Now Reading
How to Make Koulourakia: Greek Easter Cookies

How to Make Koulourakia: Greek Easter Cookies

Greek Koulourakia Easter Cookie Recipe

Koulourakia are traditional Greek cookies known for their distinctive braided shape, crisp texture, and subtle sweetness. Typically associated with Easter celebrations, they embody the spirit of family gatherings and joyous festivities in Greek culture.

Let’s face it, deciding on what sweets you want to buy is always a challenge. And yet, this is a challenge that I will always welcome and embark upon.  Anytime I enter my Athenian neighborhood ‘zaxaroplasteio’ (“pastry shop” in Greek), I find myself staring at the display of at least five different kinds of Baklava. Some are with walnuts, pistachios, and even with prunes, while others are chocolate-filled or plain, with just filo, butter, and sweet, rich, sticky, honey syrup.

Next to the baklava are all sorts of sweets, such as honey-drenched, fried dough rounds called “Touloumbakia”; these are two small cake-type cookies filled withpastry cream, dipped in a light syrup and coated with a chocolate glaze called ‘kok.’  And, lets not forget “Diples,” a pastry dough fritter (of sorts) drenched in honey syrup and sprinkled with finely, chopped walnuts. See why I’m decisively challenged?
Unfortunately, the sweet agony of deciding does not stop with only these few choices. There is the country’s national cookie, the “Kourambie,” which is a crumbly crescent-shaped shortbread spiked with a shot of cognac and covered with confectioner’s sugar. But not to be outshone by the Greek Easter cookies called “Koulouria” or “Koulourakia”. The latter are traditionally made on Holy Saturday, and to be eaten on Easter; but, of late, they have been enjoyed year round.
Koulouria are made with a butter-based dough, and hint toward a sweet vanilla. Often, you will see other variations in flavor like orange, sesame, cinnamon, and Ouzo. Traditionally, these delicate cookies are hand-crafted into a ring shape, twisted wreaths, or even hairpin-like twists. We find some sprinkled with sesame seeds and others glazed with an egg wash.

And so… (heavy sigh), since popping in and out of my neighborhood zaxaroplasteio in Athens is, well, out of the question, and Easter being just a step and a jump away, I’ve decided to make them this year. I hope you will join me.

Greek Koulourakia Easter Cookie Recipe


How to Make Koulourakia: Greek Easter Cookies


Preparation:

Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.


Mix Dry Ingredients:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch. Set aside.


Cream Butter and Sugar:

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.


Add Wet Ingredients:

Beat in the egg yolks until well combined. Mix in the orange juice, cognac, lukewarm milk, and vanilla extract.


Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients:

Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Start by mixing the baking powder, baking soda with a cup of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Slowly add the remaining flour mixture until a soft, pliable dough forms and leaves the sides of the bowl.


Rest the Dough:

Allow the dough to rest for 30-40 minutes at room temperature.

See Also
Apple Cake Tartlets


Shape the Cookies:

Use a scoop or spoon to form equal-sized balls. Roll each ball into a rope, fold in half, and twist to create the traditional shape.


Apply Glaze:

In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk for the glaze. Brush the tops of the cookies with the glaze mixture.


Baking:

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


Cooling:

Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Recipe Notes:

  • Dough consistency is key; it should be soft but not sticky.
  • If the dough is too dry, add a little more milk; if too wet, add a bit more flour.
  • Ensure the egg wash is applied gently to avoid deflating the cookies.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Greek Koulourakia Easter Cookie Recipe

How to Make Koulourakia: Greek Easter Cookies


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Pam Kanavos
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 30-40 cookies 1x

Description

Koulourakia are traditional Greek cookies known for their distinctive braided shape, crisp texture, and subtle sweetness. Typically associated with Easter celebrations, they embody the spirit of family gatherings and joyous festivities in Greek culture.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk, lukewarm
  • 1/3 cup orange juice, no pulp
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch

For the Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 egg

Optional

  • Sesame seeds for topping

Instructions

  1. Preparation: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients: Beat in the egg yolks until well combined. Mix in the orange juice, cognac, lukewarm milk, and vanilla extract.
  5. Combine Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Start by mixing the baking powder, baking soda with a cup of the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Slowly add the remaining flour mixture until a soft, pliable dough forms and leaves the sides of the bowl.
  6. Rest the Dough: Allow the dough to rest for 30-40 minutes at room temperature.
  7. Shape the Cookies: Use a scoop or spoon to form equal-sized balls. Roll each ball into a rope, fold in half, and twist to create the traditional shape.
  8. Apply Glaze: In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 2 tablespoons of milk for the glaze. Brush the tops of the cookies with the glaze mixture (and drizzle with optional sesame seeds).
  9. Baking: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Cooling: Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Dough consistency is key; it should be soft but not sticky.
  • If the dough is too dry, add a little more milk; if too wet, add a bit more flour.
  • Ensure the egg wash is applied gently to avoid deflating the cookies.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Greek
View Comments (7)
  • Our Sweetest Memories and Koulouria Cookies!!
    My family is blessed with a 60 year friendship and over 50 years having Greek godparents to my daughter, Ann.In preparation for Easter Eve and her baptism at our Episcopal church,her Greek godmother Christina and her mother,YaYa and I baked for two days at Christina’s kitchen in her double ovens, 1,500 (Yes, one thousand five hundred!!)delicious and beautiful “Q” shaped Koulouria cookies for the Easter Eve baptism reception!! They were the favorites on the reception table!






  • So what is the difference between Kaloudia, Koulouria and Koulourakia?

    My father laughed when I called my cookies Koulourakia, and said his mother used to call them Kaloudia. Is there a difference?

    By the way, this recipe turned out amazingly delicious!!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

© 2022 ROSEBUD MEDIA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Scroll To Top