Koulouria – Greek Butter Cookies


Today is the day James leaves for Boston.  It’s gray and rainy.  I feel sad and anxious.  I’d like to send the city of Boston a quick message and let it know it had better be good to my boy because it does not want Mama bear to have to come out of her cave.  Not that Mama bear can do anything anymore.  It’s all up to him.  But this is what we do.  We parents work tirelessly during our children’s early and teen years to push and inspire them be the very best they can be, to set high, high goals AND achieve them.  And then they do and we feel like, “Well, wait a minute.  I know you have to leave to do great things but does it really have to be NOW?”  I guess it does.  So, to keep myself busy before he leaves for the airport, I’ve decided to bake my favorite comfort cookie.  Koulourakia.  These are the cookies that say “I love you more than life itself” but discreetly.  Vanilla, butter and brandy make the world a better place and will make you and your family happier people.  James will be staying with his cousin, Elizabeth, in Cambridge for the first couple of weeks until he can move into his apartment.  I’ll mail them up in a pretty Tory Burch box as a li’l care package.  Elizabeth is also knee-deep in exams so I imagine they’ll be welcome.  Koulourakia are the perfect cookie to dunk into tea or coffee.  They’re the ideal cookie to grab on the way out the door when you didn’t have time for breakfast or lunch is still an hour away and you need something to tide you over.  Not too sweet, they glorify a smear of peanut butter or Nutella.  These twisted bits of buttery dough keep well and travel well.  It’s the champion of cookies!




Koulourakia, Greek Butter Cookies

  • Servings: approximately 80 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Metaxa or brandy. Freshly squeezed orange juice may be substituted for the brandy.
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 egg with one tablespoon of water, well beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter until light and fluffy.
  3. Add sugar and beat well.
  4. Add vanilla extract and mix in.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together flour and baking powder.
  6. Gently blend flour with the butter and egg mixture until a soft dough forms.
  7. Chill in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
  8. When well chilled, and with floured hands, shape into braid, circle or figure 8.  I use a medium-sized melon-baller to maintain the same amount of dough in each cookie.
  9. Place on parchment lined or non-greased cookie sheet and the tops of each cookie with beaten egg mixture.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until pale gold on top.  My oven bakes them in 22 minutes so keep your eyes on them since each oven is different.
  11. Cool on racks.
  12. I think they’re much better the next day.  But hot out of the oven ain’t bad either.



  1. Audreyaf@aol.com

    Alicia. I love these and I just sent the recipe to a friend who lives in Canada and is Greek and a great cook. Her cabbage stew is to die for and mine, following her recipe, is just meh. As ever, Audrey Ford

  2. Audreyaf@aol.com

    Boston is such a great city. He will love it, I am sure. What school did he choose? Did you tell your readers and I just forgot? Audrey

    1. Alicia

      He’s still at Chapel Hill entering his senior year. (How did THAT happen??) He’s in Boston working at Fenway for the Red Sox. Today was his first day and he’s over the moon happy!!! Apparently they gave him a bunch of swag!!! Red Sox shirts, rain coat, Nike shoes etcetera, etcetera! Life is good when you’re James!

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