Suburban Sweets: Super Bowl XLIX Cookies

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Super Bowl XLIX is upon us!  Whether you enjoy the big game for its commercials, scandals, halftime show or just plain football-game-watching, chances are that you will tune in on Sunday.  This terrific American tradition tends to be a great excuse for a pot luck party, and there are many great ideas for Super Bowl-themed snacks and desserts.   My family will be attending our friends’ party and I will be toting these Super Bowl XLIX cookies, celebrating both the Patriots and the Seahawks with appropriately colored M&Ms.   This is an easy recipe and no matter how many opinions there will be on the commercials, deflate-gate, Katie Perry or the game itself, I promise that everyone will be in agreement on these cookies…crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.  Happy Super Bowl Sunday (go Seahawks!)

Note: if you are picky about getting the uniform colors just right, check out the M&M knockoffs at your local party store.  They sell the candies by individual color.  That’s where I got the white and dark blue candies pictured here.

Koulouri: Seasonal Chef Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 8 small or 4 large rings

Koulouri has a soft pretzel-like texture and is a perfect foil for a nice semi-hard cheese. Serve it with a glass of wine and bowl of olives at your next dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups flour, divided, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Peptimezzi or pomegranate molasses, optional (see note)

Instructions

  1. Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 cup over very warm water and gently mix. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast gets foamy.
  2. Add the salt to 1 cup of flour and mix with a whisk to aerate the flour. With the dough hook attachment add the salt-flour and mix. Add the olive oil and continue mixing to get a sticky dough. Aerate the second cup of flour and mix until the dough is smooth and soft. Two cups should be enough, but if the dough seems sticky add a little more flour. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it a little to form a very smooth ball.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and let it rise for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough in 4 or eight pieces. Roll it out to a 24” log. Fold in half and twist the two ends. Place in a circle and on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Cover with a towel again and allow them to rise 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. While the dough is rising again prepare your dipping station. In a bowl place ½-1 cup of sesame seeds. In another 1 cup of water. If using peptimezzi or pomegranate molasses dissolve 1 tablespoon in the water.
  6. Gently dip the koulouri in the water and then the sesame seeds. Place back on the baking sheet. Bake in for 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
  7. Serve warm or room temperature with cheese and olives. The koulouri are best eaten the day they are made. If eaten the next day reheat slightly in the oven.

Notes

Prep time includes rising. Peptimezzi and pomegranate molasses can be found at Greek and Middle Eastern markets.

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About Author

Suburban Sweets columnist Josephine D’Ippolito is a baking enthusiast whose passion began more than twenty years ago, when, on a whim, she and her college friend made a single batch of cookies from scratch. One husband, three children and thousands of cookies later, Josephine enjoys the creative and culinary process of baking more than ever. Older, wiser and slightly more health conscious, she tends to justify her habit by making her desserts on the tiny side. Quite possibly her favorite day of the year is her annual cookie exchange held each December, when she gets to revel in the talent and sweetness of her dearest family and friends.

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