Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants Share Killer Recipes for Sips and Desserts for Holiday Fare!

Combining seasonally-inspired dishes with expertly paired wines, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants gives guests the best in modern casual dining and one of the country’s largest wine clubs. Each Cooper’s Hawk location combines an outstanding dining experience coupled with a Napa-style tasting room and gift shop. The Cooper’s Hawk Wine Club offers members exclusive blends from Cooper’s Hawk’s own winery and members-only classes, parties and events. An award-winning producer of 50 varieties of wine, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants’ own winery offers a full range of thoughtful wines to pair and enjoy both in restaurant and at home.


This chain of winery/restaurants is primarily a mid-west phenomenon with restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Virginia,
Wisconsin. The winery is located in Illinois. See below for the address!

Courtesy of Matt McMillin, Cooper’s Hawk is sharing a couple of recipes with us for you to test out at home. The best option is of course to buy the key ingredients like wines, jellies and more from the Cooper’s Hawk stores or website, so that you can get close to the in-restaurant experience.



Matt McMillin

Matt McMillin has helped define an award-winning path for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants since 2010. With a focus on seasonally-inspired foods and their relationship to wine, McMillin has mastered a rich, culinary concept that is both sophisticated and unique.

Prior to Cooper’s Hawk, McMillin was a partner in Lettuce Entertain You for 15 years, opening a number of concepts including Big Bowl, Ben Pao, Mity Nice Grill, Shaw’s Crab House and Vong’s Thai Kitchen. He’s also worked with fine French restaurants like Carlos, Le Francais, and Café Provencal.
McMillin is also recognized as
–co-author of the book, Big Bowl Noodles and Rice;
–as a judge on the Thanksgiving edition of Bobby Flay’s Throwdown
–as a chef/influencer in numerous local and national cooking segments.
Chef McMillin is a graduate of Kendall College where he received the Escoffier Award for Culinary and Academic Excellence


Chef McMillin has been generous in sharing some superb recipes with us for your use.

Cranberry Sangriacranberry-(1)



Cranberry Simple Syrup: (Yield 1 1/2 cups)
6oz Cranberries
1 Cup Water
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Star Anise
3 Cloves
½ tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1. In a stainless steel pot, dissolve sugar in water and add cinnamon stick, star anise and ground clove.
Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
2. Pour mixture over the cranberries, add vanilla, and allow to cool to room temp then place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.
3. In the morning, strain cranberries and remove cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves.
Place syrup and cranberries in separate containers.

Each Glass of Cranberry Sangria:


6oz Cooper’s Hawk Cranberry Sangria
1 TBL Cointreau
½ TBL Cranberry Simple Syrup 
1 Squeeze of Lime
1 Slice Each, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Apple
5 Reserved Cranberries (in glass or on a skewer)
1 oz Club Soda

Fill Glass with ice
Pour in Cooper Hawk Cranberry Sangria and Cointreau into glass and stir gently
Pour in Cranberry Simple Syrup along with squeeze of lime and stir again
Add in fruit slices and cranberries
Top with club soda and stir till blended!



Lemon Pound Cake with Riesling Poached Plums and Whipped Ricotta
Serves 10




6oz Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
4 Whole Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1/4 Cup Whole Milk
1/4 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Lemon, Zested
3 tsp Crystal Sugar

1. Place softened butter and sugar in an electric mixing bowl. With the paddle attachment, mix the 2 ingredients on medium speed until fluffy.
2. Mix for approximately 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a spatula. Mix for an additional 30 seconds.
3. While mixing, combine dry ingredients (AP Flour, Baking Powder, Salt) in a bowl and mix with a whisk.
4. Add the dry mix to the whipped butter and sugar, and mix on slow speed for 10 seconds just to slightly incorporate.
5. With the mixer on slow speed, add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
6. Add the vanilla, milk, sour cream, and lemon zest. Proceed to mix on slow speed until all the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are combined
7. Butter a loaf pan well and dust with flour on all sides.
8. Scrape batter into loaf pan, spreading the mix evenly in the pan. Sprinkle the crystal sugar evenly over the top of cake batter.
9. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 350 deg. F for approximately 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes. Check for doneness using a skewer. Insert the skewer into the poundcake, and when it comes out clean, it is ready.
10. Remove from the oven and allow the poundcake to cool for 30 minutes prior to removing from the pan. Transfer to rack to fully cool to room temperature. Should Cool fully before slicing. Slice in 10 even slices.

Poached Pluots or Plums:
• 2 lbs Pluots, or plums, split in half and pitted


• 2 Cups Cooper’s Hawk Riesling
• ¾ Cup Sugar
• zest strips of 1/2 Orange
• sprig of thyme
Combine Riesling, sugar, and orange in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add pluots or plums in a single layer (poach in batches according to how many your saucepan can hold) and poach until your desired softness (usually about 5-10 min.) Set aside to cool. Strain & reserve poaching liquid. Slice the plum halves in 1/3rds.

Whipped Ricotta:

10 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
• 2 TBL Powdered Sugar
• ½ TBL Honey
• 1/4 Lemon Zested
• 1/4 Orange, Zested
• 1 Pinch Kosher Salt
• 1/4 tsp fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
• 1 TBL Cup Heavy Cream

Measure all ingredients accordingly, and place in a stainless steel bowl. Whisk together until light and airy.
Place one slice of lemon pound cake in the center of a plate.

Place 4-5 pieces of plums over the cake, followed by a few tablespoons of the Riesling poaching liquid to moisten cake and over the plums.

Finish with a dollop of the lemon ricotta cream.

Thanks to Cooper’s Hawk Winery/Restaurants and Chef Matt McMillin for these fabulous recipes!

Winery: 430 E. Plainfield Road Countryside, IL 60525

For locations, visit

Stevie Wilson,