Spring Forward! YES!! It’s here! It should never go back to falling back. It should always stay this way. Amen.
It’s exciting because we get an extra hour of daylight. Do you know what that means for a food blogger? More daylight for food photos! And, as the summer approaches, less gloomy days! Less gloomy days equals brighter, happier cookie photos. 🙂
Soooo, what do you think about my braid on these Braided Butter Cookies? Did I nail it? Does it look like a braid? I think it looks darn good.
I am always iffy about sharing a cookie recipe with you that comes from back home. The process seems so complicated, and unless you have seen it done with your own two eyes, some cookie recipes, or bread recipes, do not make sense.
The recipe for these cookies comes from a lady that I have known for over 20 years. She is a dear friend of my parents, and she was thrilled when I asked her to show me how she makes them. A few months ago I spent an entire afternoon with her, and we made 4 batches. That’s like 160 cookies! Good thing these babies last. Throw them in the freezer and they are good for the next 3 to 4 months.
One of the more difficult parts of this recipe is one, adding the correct amount of flour, and that’s why I say start with 3 cups and then work your way up to 4, if need be. And the second difficult part is not eating them all as soon as they come out of the oven.
I have made these three or four times in the last 6 months, and now, finally, I thought it was time to share them with you.
First, I am sharing them because you need these cookies in your life, of course. Especially if you like coffee or tea. Secondly, I am sharing them because I have had SO many emails from Macedonian women and men looking for a recipe for THE Braided Butter Cookies. We make these for a number of Holidays, including Easter. And since Easter is right around the corner, I thought this was the perfect time to share.
The cookies are dry, but soft to the bite, sweet, and will satisfy even the strongest cookie cravings. They do very well with a good dip into coffee or tea.
Braided Butter Cookies
- 3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 sticks butter , room temperature
- 1 cup castor sugar or superfine sugar
- 6 eggs , at room temperature, separated
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 2 egg yolks , whisked, used for brushing tops
Preheat oven to 350.
Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper; set aside.
Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, beat butter and sugar on low until pale and creamy.
Add egg yolks one at a time and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl beat egg whites on high until soft peaks form; set aside.
Add vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.
Alternately fold in milk, egg whites and flour mixture until a soft but still slightly sticky dough forms. Start with 3 cups of flour, check the consistency of the dough before adding more flour (a tablespoon at a time), and when you can pick a bit into your hands and roll it into a small ball without it sticking to your fingers, it’s ready to shape.
Lightly flour a work surface; transfer the dough to the surface and knead the dough for 3 minutes.
To shape the dough into braids or twists, take walnut-size pieces of dough and use your fingers to roll them into strands about 6 inches long.
Bend each strand in half, then twist to form a braid.
Place on prepared baking trays, about an inch apart, and brush with whisked egg yolk.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden, but not brown.
Cool slightly on baking tray, then move to cooling rack to cool completely.
Serve with coffee or tea.
Butter and Eggs should be at room temperature. Store cookies in airtight container for up to 5 days. Store cookies in airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
WW SmartPoints: 2