From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I have been blogging for such a long time now, that it is getting harder to find new recipes, particularly ethnic recipes, for the holiday table. I decided to search out cookie recipes this year and one of the first I stumbled on was a Greek Easter cookie called Koulourakia. The only problem with that choice was selecting which of the staggering number of recipes for the cookie I wanted to use. In the end, I settled on two. Koulourakia is a barely sweet cookie that can be shaped according to the whim of the cook. Traditionally, however, the dough is twisted and sprinkled with sesame seeds before being baked. In theory, the cookies are wonderful when served with coffee or tea or nibbled while sipping a sweet liqueur. They, at least the ones created by my hands, are a bit like a soft biscotti or a madeleine. I thought the first batch I made, despite the addition of orange juice, was too mildly flavored and I would have enjoyed them more had some zest been worked into the cookie dough. Never easily deterred, and convinced that a million Greeks can't be wrong, I tried a second recipe that seemed more flavorful. I really liked the second batch of cookies. They were not overly sweet but they had a flavor that was more to my liking. While both cookies are buttery and would be perfect with coffee or tea, my personal preference is for the second cookie which was developed by the test kitchens of Imperial Sugar. I do hope you'll give one or both of these recipes a try. Here is how they are made.
Greek Easter Cookies - Koulourakia...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cooks.com
1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
6 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten (mixed with the milk)
7 tablespoons milk
Sesame seeds for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2) Cream butter. Add sugar gradually. Add eggs one at a time alternately with orange juice. Add flour that has been sifted with soda and baking powder, a little bit at a time. Should be a soft dough.
3) Shape as desired and brush with egg and milk mixture. Traditional Greek cookies are 2 small strands of dough twisted together and brushed with egg-milk mixture and sprinkled with sesame seed.
4) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Yield: 36 cookies.
Lemon Flavored Greek Easter Cookies...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Imperial Sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar for finishing
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) In bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and sugar. Beat until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla extract, mix well. Stir in lemon zest and lemon juice.
3) In a separate bowl whisk together salt, baking powder and flour. Slowly mix this in with lemon mixture. It will come together in a dough. If sticky, you can add a little more flour.
4) To form cookies, shape balls of dough into about 1 inch balls. Roll into a rope about 6 inches long. Lay rope on counter in front of you and shape into a “U”. Fold ends over twice, to get the twisted look. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, and sprinkle with sugar.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 2 dozen cookies.
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