Little Braids / Treccine
I found these little braided cookies in a pasticceria in the very baroque city of Lecce in Puglia. The dough, which has just a hint of sweetness, is made with flour, olive oil and wine. I like these with a glass of chilled Moscato dessert wine.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen
- 2 1/2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- About 2/3 cups whole natural almonds
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons turbinado (coarse brown) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the wine, oil, and water, and mix with a fork until a ball of dough begins to form. Alternatively, make the dough in a food processor; combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of the processor. Add the wine, oil, and water through the feed tube, pulsing until a dough begins to form.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times, until smooth. (You should not need to add any flour.) The dough will be soft.
- Pinch off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll each one under the palms of your hands into a 6-inch rope. To shape each cookie, braid two ropes together to form a twist, and place on the cookie sheets.
- Insert 5 almonds in the folds of each twist, spacing them evenly. Brush the tops of the braids with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the braids are lightly browned. Remove the braids to wire racks to cool completely.
- Note: These can be made larger or smaller as you wish. They can be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
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