Koulourakia are a traditional dessert cookie eaten on Easter Sunday in Greece. They are characterized by a butter cookie base, egg glaze, and a little surprise – a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top! The cookies are usually hand-shaped into rings, braids, or the one shown in the photo above, a “twisted snake”. The snake is most often seen used by the Minoans, since they believed that snakes have healing powers!
These were fun to make! Let’s take a tour of the overall process. The full recipe, with nifty printable version, is at the bottom of this post!
First, sift your flour!
In your mixer, add sugar to room temperature butter.
Then cream that together.
Then you’ll add a lil juice from an orange.
And some eggs.
Next you’ll add your flour, slowly, while keeping your mixer on a low speed.
Some of you know what happens when you add flour too quickly while your mixer is on high. It ain’t pretty.
Don’t forget a little o’ this, too.
This is what your dough looks like once everything has been mixed together.
Now it’s time to shape the dough! I chose the twisted snake shape, but you are welcome to try any shape you like!
On a lightly floured surface, and with floured hands, pinch off a ball of dough and roll it out into a rope 3-4 inches long.
Then bend the rope in half, into a U-shape.
Now twist the bottom part of the U together twice, or however many times you need. Your ropes might be different sizes than mine, and that’s okay!
Line up the finished shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet about 1.5 inches apart.
Now make an egg wash by beating together an egg yolk and a couple of tablespoons of water. Brush onto all of the cookies.
Then lightly sprinkle each cookie with sesame seeds.
All done! Now you’re ready to pop them into the oven! I made mine a little smaller than the recipe said, and I’m glad I did, because while they didn’t spread much in the oven, they puffed up quite a bit and ended up being the perfect size!
Bonus shot of oven puffage.
Puffage. Is that a word? It is now.
Puffage. Cookie Puffage.
The cookies are done when they are lightly browned.
Aren’t they cute?
They taste like a basic butter cookie, but with a fun shape and a bit of something different from the sesame seeds on top.
Here’s the recipe! I found the original at www.grouprecipes.com The only thing I changed was using juice from a real orange instead of “orange juice”, which I assume meant the stuff in a carton. Nothing wrong if you want to use that – I just had an orange handy and no orange juice, so that’s what I did!
- 1 c butter, room temperature
- ½ c granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs (reserve one yolk for glazing)
- 1 tbs juice from one orange
- 3 c flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- raw sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 350F
- In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
- Add eggs and orange juice and beat well.
- With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients slowly.
- Mix until dough is smooth.
- Pinch off one to one and a half inch balls and roll into a rope and then twist the ends together.
- Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet 1.5 inches apart.
- Beat together remaining egg yolk with a couple tablespoons of water. Brush onto cookies.
- Lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Happy Easter Week , everyone! We’ll be posting a new holiday-related recipe every day this week, so be sure to subscribe via e-mail or RSS reader so you don’t miss out! You can also “like” our brand spankin’ new Facebook page to receive updates there, as well!
Easter Posts so far:
Hot Cross Buns – made with cinnamon roll dough!
Glazed Vanilla Buttermilk Cookies – Oh so soft and not too sweet!
Chocolate Pretzel Bird Nests – A fun food craft for the kiddos!