The renowned Port House of Fonseca announces the winner of its first “BIN 27 Port & Cookie Rumble.” Dr. Maureen Dudgeon of Kansas City, Mo., wins the grand prize for her Portofignos cookie creation.
Cookie lovers nationwide were invited to submit their favorite, original cookie recipe that pairs best with BIN 27 Port, for a chance to win two prizes. All recipes were judged by famed chocolatier Jacques Torres and award-winning cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.
Dr. Dudgeon’s recipe was selected from nearly 150 recipes, submitted via BIN 27’s Facebook page. Dr. Dudgeon won the grand prize of a trip to New York City where she received private cooking lessons with Torres and Greenspan. In addition KitchenAid, a contest partner, awared her with a Dual Fuel Double Oven Range and a professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer.
Judge Greenspan said it was great to see so many home bakers enter the contest.
“Every recipe submitted was a labor of love. Jacques and I baked and tested, tasted, sipped BIN 27, then tasted some more to find winners whose cookies were good on their own and even better with Port. The finalists hit all the flavors we love with BIN 27.
“But it was Maureen’s Portofignos — chocolate cookies speckled with Port-soaked figs and toasted walnuts — that hit them best. Congratulations to Maureen and thank you to everyone who participated — you made our job tough, but delicious,” Greenspan said.
Judge Jacques Torres adds, “Why should kids have all the fun? Fonseca BIN 27 turns the cookie into something sexy and decadent for adults. The pair becomes like Angelina and Brad — each one makes the other even sexier! Judging this contest was anything but tough — pass the port and cookies, please!”
Dr. Dudgeon said she had never entered a cooking contest before this one. She entered because she was interested in the cooking lessons provided by the famous professionals. She likes to bake often and finds it relaxing.
“It is a good way to show love, regard and affection for people,” she said.
Part of Dr. Dudgeon’s work as a physician is teaching medical students and residents. She enjoys having cooking for her students to mark milestones.
“Some of the women have come over to learn how to bake things,” she also explained. “In fact, a bunch of us even made the wedding cake for one of them.”
Fonseca BIN 27, which is not certified kosher, was created over a century ago. Reserved for the winemaker’s family consumption, BIN 27 was released commercially in 1972 and quickly became one of the top ports consumed in the United States. Produced primarily from wines from Fonseca’s own quintas in the Cima Corgo and showing exceptional quality and consistency from year to year, BIN 27 is blended from reserve wines selected for their superb fruit character and depth of color. Its well-knit structure; rich, velvety full body; and luscious blackcurrant and cherry bouquet and flavors finish on an intense, lingering note.
Dr. Dudgeon’s Portofignos cookies are described as a not-too-sweet, chocolate sablé filled with salty walnuts and port-soaked figs echoing and enhancing the flavors of Fonseca BIN 27 Porto.
MAUREEN DUDGEON’S PORTOFIGNOS
4 ounces dried figs, diced to 1/8 inch pieces
¼ cup Fonseca BIN 27 Porto
4 ounces walnuts, chopped to ¼ inch pieces
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 7/8 cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened, dry cocoa
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/8 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Place diced figs and Fonseca BIN 27 Porto in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and set aside until cool, then drain reserving the liquid for another use.
(Pro tip from Jacques Torres: When I marinate fruit, I like to do so cold, rather than warm. It’s best if the fruit marinates for a few days to absorb a great deal of flavor. The alcohol will still cook out when the cookies are baked.)
Place the chopped walnuts on a baking sheet and toast at 325 degrees F until light brown. Remove from oven and toss with the ½ teaspoon sea salt and set aside.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt together into a bowl.
Using a stand or hand held electric mixer, whip the softened butter until soft and creamy. Mix in the sugars until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Carefully mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until nearly incorporated. Continuing with the mixer, add the toasted, salted walnuts and the Port-soaked figs mixing only until incorporated.
Cut two sheets of waxed paper about 18 inches long, divide the dough into two portions and place on the waxed paper. Using the waxed paper as an aid, form the dough into two logs, 2 inches in diameter, wrap tightly and refrigerate for several hours.
At this point the dough may be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days or frozen.
When ready to bake, line a sheet pan or heavy cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the chilled or frozen cookie dough into 1-inch slices and place 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet.
(Pro tip from Jacques Torres: Refrigerate the dough for more than just “several hours” – 24 hours is ideal. Pro tip from Dorie Greenspan: Cut the cookies ½-inch thick and bake just one sheet at a time as the cookies will bake more evenly.)
Bake 10-12 minutes turning the sheet one time until the cookies are just set and barely brown on the bottoms. Cool on wire racks. (Pro tip from Dorie Greenspan: Because the cookies are still very soft when you remove the baking sheet from the oven, allow the cookies to remain on the sheet for a couple of minutes, just until they’re firm enough to handle, before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.)
Enjoy cookies with a glass of Fonseca BIN 27 Porto. The baked cookies may be stored in a tightly closed container or bag. Makes more than four dozen cookies.
(Pro tip from Dorie Greenspan: the yield is approximately 18 cookies if you cut the dough 1-inch thick; approximately 36 cookies if you cut the dough ½-inch thick.