This is hands down one of my favorite cookie recipes! My grandmother used to make these on occasion, but I never liked them because typically they are a hard, dry cookie. Years ago I found this recipe, and these are melt in your mouth good! What could be better than a soft vanilla butter cookie?
I make these every year for Christmas, but Kouourakia is a traditional Greek Easter cookie. Sometimes I make them for Easter as well. Sometimes I just make them for the heck of it! If you prefer a crispier cookie, cook them for the recommended length of time on the recipe. Since I don’t like crispy cookies, I only bake them for about 10-11 minutes until the bottoms are brown. Trust me, although a little time consuming, this recipe is worth it and everyone that tries them will love them.
2 sticks of butter (1 cup), softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
Beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add 2 eggs to the mixture, 1 at a time, until combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla.
In a small mixing bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Add to butter mixture in small increments until a soft dough is formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, and knead for a few minutes.
If the dough is really difficult to work with and keeps sticking to your fingers, just refrigerate it first. I often split the dough in half so that the half I am not working with can stay in the refrigerator until I am ready for it.
Take a little dough, the size of a walnut, and make it into a ball in your hands. Roll it along the cutting board with the palm of your hand until it makes a long roll, approximately 4-5 inches long. Shape them into S’s and braids. You can put them fairly close together on the cookie sheet as they don’t increase much in size.
Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and mix with about a tbsp water. Lightly brush the cookies with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for about 10 minutes until the bottoms are lightly brown. If you prefer a crispier cookie, bake them a little longer.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Be warned, you will not be able to eat just one. Delicious!