Koulourakia Paschalina are Greek Easter Traditional Cookies, which are usually prepared a few days before Easter.
Like most cookie recipes, this one as well has a lot of variations. In others they add orange juice and orange rind, in others they do or do not add ammonia carbonate of baking soda, in others they add almonds, in others they add sesame seeds etc.
Traditionally, these cookies were not made in Cyprus, where I lived until I got married, as we make flaounes for Easter but the last decades with the use of the internet there is no single Greek recipe which they do not make in Cyprus.
Most of the traditional Greek desserts like these Lambriatika koulourakia or tsourekia I learned to make them here in Greece and the recipes were given to me by my husband’s family. I made some changes to their recipe and added butter instead of oil and the taste was much better.
As I do not like the taste of ammonia, I no longer use it in my Easter cookies or anywhere else.
Koulourakia Paschalina (Greek Easter Cookies)
Preparation time: 1 hour
Baking time: 30 minutes
Makes: 26 – 30 (depending on the size)
- 540 grams(a bit more than 4 cups) all-purpose or cake flour
- 150 grams butter, at room temperature
- 150 grams sugar
- 11/2 tsp (8 grams) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs (about 65 grams each) (reserve less than half of 1 egg white for washing)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tbsp orange blossom water
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp cane sugar
- Sift flour and mix in salt and baking ammonia.
- Attach the K paddle to your stand mixer or use an electric hand mixer and cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, one at a time, beating in well before adding the next. Add milk, vanilla and blossom water and mix.
- Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing in well before adding more until it is smooth but not sticky on the hands.
- Put it is on your working surface and taking small pieces of dough form long cords about the thickness of a woman’s pinky and shape them as you like.
- Line your baking tin with parchment paper and place them a little spaced apart as they will rise.
- Beat the egg white with a fork and brush the cookies. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each one.
- Preheat oven to 180o C / 350o F and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes depending on your oven or until lightly browned.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and store in an air tight container.
Today I made my recipe with some changes. I made them with orange juice and I also had some leftover ewes’ and goat butter which I used with regular cows’ milk butter. To flavour them I added some orange zest, mastic powder, vanilla and citrus essence.
If you compare both recipes, you will notice a difference in the time of baking. This is because the first ones were baked in Athens in my old oven and the new ones were baked in a fan forced oven.
My advice is be careful with oven temperatures. Not all ovens bake the same, so we must trust our own experience in baking.
- 150 grams cow's milk butter
- 100 grams ewes' and goat milk butter
- 250 grams sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Zest and juice (about 60 grams) of 1 orange
- 1 vanillin
- 2 to 3 drops of citrus essence
- 1/4 tsp mastic powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 625 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp citrus blossom water
- Beat both butters with sugar on high speed using the K beater, until light and fluffy, for about ten minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, waiting for each one to be incorporated before adding the second.
- Add the orange juice and mix.
- Add the zest, salt, baking powder, baking soda, mastic powder, vanillin and citrus essence and mix.
- Lower mixer speed and add the flour. Do not over mix. As soon as it is incorporated turn off the mixer.
- Make cords about 15 cm. long and shape them as you like.
- Dilute the egg yolk with the blossom water and mix in the sugar.
- Brush the cookies with the egg wash.
- Bake in a preheated oven to 160οC for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Remove to a rack to cool completely and then store in an airtight container.
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Manina, of Manina’s Cooking,, informed me that I was one of the five lucky winners to win Marcus Wareing’s fantastic cookbook, with my entry Pecan Cookies dessert and my One Perfect Ingredient which was whipped cream. I am very excited and look forward to receiving it soon.
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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,