Wine biscuits have long been a Rhode Island favorite. Who can resist those only-slightly-sweet and sometimes peppery “biscuits,” which seem more like a cookie than an actual biscuit. They can be found in Italian bakeries, but because they are so popular, they are also available in most local supermarkets.
A variation on the traditional Italian favorite, the biscotti di vino, these biscuits contain wine and are also are served with wine before dinner, or after dinner with cheese, and of course the vino.
They are also easy to make at home, with several variations according to the whims of the cook. Some recipes call for the addition of cracked pepper; others do not. The dough is often rolled into thin strips and shaped into a pretzel-like shape. But sometimes they are rolled into a thick log and cut into slices before baking. They all do contain oil as an ingredient; and some cooks say “never olive oil.” As for the wine, for a different flavor, use white in place of the red.
But however you make them, you are sure to enjoy these biscuits with a glass of wine on a frigid winter day in the Ocean State.
Red Wine Biscuits
1 cup flour
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper (optional)
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup red wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper (if using). In separate bowl, mix together oil and red wine. Mix dry and wet ingredients together just until moistened. Roll dough into ropes about as thick as a pencil and about 3 inches long. Twist into a pretzel-type shapes and bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 12-15 minutes. Turn over and bake for 6 more minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 2 dozen biscuits.