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Koulourakia (Greek Cookies)

Delicious, buttery koulourakia, also known as Greek Easter Cookies. Crisp and not overly sweet, these cookies are perfect for snacking!

Plate of koulouraki with a cup of coffee

Koulourakia (Greek Cookies)

Delicious, buttery and not too sweet, koulourakia come in a variety of shapes.

You may see them with or without sesame seeds, flavored with vanilla or scented with orange.

They have a crunchy but tender texture that goes great with a cup of coffee.

I love that they’re not too sweet – I even eat them for breakfast!

Plate of a dozen koulourakia cookies

These Greek cookies are traditionally served at Easter, but our family Greek friends would exchange them with us at Christmas when we shared family favorites such as Mexican wedding cakes or grandma’s butterhorn cookies.

We were also lucky enough to grow up near Chicago where you could get authentic treats from the Greek bakery anytime of the year.

Last year I celebrated my anniversary in Greece and one of the first foods I tried were koulourakia. I can attest that this recipe is just at tasty as the ones there!

It’s no surprise to me though since this koulourakia recipe comes straight from our Greek friends who live in Athens.

Shaping koulourakia cookies

How to make koulourakia

In Greece, it’s more traditional to use baking ammonia as the leavening agent. In the US, baking powder is the agent of choice.

All of the other ingredients are basic baking staples.

The sesame seeds are optional, but it adds an interesting taste and texture.

Cookie sheet of unbaked koulourakia cookies

The fun part of making these with family is are the different shapes you can do.

My favorite are twists, but circles, S-shapes and swirls are also popular.

Take a couple teaspoons of dough and roll into a log about one third-inch thick. Then form into desired shape [see photos].

The cookies are glazed with an egg wash for a bit of shine. If sprinkling with sesame seeds, this will also help them adhere.

After baking, these cookies will last a couple weeks in an airtight container.

Cookie sheet of baked Greek koulourakia cookies

Plate of a dozen koulourakia cookies

Koulourakia (Greek Cookies)

Yield: 6 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Tender, buttery Greek Easter cookies. Not too sweet and perfect with a cup of coffee!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Measure the flour by lightly spooning into cup and leveling off.
  2. In a large bowl sift together flour and baking powder; set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as necessary.
  4. Add 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks and beat until well combined, then stir in vanilla.
  5. Add flour gradually and stir just until a soft but not sticky dough forms. You may not need all the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  7. In a small bowl beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon of water; set aside.
  8. Taking 2 teaspoons of dough, roll into 1/3-inch thick rope about 6 inches long and form into desired shape such as twists, rings or S-shapes.
  9. Place on baking sheet 2 inches apart and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

The amount of cookies yielded depends on their size/shape.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 72 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 50Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

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