Updated: May 5, 2021
Koulouraki are traditional Greek Easter cookies. They are traditionally made during the season of Lent, which preceeds Greek Easter, and this year I’m giving them a pretty Easter twist with some fun colors and playful topping. They are perfect for everyone in the family and I often take them to people in our extended family as well.
These cookies are typically a blond, and are made with two ropes of dough twisted together and sprinkled with sesame seeds. They are fairly thick and last a long time in the pantry when they are kept in sealed container. When I was growing up my mother always had a batch ready to go for whenever a visitor stopped by. She would serve them on a coaster alongside a cup of coffee. The perfect treat for a guest!
This year I invited my daughter to help me add some color to the dough to make them more fun for Easter. I first made the dough in full, then we divided the dough into quarters and kneaded the colors into each one. It was fun for us to do together, but I don’t recommend doing this with younger children. The dye stains and you don’t want it all over their hands and clothes! I invited my younger children to join me once the dying was complete and they helped me twist the dough into ropes.
As you can see in the episode, the cookie shaping got a little out of hand for a few minutes, LOL, but we managed to get them all made and ready for the oven. I swapped the sesame seeds for some cute spring sprinkles and baked them. The dough rises quite a bit in the oven so be sure to make space for the dough on the cookie sheets.
Once the cookies were all baked, I piled them on a serving tray for our family and some friends who were stopping by. They make the perfect Easter season treat for the kids and adults because absolutely everyone loves them. I hope you enjoy them too!
These traditional cookies are often served with coffee or tea when visitors come over. This year I’m giving them an Easter twist that I know everyone will love!
Makes roughly 6 dozen cookies
Timing: 30 minutes prep, 2 hours resting, 20 minutes baking
Equipment needed: hand mixer
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs plus one yolk
½ cup orange juice
½ tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
6 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Food dye, I use pink, green, purple and orange
2 tbsp water
Fun Easter sprinkles
Add the softened butter to a large mixing bowl, and mix it to soften even further.
Add the sugar to the bowl, and cream together until they are well incorporated and begin to become fluffy.
Add 1 tsp vanilla, and continue beating until incorporated
Add baking soda into the orange juice, and let it begin to bubble. Slowly add into the butter mixture and mix until combined.
Once combined, with the mixer on, add one egg at a time. Make sure to add each egg only after the one prior has been fully combined.
Add the baking powder into your flour and lightly whisk to combine.
Slowly add the flour into the wet mixture, using the hand mixer to combine, until you have about one cup of flower left to add.
Using your hands to mix, add the remaining flour slowly and knead to fully combine.
Once dough is fully combined, it should no longer be sticking to your hands.
Divide the dough into four equal parts and, using gloves, take one portion of dough and add food dye and knead until fully combined. You can add as much or as little food coloring as you want, the less you use the more muted the colors will be. The more dye you use the more vibrant the colors will be. (I use green, orange, pink and purple). Repeat this step for all colors.
Once all of the dough is dyed, place each color dough in a zip lock and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
Once ready to roll remove the dough from the refrigerator when you’re ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Take about a 1’’ ball of dough, and roll out evening to about 9’’ long and about ½’’ thick. In your hands, fold the dough in half, and twist the two legs three times. And place directly on your baking sheet (I use nonstick baking sheets, but if you don’t have some make sure to place down parchment paper.)
Continue step 13 until all of your dough has been used. You can place your cookies about a half inch away from the others on the baking sheet. These cookies will not spread when baking.
Once all of your cookies are formed, brush the tops of your cookies with a simple egg wash (one yolk mixed with two tbsp water) and add some fun Easter sprinkles on top.
Bake your cookies for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool completely.
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.