Yiayia Helen's Koulourakia
Recipe type: Dessert/Cookie
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 5 dozen cookies
Koulourakia are popular year round, but are most commonly served as a sweet staple on Easter day. This is my Yiayia Helen Patsuris' recipe.
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, left at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks for glazing
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  1. Prior to baking, leave butter out at room temperature to soften. Important note: DO NOT microwave butter to soften the butter.
  2. In a mixer, cream the butter until it softens. Add sugar and beat together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well and add the heavy whipping cream.
  4. Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and add slowly to mixing bowl, continually mixing. Make sure the ingredients are combined well and dough is soft.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. When ready, place the dough on a clean surface for shaping. Take a little piece of dough (about the size of a walnut) and roll into a thin rope-like cord (about 6-7” long and ⅓”wide). 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 roll these into other shapes like circles or serpents.
  7. Eat some cookie batter.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place koulourakia on the sheet, leaving space in between each as they will slightly expand.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk the two egg yolks for the glaze. Brush the cookies with the egg yolk glaze and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown.
  11. Let the koulourakia cool and serve, or store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
Recipe by Eleni Saltas at https://elenisaltas.com/2017/04/13/koulourakia-greek-easter-cookie/