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Traditional Greek Recipes: Krasokouloura

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Krasokouloura, or ‘wine cookies’, are a Greek staple food during the period of Lent. Made with wine, olive oil, and spices, the biscuits are the perfect go-to for people during the fasting period and goes exceptionally well with tea or coffee.

See below for a special Krasokouloura recipe:

Prep time: 15 minutes plus standing
Baking time: about 20 minutes per batch
Makes: 20 to 30 cookies (depending on the shape/size you make)

Ingredients:
 
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup Greek sweet red wine (like Mavrodaphne) for dark cookies or Greek sweet white wine for light cookies (the color of the baked cookies will depend on the color of the wine and olive oil, see photos above)
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Method:
 
1. In a large bowl, sift together 3 1/2 cups flour and the baking powder; make a well in center. To the well, add the olive oil and sugar and whisk to combine. Whisk in the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and zest. With orange juice in a cup, stir in the baking soda until dissolved and foaming; pour into well and whisk into the oil mixture. Whisk in the wine until of the ingredients in the well are combined. Gradually stir in the surrounding flour until all is incorporated. Kneed the dough just until the dough is smooth, soft, and not sticky (don’t over handle the dough). If sticky, gradually kneed in just enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and can be rolled out into a smooth rope shape.
 
2. Cover the dough with a clean dry kitchen towel and let rest 20 minutes. (Can be made ahead. After resting, wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and seal in a resealable plastic storage bag, pressing out air, and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Let stand at room temperature until softened enough to roll before continuing with recipe, 30 minutes to 1 hour.)

3. Line 2 large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease them with vegetable shortening. Arrange 2 racks in lower and upper thirds of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
 
4. Briefly kneed dough before shaping. (If dough becomes oily at any time while making the cookies, kneed until oil is absorbed, then continue rolling out cookies.)
For a twist shape: Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a 4- to 5-inch rope, fold in half, and twist.
For S shape: Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into a 5-inch rope, roll one end to the middle and roll the other end in the opposite direction to the middle.
 
5. Place cookies 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle with sesame, if desired. Bake about 20 minutes (add 5 to 10 minutes for larger/thicker cookies), switching baking sheets up and down halfway through, until browned. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.

Recipe sourced by: Kuklas Kouzina

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