Holiday Cookie Recipes from the Suhru Family Kitchen
The only thing better than milk and cookies, is wine and cookies!
I love the holidays—cutting down a tree, lighting the menorah, driving through the neighborhoods and seeing the North Fork all lit up with lights, holiday shopping on Main Street—there is something truly magical about it all!
While I love all of the festivities and decor, one of my favorite holiday traditions is baking with family and friends, and I make a point of carving out at least one full day of baking each year.
There is something very comforting about gathering in the kitchen and creating something with your own two hands, passing down recipes and finding new ones. We tend to stick to the "classics" over here, however I have recently learned that my classics are not the norm so, I am sharing a few of my favorites which hopefully inspire you this holiday season!
Almond Shortbread Cookies
This is one of my absolute favorites! The recipe was shared with me years ago by a close friend and has quickly become a holiday staple in my house.
Shortbread cookies (in my opinion) are far superior to a sugar cookie in taste but still allow for the fun of holiday decorating. I usually keep mine relatively simple, with powdered sugar on top or a simple drizzle of icing. What's great about these cookies is, you can also go full out with traditional sugar cookie frosting and decorating!
The key to the icing, is to add almond extract which adds a nice level of complexity and contrast to the sweetness of the icing. Plus its a nice elevated surprise when you bite into it. These are great with a cup of tea or a softer, fruitier red like Teroldego.
Growing up in a house that celebrated both Chanukkah and Christmas, rugelach was a must! This recipe is an adaptation from one of my mother's Jewish cookbooks—one of those cookbooks that has been passed down through multiple generations and has notes in the margins.
I have made it my own over the years through slight tweaks. I have kept this recipe fairly traditional with the raspberry jam, cinnamon sugar, walnut and raisin filling but feel free to experiment. I have made them with a variety of other nuts (pecans add a nice flavor) and strawberry jam also works nicely.
As with most Jewish recipes, it is a bit time consuming to make but is worth the work in the end!
I enjoy these as an after dinner treat paired with a glass of Shiraz to bring out the raspberry and red fruit notes!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
An absolute classic and a holiday staple. There is something so nostalgic about peanut butter blossoms, to me they have always screamed holiday!
Whether you make them with the traditional Hersheys Kiss or opt for my personal favorite the Hersheys Hug (plus the swirl of the white and milk chocolate add a little extra festive touch) you really can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!
You absolutely can pair this one with a bottle of red (and I often do), but recently I keep reaching for the bubbly with these. Grab yourself a bottle of Brut, a warm fuzzy blanket, and settle in on the couch for a cozy night in (that's how I plan to spend my holiday break at least)!
We'd love to know what you and your families bake this time of year, so please comment below with your favorites as well. Wishing you and yours a very happy holidays and a happy, healthy New Year!
Holiday Appetizer Inspiration from the Suhru Kitchen
The holiday season is upon us meaning our lives are all filled with holiday cheer and lots of delicious wines, incredible foods, and family recipes galore!
It should come as no surprise that one of our favorite family traditions is to gather with a bottle of wine and share a delicious spread of snacks. There are many excellent chefs in the extended Suhru Wines family, so we often find ourselves gathering over appetizers to allow everyone's culinary expertise to shine!
We have compiled a selection of our holiday favorites and recommended wine pairings perfect for any get together. These three small bite appetizers were recently featured in our December Wine Club tasting event and make a great addition to your holiday and New Years celebrations!
Smoked Salmon Endive paired with Sauvignon Blanc
When it comes to holiday pairing, I for one tend to think of warm dishes, however it is always nice to add something bright, crisp and fresh into the mix! One of my favorite white wines this time of year is Sauvignon Blanc. While often thought of as a warm weather wine, Sauvignon Blanc offers a deliciously rich texture and savory quality that makes it an excellent winter white!
A few years ago I was introduced to a version of this recipe at a dinner party and have been tweaking it ever since—fresh endive leaves filled with crumbled goat cheese and smoked salmon topped with fresh dill and a lemon dill sauce adds a bit of brightness to any cocktail party and plays nicely with the rich undertones and light grassiness you so often see in Sauvignon Blancs.
Raspberry Brie Crostini paired with Shiraz
Baked brie is the best appetizer, there I've said it. No-one is sad when they arrive at a party and there is a baked brie on the table, however sometimes it can become a little unruly having everyone hacking into the brie sending melted cheese every which way. If you are looking for a more elevated version I recommend brie crostinis, they are quick and easy to make and delight every time!
WWhen it comes to brie there are endless pairing options but this holiday season I am reaching for our Shiraz. The bright red fruit notes that come forward in this wine make it an excellent pairing with the fresh raspberries and raspberry balsamic glaze in this recipe.
Local Cheddar & Prosciutto Crostini paired with Ember
One of our most popular wines this and every time of the year is our Bordeaux style red blend, Ember. As one of our favorite wines we have a wide variety of excellent food pairings and this one is always a crowd favorite! If you are local to the North Fork be sure to stop into Goodale Farms in Aquebogue to pick up some of their Reserve Aged Cheddar which is one of our favorite local cheeses and pairs beautifully with wine!
Melt a piece of the Reserve Cheddar on a toasted crostini then top with prosciutto, a drizzle of honey and some fresh thyme for a simple and delicious bite, that pairs beautifully with a fruit forward, medium bodied red like our Ember. The fresh thyme brings out the dried herb notes on the nose while the hint of sweetness and richness from the prosciutto plays wonderfully with the robust flavors in the glass.
The Best Wines for Your Cheese & Charcuterie Spread
You can't go wrong with a cheese and charcuterie board especially around the holidays! When is comes to pairing wine and food there are a lot of factors to take into account, when you apply that to a dish like a cheese and charcuterie plate with so many components and flavors, it can become overwhelming. There are endless options when it comes to wine pairing but my three go to's are Brut, Dry Riesling & Teroldego.
Sparkling Brut is a classic choice and will bring a little sparkle to your get together! The the light, delicate flavors and touch of brioche on the finish will work well with most cheeses and is there anything more festive than a glass of bubbles?
For a more traditional wine pairing I recommend Dry Riesling in white and Teroldego in red. Both wines are incredibly food friendly, fruit forward and offer a nice acidity making them well rounded wines to pair with a spread. The light hint of sweetness in Riesling offers a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of cheeses and cured meats and acts as a natural palate cleanser. Teroldego is a medium to light bodied red offering more robust flavors without the heavy oak notes which can sometimes overpower a dish. An incredibly fruit forward wine, Teroldego offers a refreshing burst of fruit followed by soft flavors on the finish allowing the flavors on the plate to shine through.
No matter what wines you choose to pair this holiday season we wish you nothing but happiness! Here's to a happy holiday season filled with good foods, good company, and excellent wines! Cheers to 2022 and to all that 2023 has to bring!
Cooking with Suhru: Dry Riesling
One of the many joys of Fall is apple picking, however once you get all of those delicious apples home, the question is always what to do with them? There are only so many sweet apple dishes a girl can eat!
While I love making apple pies and crisps, I find myself gravitating more and more to savory apple dishes like this sweet and savory Apple Goat Cheese Tart! A true North Fork farm-to-table recipe, everything you need can be picked up locally.
After a beautiful Fall day spent apple picking on the North Fork, stop by one of our local cheesemakers Catapano Dairy Farm or Goodale Farms for chevre goat cheese, and stop at one of the many North Fork farm stands for local honey and fresh herbs.
A quick and simple recipe, this Apple Tart pairs splendidly with the crisp acidity and rich stone fruit notes in our Dry Riesling and makes both a wonderful appetizer or dessert.
Cooking with Suhru: Baked Brie
It may seem the obvious choice, but you can never go wrong with a baked brie! Hot, gooey cheese? Yes please! However if you are looking for an elevated approach I highly recommend dressing this classic appetizer up with a handful of chopped nuts, fresh fruit or fruit jam and a few fresh herbs which will take this simple (albeit delicious) dish to the next level.
While there are a variety of wines that you could choose to pair with this particular dish—think Brut, Sauvignon Blanc or a variety of reds—at Suhru we are partial to the Teroldego. The bright red fruit flavors, subtle tannins and soft acidity make this an excellent pairing for a rich, savory dish like a baked brie. The fresh fruit of preserves will bring out the ripe red fruit notes on the pallet while the fresh herbs nod to the savory quality of the wine on the finish.
Cooking with Suhru: Shiraz
Once the cool weather sets in there is nothing quite like a Sunday Roast served over a bed of root vegetables, paired with a bottle of Shiraz and shared with family and friends!
Given our family's Australian heritage—winemaker Russell Hearn was born in and grew up in Australia—lamb and Shiraz are a regular occurrence on our family dinner table. There is something about the soft, spicy hints of pepper and ripe red fruit notes that make Shiraz—Australian style Shiraz in particular—such a fantastic pairing with lamb.
This particular recipe was developed by Assistant Winemaker Brad Ulrich and showcases the classic Lamb Roast in a new way. Stop by the Tasting House to pick up a Lamb Roulade Recipe Card complete with wine pairing and tasting notes.
Cooking with Suhru: Sauvignon Blanc
One of the wonderful things about Sauvignon Blanc is that it is, what I like to call, an all weather wine. Looking for a rich, nuanced wine to pair with a cheese and charcuterie board? Sauvignon Blanc! Need a dry, cold wine to sip by the pool? Sauvignon Black is perfect. How about a crisp, nuanced white to pair with a savory pasta? You guessed it, Sauvignon Blanc!
While I personally love this varietal in all seasons, it is a particular favorite of mine in the cooler months. Now that the temperature outside has begun to drop, I find myself time and time again reaching for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. One of my favorite meals to pair it with is no other than Roasted Butternut Squash Orzo, or what has become known in my house as "the lazy man's risotto".
This meal is on regular rotation in my house and works well with any selection of fresh herbs, including rosemary, sage, or thyme. For a richer flavor I recommend swapping out the vegetable broth with chicken broth and mixing in a little parmesan to the dish as well as sprinkling on top. This is a great staple recipe that is easy to play around with and make your own. Grab a bottle of Suhru Sauvignon Blanc and get cooking!
Cooking with Suhru: Garden Pesto Gnocchi + Sauvignon Blanc
Late August brings warm days, soon to be cooler nights, and an abundance of fresh produce! One of our favorite summer traditions is harvesting basil from the garden to make homemade pesto. With my garden currently overflowing, this recipe has been on regular rotation.
The key to a good pesto (or a good wine for that matter) is good ingredients. The better the ingredients, the better the end result. You can easily make pesto year round but garden or farm stand fresh basil makes the best pesto if you ask me! Throughout the month of August I try to make as much pesto as possible, filling my freezer with jars of pesto to last the entirety of the year.
I like to think of pesto as a building block. It is such a delicious staple to start a meal and works wonderfully in hot or cold pasta dishes, with sausage, as a veggie dip, spread on a sandwich, over roasted veggies and more! It's a very simple summer option but is a great starting point to build a wide variety of meals. With an abundance of fresh, home grown tomatoes and basil overflowing from our gardens, we at Suhru are sharing our go to summer pesto recipe served atop gnocchi and paired with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
Cooking with Suhru: Blackened Fluke Tacos + Dry Riesling
Summer brings many things—long days, warm weather, the opening of pools, time spent on the water, lazy days at the beach, and in my house endless talk about fishing and a fully stocked fish freezer!
Fluke season opens on Long Island in May with the peak of the season occurring in the beginning of July. Over the last few weeks Brad (Suhru's assistant winemaker and my husband) and I have spent quite a bit of time on the water fishing from kayaks, boats, and the beach which means we have lots of fluke to go around. There is no shortage of excellent ways to cook this delicious local fish, however one of our summer favorites is blackened fish tacos!
A few years ago while looking for spice rub recipes I stumbled across a recipe on EverydayMadeFresh.com that became the inspiration for the recipe below. When it comes to freshly caught fish I like clean, simple flavors that highlight the natural flavors of the fluke which is why I tend to keep the toppings pretty simple and scarce. If you are looking for additional flavors, shredded carrots and chopped green onions both make excellent additions to the cabbage slaw.
Cooking with Suhru: Pinot Grigio + Easy Shrimp Bake
Nothing says summer like shrimp on the BBQ! Pair it with a nice, chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio and you have quite the quintessential summer evening!
I stumbled across this Delish.com recipe for Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets a few weeks ago and it has quickly become a staple in our household and one that is sure to make a splash this summer at a BBQ because it has all the wow factor with very little work! This delicious dinner is fast and easy for a mid-week meal and with no mess and quick and simple cleanup, it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!
I have long been a fan of the Cajun/Louisiana Crawfish Boil, and while not quite the same, this 30 minute recipe is a close second! But don't take my word for it, try it with a bottle of Pinot Grigio and prepare for an all around excellent evening!
Cooking with Suhru: Sauvignon Blanc + Goat Cheese Asparagus Pasta Salad
One of the (many) great things about living on the East End of Long Island is the incredible access to fresh, local produce throughout the Spring, Summer, and early Fall months! I have been patiently awaiting the arrival of local asparagus and now that Wickhams Farm Stand (across the street from the Suhru Tasting House) has asparagus on the stand nothing will stop me from eating it at least once a day!
Given my love for asparagus you can only imagine my delight upon stumbling across Lauren Lombardi's Farmers market pasta salad with Catapano goat cheese (another favorite!) recently featured in the May edition of Northforker!
Lauren's original recipe can be found on Northforker.com, however I have included her recipe with a few additions of my own below. I'll be serving this at all my upcoming outdoor and warm weather events, paired with a crisp, cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, I hope you enjoy!