Koulourakia: The Easter Cookies of Greece

Greece traditional koulourakia biscuits
Steve Outram / Getty Images
Ratings (9)
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: About 2 dozen (24 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
124 Calories
9g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: About 2 dozen (24 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 124
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 87mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Greek Easter! It’s that time of the year again to make these delicious treats! These butter cookies are one of my all-time favorite Greek cookies, and I think I could probably eat this entire recipe to myself. However, we “must” share, right?

As for as the history of Koulourakia (κουλουράκια) (aka Greek easter cookies), I couldn't find any concrete evidence, but I remember when I was small, my grandparents told me that they had been around for hundreds of years, so we’ll just go with that :)

These Greek cookies, which are based in butter, are a semi-sweet treat the carries hints of vanilla and sugar. Yes, you read right: butter, vanilla, and sugar - what isn’t there to like about these?

Traditionally, these Greek cookies are braided like in the picture above; however, some people get a bit creative and make many different shapes. So, if you’re doing this with young ones - let them be creative. After all, that is what cooking is all about - having fun!

In this recipe, we decided to use cognac because I had some left over from all the Greek Christmas cookies, but you can omit it or substitute it out for ouzo, which is a popular choice.

I want to point out that the key to making these successfully is making sure you cream the butter. If you have never done this before, I’d recommend checking out a Youtube video. The first time I made these, I “thought” I knew and it didn’t end so well. The process takes about 12-15 minutes with a mixer.You’re looking for the butter to double in volume, and peak while you’re whipping it. If you want to really connect with the ways old the old, you could do it by hand, but I wouldn’t recommend that unless you like stirring butter in a bowl for 30-40 minutes.

Hope you love these!

As we say in Greek: Καλό Πάσχα! (Kalo Pasha - Happy Easter!)

PS. They may come out soft, but they will harden. I recommend having a nice cup of Greek coffee or a favorite hot drink to dunk them in.

PPS. Make sure to make some Nice Greek Easter Bread as well: Tsoureki

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks (and 1 egg for egg wash)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cognac
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • For topping: Sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Cream butter in large bowl

  2. After butter is done, slowly mix in sugar.

  3. Next, while continuously mixing, add egg yolks, one at a time, followed by cognac, and vanilla.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine baking soda and flour.

  5. While mixing, add flour slowly to butter mixture. Keep stirring until soft dough forms.

  6. Take about 2-inch pieces and roll out with your hands.

  7. Take long piece create an upside down V, now braid pieces together. **

  8. Place koulourakia on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  9. Repeat until all dough is used.

  10. Now, create egg wash (combining egg and splash of water) and brush mixture over each cookie.

  11. Top with sesame seeds, to preference.

  12. Place in preheated oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

  13. Remove, let cool on a plate, and serve!

Notes

**You can also use a different method that Jane finds easier to do. You can roll out the dough piece, break it in half and create two even pieces. Laying them side-by-side and pinch the tops together and braid the two pieces together.