Ka’ak b’sukar are Syrian sugar cookies with a hint of orange. They are not overly sweet like the American counterpart, but have a delicate flavor that makes them perfect for an afternoon snack with tea. I think these are the first cookies I have made that use vegetable oil instead of butter. Pieces of cookie dough are rolled into a rope, twisted, cut into cookies, then coated in sugar. I thought the first cookie was pretty good, but they quickly became addictive.
The cookie dough becomes very thick. Use a stand mixer or a wooden spoon to bring it together. It definitely has the potential to burn out a hand mixer.
These cookies will remain pale as they finish baking. They should only be lightly golden on the bottom.
Ka’ak b’sukar (Syrian Sugar Cookies)
Adapted from Kosher Camembert
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/2 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, orange zest, vanilla, and vegetable oil using a stand mixer or wooden spoon. Gradually mix in flour and baking powder until dough comes together. It will be thick and sticky. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. Pour remaining 1 cup sugar into a shallow bowl.
Do not flour the work surface, but lightly flour hands as needed. Break off a piece of the chilled dough, about 1/4 cup, and roll into a long rope 1/2 inch thick. Fold the rope in half so the ends touch. Gently twist the rope tightly starting at one side to the other side. Cut the rope into 2-3 inch long cookies. Roll each cookie in the sugar to completely coat and place on prepared baking sheet one inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake in preheated oven until beginning to harden and slightly golden on bottom, 8-10 minutes. The tops will still be white. If cooking both baking sheets at once, turn and rotate the sheets after about 4 minutes.
Allow to cool on baking sheet for about a minute before transferring to wire rack.