Like a circle in a spiral

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Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning
On an ever spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon
–  The Windmills of Your Mind, Songwriters: Legrand, Michel / Bergman, Alan / Bergman, Marilyn

Long term relationships, some would say the bloom is off the rose. The “they,” perhaps are those in the throws of infatuation and the hunt for love. For those of us with say, forty-three Valentines Days under our belts may beg to differ. Old, comfortable companions judged on face value. Seemingly too much alike, finishing each other’s sentences, a look and a nod replaces commentary and overwrought dialog. We’ve been there, done that. A lifetime of meaning with an off-hand shrug.

Old Married Couples.

Yet, quiet moments kindle the spark, The circle, unbroken. Dancing in the kitchen, sipping port after a fine meal and the shared joy of a gorgeous sunset. Small moments that delight.

Like great vintages aging in select barrels, the years add a concentration and complexity of flavor. Instead of trying to keep relationships fresh, perhaps it is better in keeping the relationship real. The basis of honesty, intention and caring.

We’ve a lifetime accumulated, light and dark, swirled and entwined. Sometimes the lightness is prominent, with smooth bright promise. Sometimes darkness pervades, with complexity, sorrow and want. Yet the circle spins, like a wheel within a wheel.

Nuance, subtlety and depth. Think of it as you would a fine port, whiskey, or wine. To age beautifully over time is the best that there is.

Chocolate Pin-wheel Cookies

Bin 27 Pinwheel Cookies
A sophisticated Port infused chocolate pin wheel cookie. Perfect for a late night treat with a glass of some fine Port.
Recipe type: Cookie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6 dozen
  • ¼ cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port reduced to 2 tablespoons
  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  1. Pour ¼ cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port into small saucepan, bring to a low boil then reduce heat. Continue to simmer until liquid is reduced by half and syrupy. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Sift your flour, baking soda and salt together into a large bowl, set aside.
  1. Cream butter and sugar in your mixer using medium low speed until fluffy and completely combined, mixing for 4 minutes.
  2. Add egg and vanilla continue mixing for 2 more minutes.
  3. Set speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, mixing thoroughly before adding next batch of flour.
  4. Divide your dough in half, setting aside about 2 cups. (Note if you want to accurately measure the dough use a scale and weigh each portion.)
  5. Break up the bittersweet chocolate into a heatproof measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds, stir to continue melting and microwave for another 15-30 seconds, stir until smooth. Time will vary depending on the power of your microwave.
  6. Add cocoa, port and warm chocolate to dough in your mixer. Mix on low to blend until all light colored dough disappears.
  7. Divide the vanilla and chocolate doughs into two disks each (for a total of four) and wrap individually in a 12” x 12” piece of wax paper. See note about weighing dough for precise amounts.
  8. Chill dough in the refrigerator for about 10 - 15 minutes to make it easier to roll out.
  9. Remove one disk of chocolate and vanilla from the refrigerator and
  10. Roll each disk between two sheets of wax paper into a rectangle about ¼” thick. You will want the rectangles to all be about the same size, approximately 8 ½” x 10”.
  11. With the chocolate layer on the bottom, brush lightly with ice water then place the vanilla layer on top. With your rolling pin gently press the layers together. I trimmed the rough edges creating straight sides.
  12. Starting with the wide side begin rolling the layers together tightly into a log. Use one layer of wax paper to assist you to ease into a tight log.
  13. Wrap in plastic wrap and push the ends towards the middle to compress the dough.
  14. Chill overnight (or at least four hours.)
  15. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.
  16. Cut the logs into ⅛” circles and place on the cookie sheet 1” apart (they will spread during cooking.)
  17. Bake for 12-14 minutes (do not let them get too brown.)
  18. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet before using a thin metal spatula to transfer to cooling rack. They will firm up and crisp when they are completely cooled.
I used Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate and Wonderslim Wonder Cocoa, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla.

 Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies


Adapted from: Fine Cooking, Pinwheel Cookies


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2 Responses to Like a circle in a spiral

  1. Darling Dear says:

    You are most definitely the Yin to my Yang

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