Greek butter cookies


As I was planning my Greek Dinner Party I decided to bake up some Greek Butter Cookies to give as a take-home favor for the guests.  My plans included serving a fabulous Greek Custard Pie and Turkish Coffee as a finale to dinner, but I couldn’t resist tucking a few of these tasty cookies into my guest’s hands as they left the party.

Greek butter cookies are traditionally shaped into a round twist called a “kouloura” (koo-LOU-rah).  But it can also been seen in small twisted braids or even in the shape of the letter “S”.  I made both the round twist and braided shapes just for fun.

greek butter cookies


It’s absolutely vital that if you choose to make these cookies you go out and get the best butter you can find!  This is the one time when you need to splurge on the good stuff.  You really can taste the difference between your supermarket brand and a brand like Kerrygold in this recipe.  You’ll thank me…   

This is a really big recipe making six dozen cookies, but it halves beautifully.  I personally feel that if you’re going to all the effort, make the whole batch, eat them with abandon and then freeze the rest.

They keep really well for up to 3 months if properly packaged.  I always plan a few do-ahead and freeze recipes when I’m throwing a party, and this one is a great example.

greek butter cookies


I love how crunchy these cookies are, while being rich and light at the same time.  The Ouzo is a wonderful addition and the licorice flavor will transport you to the sunny skies of the Mediterranean with each and every bite.  

The printable card is at the bottom of this post.


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greek butter cookies

Greek Butter Cookie

Yield: 6 dozen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

These Greek Butter Cookies are crunchy, buttery and still maintain a lightness that defies logic. The addition of Ouzo gives them a nice licorice finish that is a delightful surprise.


  • 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs + 2 eggs for egg wash
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 cups AP flour + more if needed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 oz. ouzo, or 2 tsp. licorice extract
  • Sesame seeds



  1. Gather all ingredients for the recipe and preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl or your KitchenAid, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and ouzo and blend well.
  3. With mixer running, add eggs, one-at-a-time and mix in each until well incorporated before adding the next egg.
  4. In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. With mixer running, add the flour mixture in several batches until it is all incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after mixing in each batch.
  6. You will have a soft dough, but it should not be sticky. Scoop up a tablespoon of the dough, roll it into a cord, if it's sticky or too malleable, add 1/2 cup more flour to the mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  7. Retest the dough, making sure that it is manageable, yet not sticky when worked with.


  1. Scrape down the bowl one more time and then cover with plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight if desired.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To make cookies, take a cupful of dough from the chilled bowl and put it back into the refrigerator.
  4. Pinching off a walnut sized piece of dough, roll into a rope, about 7 inches long.
  5. For the koulourakia shape, wind the dough into an "S" and twist ends inward to form double-twisted shape.
  6. For braids, fold the cord in half and twist, pinching open end to hold together.


  1. As you form the cookies, place onto prepared cookie sheets.
  2. Whisk the two remaining eggs in a small bowl. Using a basting brush, brush the egg wash over the top of each cookie.
  3. Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.
  4. Put finished pan of cookies into refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before baking.
  5. Bake chilled cookies 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown.


These cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months when properly wrapped.

Nutrition Information
Yield 36 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 210Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 63mgSodium 133mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 1gSugar 9gProtein 3g
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