Merlot Poached Pears with Crème Fraîche and Spicy Ginger Cookies
Merlot Poached Pears Preparation
Combine all ingredients, except pears, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer pears for 10 minutes and then turn pears over and simmer for an additional 8 minutes or until they are tender (to test, fork tines will penetrate easily). Remove pears and let them cool. Continue to simmer wine sauce until the liquid has been reduced by half, cool. To serve, place two pear halves onto plate, pipe crème fraiche mixture into center of pear halves and drizzle lightly with the reduced sauce.
For the Crème Fraîche garnish: Whisk together crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, cinnamon and agave until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe filling into cored pear halves.
Spicy Ginger Cookies Preparation
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine coffee and dates and let sit for 10 minutes or until dates have softened. Put mixture in a food processor and process until smooth. In a bowl, whisk eggs and molasses. Continue whisking and add date puree. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda salt, and spices. Add ginger pieces, toss. Stir into date mixture. Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until firm but still scoopable. Using a teaspoon, place dough on a parchment-lined tray, allowing space for them to spread just a bit. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. Bake 10 minutes or until they feel spongy yet firm and spring back when gently prodded.
In Your Glass
A dessert like this, which combines two complementary elements, the poached pears and the ginger cookies, offers a lot of delicious wine options. One of my favorites is Shafer's Firebreak®, a Cabernet Sauvignon dessert wine. The Ginger Cookies cry out to be dipped in it while sitting by a crackling, warm fire.