Monday, 1 December 2014

Cocoa and vanilla braided cookies

Cocoa and vanilla braided cookies

December has arrived...the last month of the year, the month of Christmas. And when Christmas approaches, for many people it's normal to start baking: cakes, traditional Christmas sweets, rich breads and, of course, cookies. Cookies are probably the most simple and versatile of all: can be made also with help of children, can be served to relatives and guest coming to visit us, but also given as a sweet, homemade present (that I always appreciate much actually). And there exist so many varieties of cookies that it can be fun to bake different types, so as to serve or give a nice assortment during Christmas season.
So it's time to share a new recipe for cookies, not a traditional Christmas cookie, but a pretty, nice, simple cookie that can be a good addition to your baking repertoire.
I find them perfect for afternoon tea, but they go very well also with a cup of coffee.
Cocoa and vanilla braided cookies

Cocoa and vanilla braided cookies
250 g all purpose flour
125 g butter softened
110 g granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Cream the butter with sugar, then add the egg, previously lightly beaten with a fork, in three times. When all the egg is incorporated, add vanilla extract and sifted flour and mix until combined. Divide the dough in half. Add the cocoa to one half, and incorporate. Do not over-mix. Pat both parts of the dough into flattish disks, wrap separately in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°. Remove the dough from the fridge. Pull off even pieces of both types of dough and, on a lightly floured counter,  roll them into logs about 12-15 cm long and 1 - 1,5 cm in diameter.  Twist the two pieces of dough together so as to form a braid, then cut into 3 even pieces and gently transfer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Since the dough is very delicate and tends to break easily, it is better to handle small pieces at a time.  Bake until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool few minutes then transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.

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