A delicious butter cookie with a hint of orange flavor, Koulourakia (koo-loo-RAH-kyah) are the traditional cookie of Greek Easter.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. Crisco shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 4 oz. orange juice
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 5 1/2 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten with a splash of vanilla extract
- Sesame seeds
- red egg (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C)
In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the butter with the shortening until combined. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Add the orange juice and vanilla extract. The butter will break a little and look curdled which is fine. Add the eggs one by one and mix until combined.
Add the baking powder and baking soda and mix until incorporated. Begin adding the flour cup by cup.
If using a hand mixer, you will probably need to switch to adding the flour manually and mixing by hand after 3 or 4 cups of flour.
When you’ve added about 5 ½ cups flour, break off a piece and roll it in your hands. It should feel smooth and somewhat elastic but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, gradually add the remaining flour bit by bit until the dough can be handled and shaped without sticking.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured counter. Allow it to rest a few minutes before shaping.
Shape into tubes about the length of a dinner knife and about as thick as a pen. Fold and twist into braids or coil and shape as desired.
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown (about 20 minutes).
Note: For Easter, I like to make large cookies that are decorated with a red egg for the children which obviously will require larger portions of the dough.