Koulourakia – A Traditional Greek Christmas Cookie

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These traditional Greek Christmas cookies are one of my favorites. Plain, but delicious, they are great with a cup of tea or coffee. Forming each cookie is the longest part of the process, however, they are one of the simplest cookies to make. If you have any leftover after the holidays, don’t hesitate to freeze them. They taste just as good when thawed.

I remember watching my mother make these cookies and asking to help her. For years, I only got to do the “grunt work”—Juicing the oranges or cracking and beating the eggs. She didn’t trust that I would form the shapes to her standards. But I learned from watching and eventually she let me do the “fun” part. And now I carry on the tradition she set for our family and pass it down to my own children.

Koulourakia

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients

8 cups flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

Juice and zest from 1 large orange

1 dozen large eggs

4 cups sugar

1 pound unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 additional egg

Sesame seeds

In a bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, orange juice and zest. In a large bowl, cream butter. Add the egg mixture, blending well. Mix in the flour. Form a dough that can be worked without sticking to your hands. If necessary, add more. Roll into small braid-like twists, circles, and S’s. Lightly beat an egg with 1 teaspoon of water. Brush the egg mixture onto each cookie and sprinkle sesame seeds. Bake for approx. 20 minutes. Yields approximately 120 cookies.

Ready to go into the oven.

                                           Ready to go into the oven.

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