Moustokouloura, pronounced Moo-stoh_KOU_lou-ra, are Greek cookies made with either fresh grape juice or petimezi, which is concentrated grape syrup.
During autumn, when the grapes are ripe we can take the juice of the grapes and make theses cookies otherwise we make them with petimezi.
I have talked about petimezi in a previous post but for those of you who are reading this for the first time petimezi is a syrup made of grape juice and is used as a sweetener. One of its uses in Greece is to make moustokouloura (must cookies).
We usually make round cords joined together or shape them in a coil or give them an S shape, as above.
I’ve made these cookies many times and in one of my experiments, I also added anthotyros, which is a whey cheese, similar to ricotta, in which I mixed sugar and blossom water. I just placed a spoonful of the mixture in the baking tin and added a teaspoon of anthotyros on top. I am so glad I did as they turned out to be amazing!
In case you cannot find Greek petimezi, try them with grape molasses. In this case you may substitute the ingredients which are in bold with the following:
- ½ cup of petimezi (or grape molasses)
- 2 tbsp of honey (or add demerara sugar if you want them vegan)
- ½ cup of orange juice
When made with fresh grape juice, their colour is light to dark brown, depending if you are using must from white or red grapes. The amount of sugar added will depend on how sweet the must is. Some times it is not even necessary to add any sugar at all. Therefore, taste the must before adding sugar.
In order to make them darker, you can substitute 30 grams of flour with 30 grams of cocoa powder.
I am submitting this recipe to Loulou, who is hosting an event all about cheese, La Fête du Fromage.
Moustokouloura with Anthotyros
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup mild extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of fresh grape juice
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- A pinch of salt
- 750 grams all-purpose flour
- 150 grams anthotyros (soft whey cheese similar to ricotta)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom (just mix them together)
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, spices and orange zest.
- In a large bowl add olive oil, sugar and grape must. Dissolve the baking soda in the brandy (or orange juice) (be careful as it will bubble) and add it to the other wet ingredients. Mix with a whisk to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is not sticky on in the bowl or your fingers.
- Line a baking tin with parchment paper.
- Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Shape the cookies as you like and place them in the tin, spaced apart.
- Mix anthotyros with the remaining ingredients. Add a tablespoon of dough on the parchment paper and a teaspoon of anthotyros on top of the cookies.
- Bake for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. The cookies may seem soft but they will firm up as they cool.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,