Apple Cinnamon Italian Wine Doughnut Cookies

© Alex Wolfe Photography

My internet was spotty, it was raining outside, and I could not for the life of me wrap my head around the tragic news I had just received about a family friend.  All I could conceive of was numbing out with the usual suspects: TV, naps, COFFEE, and food.  But alas, my internet was down so no Netflix, there WAS no food, it was unjustifiably late for coffee and I'd been napping intermittently all day and wasn't tired.  I was pacing the hallway of my house as if I might find the answers under the rug or inside a closet.  How is it that life can be so painful and unlucky for some?  As I clawed at nothing trying to avoid the discomfort, it became clear pretty quickly that what I needed was to lean INTO the pain, not run from it.  Unbeknownst to me, I found myself in the kitchen pulling out the flour and the sugar.  I wasn't sure where I was going with this, but I felt compelled to create something beautiful.  Something happy and delightful.  My mouth would describe this treat as 'bread meets doughnut meets cookie.'  The wine gives it this slight kick that makes this dessert both savory (in a way) and sweet.  As I was rolling the dough into these small rings I couldn't help but look up and smile.  In the face of the unspeakable, the only thing I knew to do was pray for understanding and acceptance; and here were some answers being kneaded and rolled and shaped through my very fingertips.  Stay with me here, I know it's a stretch: a mother loses her son and a brother loses his only sibling - these are the facts that plagued my mind.  But as I shaped the little treats into their circles I was reminded that life is both sweet AND savory, that we are all perfectly imperfect, and we never know when or if our life circle will be cut short.  So if you have a biological/familial brother or sister please make a plate of cookies and send to them in honor of a brother lost.  If you yourself lost a brother or sister, please make a plate of these cookie and wrap them elegantly and purposefully and deliver them to someone whose spirit needs lifting today.  Now's your chance.  Make someones day. 


1 cup of sugar
1 cup of canola or vegetable oil (I haven't tried it, but I bet coconut oil would work, too!)
1 cup of riesling white wine
5 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 small red apple peeled and diced into very small chunks
1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon mixture (I recommend putting sugar in a bowl and then sprinkling in some cinnamon and mixing until integrated and a light brownish color).

© Alex Wolfe Photography


First, combine the sugar oil and wine and mix until sugar is mostly dissolved.  Half a cup at a time start adding the flour.  Halfway through add the baking powder.  Keep adding the flour until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic (but manageable in your hands, you don't want it too sticky and you don't want it crumbly either).  Cover the bowl with a towel while you prep the rest.  Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking spray.

After you let the dough sit for about ten minutes take small amounts, roughly the size of a quarter (so smaller than you think, this is where I did NOT nail it the first time) and roll out into a skinny log shape about 4" long.  take a couple of those small apple chunk and shove them into the dough.  Roll the log in the cinnasugar mixture and then gently loop the log into a circle and press the ends together making a circle. Repeat until you have approximately 4 dozen cookies.  

Cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown on the top (don't let these babies burn - it makes a big difference, so keep your eye on them for the last five minutes in the oven).  Let cool, then serve.  I just enjoyed dunking one in my morning cuppa joe.  Store in an airtight container.