Koulourakia is a traditional Greek cookie served throughout the holidays. All over Greece you will find these popular cookies also made into other various shapes but the most popular is the twist. Like many desserts in Greece the Arabs also have a version of this cookie which is made practically the same way. Arabs refer to this cookie as kaak malih. You can also use sesame seeds for the topping or not. I like to do half and half. Koulourakias are defiantly one of my favorite cookies, when I was studying in Chicago I would go to the Greek fair yearly and I always could not wait to get my hands on these. These buttery cookies are perfect along side a cup of strong coffee.
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
sesame seeds, optional
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add 2 eggs; beat well. Beat in orange juice and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
2. Roll dough into 1-1/4-in. balls. Shape each into a 6-in. rope; fold in half and twist twice. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
3. In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a bit of water; brush over dough. Sprinkle cookies with sesame seeds. Bake at 350° for 7-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Allow to cool.