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.
The cookies are traditionally shaped into a round twist called a “kouloura” (koo-LOU-rah), but 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.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BUTTER
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, because you can really 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.
LOVELY LICORICE ESSENCE
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.
Come join the gang in our Facebook group and get in on the gabfest at, The Fab Life, where we show off our triumphs and share our pursuit of “the good life” with each other all week long.
Don’t forget to sign up for your twice weekly visits from Ingredients For A Fabulous Life. You don’t want to miss out on something fabulous, do you? Use the form on the right of this page to start receiving our fabulous posts and newsletter today! We can’t wait for you to become a member of our community!
- 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
- Gather all ingredients for the recipe and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl or your KitchenAid, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and ouzo and blend well.
- With mixer running, add eggs, one-at-a-time and mix in each until well incorporated before adding the next egg.
- In another large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- 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.
- 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.
- Retest the dough, making sure that it is manageable, yet not sticky when worked with.
- 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.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- To make cookies, take a cupful of dough from the chilled bowl and put it back into the refrigerator.
- Pinching off a walnut sized piece of dough, roll into a rope, about 7 inches long.
- For the koulourakia shape, wind the dough into an "S" and twist ends inward to form double-twisted shape.
- For braids, fold the cord in half and twist, pinching open end to hold together.
- As you form the cookies, place onto prepared cookie sheets.
- Whisk the two remaining eggs in a small bowl. Using a basting brush, brush the egg wash over the top of each cookie.
- Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.
- Put finished pan of cookies into refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before baking.
- Bake chilled cookies 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Because of the high butter content in this recipe, it's really important to always work with chilled dough. Keep the remaining dough refrigerated as you work with a small portion to form enough cookies for two cookie sheets.
You will also want to chill the finished cookies on their cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before baking. The dough will spread if the dough is not properly chilled again prior to going in the oven. You'll always have one batch in the oven and another chilling before it gets baked.
A PAIN, I KNOW, BUT THESE TASTY MORSELS ARE WORTH EVERY MINUTE IN THE REFRIGERATOR!
These cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months when properly wrapped.