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wine and grapes cookies

I’m currently sitting in a library near my mom’s place by the Jersey shore, since she doesn’t have wireless, trying to type very quietly. I just got back from a weekend in Connecticut for a friend’s wedding, though I forgot my camera and have zero pictures. I’d have much rather shared pictures of the scenery at the wedding rather than cookies.

Just for kicks, here’s our trip up there: Started out well enough, swinging by the Triumph brewery in Princeton, NJ for a great lunch (I recommend a visit if you are in Princeton). We sailed along through NJ enjoying the kid free quiet. Then the gas light came on some time outside of NY. No sweat, we thought, we’ll get some after we cruise through NY. About 30 seconds after making that declaration, 95 turned into a parking lot. We were stuck with no exit until after the George Washington Bridge, with the gas light glaring. As we inched along, literally inched, and passed cars stranded without gas, we made the bold move to pull off into Harlem the first chance we had to exit. Now picture my husband combat driving through the crazy traffic in Harlem while I banged on and cursed at the GPS, unable to figure out how to search for gas stations, and griped about the hour-long line of cars waiting to get on the clogged highway we just left. I finally spotted a gas station and was determined to master the GPS in the few minutes I had while my husband pumped gas to find us an alternate way out of the traffic insanity. I pause now to thank Tom Tom. You led us from the streets of Harlem, past the massive jungle of cars, onto a nearly empty alternative highway. And by the way, we were mere blocks from my friend’s apartment, my friend, the bride, who of course was not there as she was in Connecticut for her wedding. We then arrived late in Connecticut for the night-before-party, threw on fresh clothes, and roamed the dark, rainy streets straddling Rhode Island and Connecticut, once again lost. We arrived with about ten minutes left to the event, bid the bride well wishes and downed some wine, beer and chicken tenders.

This is a friend from college, which means I’ve known her for–eek–twenty years. Am I that old? Ow, hand cramp. Yep. I’m that old. After the first day’s travel, thankfully the wedding was gorgeous and fun. The bride and groom designed their own ceremony (held outdoors, because despite the day of gray, gloomy skies and sideways rain, miraculously, the world cleared and the sun came out for the wedding) that incorporated the groom’s Jewish heritage, their own vows, a tree planting ceremony, words for those in attendance, and many other touching touches. One of the best-designed weddings I’ve ever attended. Not to mention, the grounds of the Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, CT were the perfect setting. And this couple has somehow managed to surround themselves with friends who are all smart, hilariously funny, and just plain fun. And I must mention the groom, his brother, some friends, a friend of the bride’s with a voice of gold and even the groom’s unbelievably adorable little boy took over the band and played a few numbers. They were freakin’ amazing.

I made the cookie favors for all the guests. Given I no longer have the resources of a professional kitchen (I used to work HERE), and that I mix up one batch at a time with my little KitchenAid, and I bake one tray at a time, and I’m forced to do my cookie baking post-kid-bedtime-in-the-wee-hours-of-the-night, making 160 or so cookies in a home kitchen is a challenge, to be sure. I don’t do this often. I usually just send people HERE. In the past, I’ve stuck with crazy simple designs when decorating in bulk. A little circle with polka dots, for example. So wine bottles took things up a notch.

My wine bottle cutter is about 7-inches tall, so only four or five fit on a tray at a time. Imagine how long that’d take just to bake, at about twenty minutes a pop. Not to mention the dough and icing needed for such a feat, mixed one batch at a time. No way. Even for a friend of twenty years. Maybe in my energetic youth. So I downsized. I made my own, smaller wine bottle cookie cutter from a strip of aluminum. And I took a mini carrot cookie cutter and spread apart the bottom. Done and done. Wine bottle and grapes. They were packaged as a set in a cellophane bag with purple and green ribbon. Sure, the cork is now totally disproportional to the shrunken wine bottle, but only geeks like me would notice that. Right?

So this very long post is primarily to ask for your forgiveness if my posting and replying to email is spotty this week, as I’m out of town and relying on the kindness of the local library for wireless. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer!!

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  1. Sue
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    What an adventure you had! Glad you made it to the festivities and had a fun time! Love the cookies, especially the bunch of grapes:) I bet the cookies looked great all wrapped up with ribbon, en masse!

  2. sugarswings
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    after doing my aunt's wedding cupcakes in my kitchen also post kid bedtime, i totally understand! they came out great-we are winos around here…so love them so!

  3. Trish - Sweetology101
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    this offense but I prefer the real thing out of that wine bottle over the sugar cookie, but these will do in a pinch. Your travel craziness was a good read, I hate that oh shit I need gas feeling, one is like a sitting duck. Quack. In other news, I relate all too well about the decorating post child in bed mentality, in fact I just put mine to bed and off I am to dink around with some fondant. I have some wine/grape related cupcakes to share this week as a matter of FACT-O – great minds ya know….Cheers!

  4. Page
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    this is amazing!! i love this idea… im thinking of pairing wine and cheese :D

  5. The Vanilla Bean Baker
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Love your wine bottle and grape cookies. Enjoyed reading about your adventures :) Having spent the past three weeks at my local library due to a home internet outage (a 2 day upgrade gone horribly wrong)I can empathize with you being without wireless.

  6. SweetSugarBelle
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    HAHAHAHA, sounds like a Griswold, I mean Alvarado family trip!

    But your telling of it makes me laugh…

    Side story, i had to drive thru NYC once on the way to Boston. I was Terrified. Needn't have worried, I don't think I went over 10 mph the whole time I was in the city!

    Awesome cookies! Have a safe trip!

  7. Family O
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Amazing-both the cookies (and making your own cutter) and your ability to make with your three-year old. But hey, you are amazing, so I shouldn't be surprised.

    BTW, the "4" cookies were a hit and we missed you. I do have pictures so you can feel like you were there.

  8. manda
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The cookies are so cute. I love that these cookies were favors.

  9. Anilu F
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I don't like wine, but those cookies sure look delicious :)

    Greetings from PerĂº :)

  10. Pink Little Cake
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    If you were in Princeton,we were so close! I am so glad you are having a great time, even with no internet :). The cookies turn out so cute, I love the wine bottle.

  11. LAURA
    Posted August 10, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Ciao bellissimo blog!!!!
    Ti seguo e se ti fa piacere passa a trovarmi-
    A presto

  12. Jupiter Insurance
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I love to entertain, and my firends and I drink a lot of wine. Your cookies are just so cute, I love them!!!

  13. Kristen P - "Praz"
    Posted August 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    these are awesome!!

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