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koulourakia greek easter cookie in the shape of a bunny
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Koulourakia - Greek Easter Cookies

Koulourakia are traditional Greek cookies that are popular during Easter! They are buttery with hints of vanilla, orange juice, and freshly grated orange zest in every bite!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 40 cookies, approximately
Author Voula

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (1 lb 12.3 oz / 800 g) all-purpose flour (you may need 1-2 tablespoons extra)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 ½ cups ( 300 g) sugar
  • 1 cup + 5 tablespoons (300 g / 10.6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cognac (optional)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) orange juice, room temperature
  • a few whole cloves (1 for each bunny cookie)

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, rub the orange zest with the sugar using your fingers. Then beat on low speed for about a minute.
  • Add the butter to the sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the milk, vanilla, cognac, and orange juice and beat until well combined.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time. Start beating on low speed, until the flour is just combined. Add more flour and mix it with a spatula.
  • Use you hands to add the remaining flour. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time until it comes together. The dough should be pliable and soft, not sticky and you should be able to hold a piece between your hands, like the photo in the post. Don't overmix the dough because it will make the cookies hard.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for about half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 175 °C .
  • Weigh each piece of dough (about 1.2 oz / 35 g) before shaping to ensure all the cookies are the same size and bake evenly.
  • Take a piece of dough and roll it into a cord, about 10 inches (26 cm) long. Then shape it (see notes & photos in the post). Place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Make sure the cookies are at least 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the baking tray.

Make the egg wash

  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk with the water. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash using a pastry brush. 
  • Bake the cookies for about 20-30 minutes or until light golden brown. For crunchier cookies, bake them about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 ½ weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Picture Tutorial & Tips: I have a detailed picture tutorial in my post to help you out with each step of the recipe as well as lots of tips to ensure success.
  • I highly suggest you weigh the ingredients using a digital scale for consistent results.
  • For fluffy cookies that won’t crumble apart, you really need to beat the butter and the sugar for at least 10 minutes
  • Only use as much flour as needed for the dough to come together. There are a few factors that can affect how wet the dough is such as the size of the eggs you use. Therefore, you might need more flour to make the dough pliable so it doesn’t stick to your hands. If more flour is needed, add it a tablespoon at a time.
  • Do not overmix the dough because it can make the cookies hard.
  • The dough needs to rest for about 20-30 minutes. This will make it easier to shape the cookies.
  • Each oven is different and baking times may vary. I prefer baking these cookies one tray at a time.
  • For crunchier koulourakia, bake them a few minutes longer (about 5 minutes), but don’t overbake as they could get too hard.
 
Baking Measurements: I have used weight measurements for all the recipes on this website. Even though I have also included American volume measurements for convenience, I highly recommend using a digital kitchen scale to weigh all ingredients for the most accurate measurements. Digital kitchen scales are more precise than cups, which is so important in baking, and they give the most accurate, consistent results. Happy baking!
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