Seasonal Chef Recipe: Ouzo-spiked Koulourakia


Koulourakia, a Greek Easter cookie comes in many shapes and varying degrees of texture and taste. Essentially though, its a delicious sweet cookie made anytime of year, but in particular for the Easter dinner table. This recipe  is adapted from my Aunt Donna’s, using pastry flour and ouzo. Click this link to read more about my inspiration for making koulourakia.

Ouzo-spiked Koulourakia
Makes about 5 dozen

½ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 egg and 1 yolk
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla
2 tablespoons Ouzo or Grand Marnier
2 cups pastry flour, plus 1 cup reserved, see note
4 teaspoons baking powder

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and 1 yolk, reserving the second yolk for the egg wash. Blend the egg into the butter, scraping down the sides. Add the ouzo and vanilla and blend well to incorporate well.
  4. Sift 2 cups of the flour and baking soda. Add the flour slowly incorporating fully after each addition, scraping down the sides. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add the last cup of flour as needed. You should be able to roll the dough easily.
  5. With a small cookie scoop or spoon roll about 1½ tablespoons of dough into a 6” log. Twist and place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.
  6. Mix 1 tablespoon of water with the reserved yolk. Brush each cookie and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  7. Bake for 14-15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies should be golden brown on the bottom and top. Once removed from the oven let them rest for 2 minutes before placing on a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Cooks Note: Pastry flour can be found easily at Whole Foods.


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).


  1. The instructions say “Sift 3 cups of the flour and baking soda…. Add the last cup of flour as needed.” The ingredients list only calls for 2 cups of flour – was that supposed to say 4 cups?

  2. Hi Randy,
    Yes, it is a total of three cups: Three cups, two plus one reserved. You want the dough to be pliable and soft, but not sticky and not hard. My suggestion is to mix in the two cups first and see how the dough is looking. Then add the balance. Let me know how they turn out!

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