with a chocolate twist
By: Eleni Saltas
Koulourakia with chocolate are a fun twist to a classic Greek cookie. To create these cookies, start with a standard koulourakia dough (you can use mine below or your own), split that dough in half and knead the chocolate paste into one half. Shape into standard koulourakia braids or create fun shapes of your own. Kouloruakia, after all, is easily variable by its maker.
- 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, left at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the chocolate twist:
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons Greek coffee powder*
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- For glazing:
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten + 1 Tablespoon water
Step by Step Instructions
Prior to baking, leave butter out at room temperature to soften. Important note: DO NOT microwave butter to soften the butter.
In a mixer, cream the butter until it softens. Add sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well and add the heavy whipping cream.
Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and add slowly to the mixing bowl, continually mixing. Make sure the ingredients are combined well and dough is soft.
Divide the dough in half. Leave one plain for your light tone, and for the other we will make the chocolate dark tone. Combine cocoa powder, coffee powder and warm milk in a mixing bowl until the ingredients are well combined and paste like. Use this paste and knead it into one of halves of dough. You may need to add a bit more flour here if the dough gets too wet and sticky. Now you have two tones to play with!
To shape your cookies, take a little piece of the light colored dough (about the size of a walnut) and roll into a thin rope-like cord (about 3-4” long and 1/3”wide). Do the same with your chocolate dough. Now, join the two pieces at ends, creating a long rope. Fold the rope in half and twist to form a braided cookie. Repeat this process with the remaining dough, ensuring that the koulourakia are the same size. You can also play around with dough, by grabbing equal amounts of dough from each and rolling all together into a long cord (about 6-7” long) to create a more marbled effect. This is my favorite look! Serpents, circles, and wreaths also all look great with the two tones. Have fun with the combinations and shapes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place koulourakia on the sheet, leaving space in between each as they will slightly expand. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water for the glaze. Gently brush the cookies with the glaze.
Bake at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let the koulourakia cool and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
I use Bravo coffee, and the grounds are fine and powdery. If the coffee you’re using is grainy, I would suggest grinding the coffee a bit beforehand to avoid graininess. If you don’t want to use coffee powder, add 2 extra tablespoons of cocoa powder.
These koulourakia chocolate twists aren’t a classic of Greek cuisine but they are certainly a great addition! twisting them together with the traditional dough is a nice touch, sort of like merging the old with the new!