to consult the list below if you can't recall the name of the region or the wine you enjoyed most. If you have some feedback for the organizers of Taste of WGBH, please leave us a comment!

“ I am certain that the good Lord never intended grapes to be made into grape jelly.”
—Fiorello La Guardia



This event sold out! Be sure to get your tickets now for Wine & Chocolate in February!

Thanksgiving Saturday

Sunday, November 13, 2011
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Thanksgiving Saturday
Saturday, Nov. 19, WGBH 2

Days before the traditional feast, WGBH 2 presents a day of programming that will help you create a delicious Thanksgiving. Guiding you from defrosting to dessert, culinary experts cover the whole table: rolls, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, gravy, the perfect pumpkin pie and, of course, turkey.

11:30am: Sara’s Weeknight Meals: Thanksgiving 101
How to buy, defrost, brine, and roast a turkey. Also, common Thanksgiving dinner mistakes; a one-size-fits-all stuffing; a wine-infused gravy; and how to keep and reheat mashed potatoes.

12:30pm: America's Test Kitchen: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
Our roast turkey technique guarantees moist, flavorful meat and bronzed skin — a true holiday table centerpiece. Finish the meal with a slice of our perfect pumpkin pie.

2:30pm: America's Test Kitchen: Thanksgiving Turkey
We read up on American cookery to rescue a rare bird from the brink of extinction: the holiday turkey that has it all. Along the way, we share some pointers about stuffing.

3pm: Cook's Country: Fail-Safe Thanksgiving
An old-fashioned roast turkey with gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls are prepared.

3:30pm: Cook's Country: Autumn Desserts
Bridget reveals the secrets to the ultimate apple dumplings. Chris makes old-fashioned pecan pie.

4pm: Heirloom Meals’ Thanksgiving Special
Family recipes are shared. Included: cranberry-stuffed acorn squash; Brazilian cheese rolls; chipotle-spiced pumpkin pie; roast turkey; and wine recommendations for a Thanksgiving table. Host: Carole Murko.

Jennifer 8. Lee: Author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

Thursday, April 7, 2011
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Stained Glass Cookies By Annie Copps

Monday, December 20, 2010
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If we get a solid snowstorm in December, then chances are, my friends get holiday cookies from me, so I am always stocked with butter, eggs, and sugar and I am always on the hunt for a special baked treat to prepare.

Since I was a child, stained glass cookies were always fascinating to me—you know, the cookies that hang from windows or holidays trees, the ones with the translucent, colorful center that looks like a stained glass window? They are so beautiful, I assumed they were for experts—turns out they're easier than you'd think.

Begin with a basic sugar dough of butter, sugar, a touch of molasses, vanilla extract and eggs. Roll out the dough and with cookie cutters cut the dough into stars, snowflakes, or diamonds—whatever you like, then using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies. Fill the space with a crushed hard candy and cut a hole at the top of the cookie, so you can hang them after they bake. Pop them in the oven and the candy melts for a beautiful stained glass effect. I hope you'll add these to your holiday cookie repertoire.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
20 hard candies (such as Jolly Ranchers or LifeSavers), preferably in several flavors

Heat oven to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (aluminum foil may be used, but parchment paper works better with these cookies).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated.

Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder over mixture; then, using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks.

Wrap one disk in waxed paper and refrigerate while you work with the other disk. (Dough may be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 2 days.)

Place disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes, such as stars, snowflakes, diamonds, or circles.

Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough. (You may also roll dough into long, thin ropes to make shapes. Do this on the baking sheets so you don't have to transfer the dough.)

Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet or the side of a rolling pin, crush candies. (Note: If you use a wooden rolling pin, the candies may dent the wood.) Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. You can mix colors for a mottled effect.

If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking. (Once cookies have cooled, thread string or festive ribbons through holes.)

Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown and firm to the touch. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
By Annie Copps

Thursday, October 14, 2010
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pumpkin whoopie pies

So the story I heard about Whoopie pies is that they are originally from Maine and that they got their name from the little kids who came home from school to find a plate of them and exclaimed, "Whoopie!" This recipe gives the delicious treat a seasonal spin.

If somehow you are unfamiliar with whoopee pies they are kinda like a sweet sandwich made traditionally with two small chocolate cakes filled with a whipped, fluffy vanilla filling. They are easy to make and I decided to turbo charge the New England tradion by making the cakes out of pumpkin and the filling with maple syrup.

Combine the usual cake ingredients of butter, sugar, eggs and flour and add pumpkin puree and warming spices such as cinnamon, or ginger to the batter. And for the filling whip together cream cheese and maple syrup… of course you know what you'll say when you pop one into your mouth. Whoopie!

Total time: 40 minutes
Active time: 20
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients for the Pies
1 stick unsalted butter, melted, 1cooled to room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
12/3 cups flour

Ingredients for the filling
4 ounces cream cheese, chilled
1/2 stick unsalted butt, softened
3 T maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
A few pinches salt

Heat oven to 350.°

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a standing mixer with whisk attachment, mix together butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs, pumpkin puree, spices, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a spatula, fold in the flour.

With an ice cream scoop, drop 12 generous mounds of batter, spaced evenly, onto each baking sheet. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

In a standing mixer or electric beater, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add sugar, salt and vanilla; mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Spread the flat side of 12 cakes with the cream cheese frosting. Top each with another cake.

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