2012 Holiday Cookie Line-Up #4: Braided Sugar Cookies

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Soft sugar cookies in braided form–aren’t they pretty? Even prettier with the sparkle coating of sugar. And not nearly as complicated as they look. Basically, you roll pieces of dough into a rope, fold the rope in half, then twist the two pieces one over the other.

These bake up soft on the inside with a touch of crisp on the outside. As for flavoring, the taste belies the rather bland coloring. The dough incorporates orange zest, providing a bright flavor that adds to the addictive quality of these goodies. Although the ingredients do not call for butter, the cookies actually taste buttery, like the typical sugar cookie.

I made a bunch and froze them. They taste great right out of the freezer…no down time needed to thaw them out. These are the kind of cookies you can bake up ahead of time and store in an airtight container, ready to grab a plateful when you need a hostess or holiday gift. Or ready to grab a couple every night after dinner or to toss into your lunchbox as a midday treat.

Overall, a simple-to-mix cookie with depth of flavor and a unique look from the braiding, perfect for your holiday dessert platter.

Braided Sugar Cookies

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INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs
  • 7 1/2 cups (33.75 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus more for coating the cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. fresh orange zest
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and oil.
  3. Slowly add the flour and baking powder until a sticky, well-blended dough forms.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes.
  5. If dough is too sticky to handle when you remove it from the refrigerator, add a small amount of flour and mix everything together with your hands. Keep adding a tablespoon at a time until it no longer sticks to your fingers (I didn’t need to add any extra flour).
  6. Do not flour the counter when rolling out the dough. Take a small handful of dough and roll it on the counter into a strand about 1/2-inch thick. Bring the two ends together, folding the strand in half. Holding the end with the fold, gently twist the doubled strand several times until it looks like a rope. Cut the rope into pieces that are 2-3 inches long.
  7. Pour some sugar onto a small plate or into a bowl. Lightly roll the twisted cookies the sugar until coated. Place on prepared baking sheets about one inch apart.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.

Yield: about 6 dozen

SOURCE: Kosher Camembert

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