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Koulourakia (Butter Cookies) – Recipe 1

“Koulourakia”, butter, vanilla. Cookie texture. Cypriot coffee and “koulourakia” are like edible perfection. This is a bit of a stealth cookie. The ingredients are pretty basic so you don’t expect much and the flavour is actually quite subtle. Nonetheless, you can find yourself sifting through an empty cookie box pretty fast. It’s a traditional cookie, though the recipes I found are each a little different (I’ll be trying those later). Some recipes contained orange blossom water and brandy, others vanilla. All contained butter which, in my opinion, is the flavour I remember when eating “koulourakia”. Did you ever used to eat the raw dough when someone baked them? We did. Yum. So the first “koulourakia” recipe I covered is one that really accents that butter flavour. The recipe bit more finicky than others, the butter flavour really stands out, and it is a bit light in texture which I like. If you like to dunk your cookies in your coffee, then these are great cookies to make. The recipe makes about 40 small cookies, and they are great to have in the house for when people visit and also to give away. Depending on whether you want to braid the cookies, they can take some time to prepare. There are shortcuts: lazy option – little flat circles; not so lazy option – little twists, which is what I made.  You could also get creative and spell words.

Level of Difficulty: 2/5
Preparation Time: about 30 to 50 minutes depending on if you braid the dough or not
Cooking Time: about 25 – 27 minutes
Makes about 40 small cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tbs vegetable shortening (spry)
4 eggs separated (egg whites in one bowl, egg yolks in another bowl)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp baking powder
4 cups soft or all purpose flour (you may need a bit more or less depending on the consistency of the dough)
1 cup sugar







1. Ensure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature. Beat the sugar, butter and spry with an electric mixer. Add the egg yolks one at a time while continuing to mix. Add the vanilla in the butter mixture.

2. Beat the egg whites until they form medium peaks in a separate bowl.

3. Mix the baking powder and flour together.

4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and egg white mixture to the butter mixture. At this stage, use your hand to mix together the ingredients, ensuring that the ingredients are incorporate by folding them into together. Add enough flour (this could be less than the 4 cups or more) until the dough is manageable.

5. Take little pieces of dough and shape into ropes, as thick as your little finger about 20cm long. Fold it in half and twirl the ends together, creating a twist. Not you can really make any shape that you want – even little round flat cookies. Traditional shapes tend to be an “s-shape”, braids or a twisted shape.

6. Place the cookies on baking paper on a tray. Brush the top with egg wash. Bake for about 25 to 27 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Lasts in a cookie jar for about 2 weeks.

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