250 grams/9 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
rind from one orange
1-kilo all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Egg wash, made by beating one egg with two tablespoons of milk.
Sesame seeds for topping, but that's optional.
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Cover your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, then slowly add the sugar. Beat them together until light and fluffy.
- Continue to beat adding the eggs one at a time.
- Add the vanilla, orange extract and orange rind.
- Add the milk and mix.
- Change to the dough hook. Combine the baking powder, baking soda and one cup of flour and stir them into the butter mixture.
- Slowly add the rest of the flour. The mixture is ready when a dough has formed that doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Take pieces of the dough and form them into spheres of about 3/4 of an inch in diameter. Doing this facilitates rolling out the dough into shapes.
- Roll each sphere into a rod shape and fold it in half, then twist the two halves together. This is the most popular shape, but there are others you can make: for example you can form an S and then roll in the ends as you see in the picture below.
- Place them on the cookie sheets and brush them with egg wash. This is the point where you decide if sesame seeds will decorate the cookies this year. If you lean toward the affirmative, sprinkle the seeds with a light touch. Don't overcoat the cookie with them.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. They should have a light golden color. Not too brown.
- Take out of the oven and let cool slightly. Remove them from the cookie sheets carefully, as koulourakia can be fragile. Stack them in layers inside cookie tins.
- Koulourakia will keep for up to two months unless you have little mice in your house. I am referring to the two-legged variety of little mice that can open tins and take out handfuls of koulourakia to enjoy with a glass of milk. If you have those little mice, don't count on the cookies lasting as long as two months.