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Orange Cookies (Koulourakia)

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“At one time, I made these often as a nice treat with a quiet cup of tea. Unlike the other koulourakia recipes posted here, this one is not a butter cookie, rather a nice combination of citrus and walnuts. Though these are traditionally served with a light dusting of powdered sugar, my guess is dipping the ends in chocolate would also work well. More recently tried to reduce the fat by replacing some of the butter, but have not had great results. The addition of applesauce and other fruit purees makes the cookie lose its characteristic crispiness. At best you can swap out 1 or 2 tablespoons of the butter, no more. Preparation time does not include 90 minutes required to chill the dough. This recipe is being posted for the ‘Zaar World Tour.”
1hr 10mins
30 cookies

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a ungreased cookie sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even toasting. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour baking powder, baking soda, cloves. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor (or blender), combine the lemon and orange zest with the sugar. Process for several minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides. You want the zest to be chopped very fine and well incorporated into the sugar. Add the walnuts and canola oil and continue processing until the walnuts have been pureed into the sugar. Transfer to a small bowl.
  4. Place the butter into the food processor and mix for a minute until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the sugar, zest, walnut mixture, egg and egg yolk and either brandy or juice. Process just until these ingredients are well mixed into the butter.
  5. Gradually add in the flour, pulsing quickly after each addition. Use as little mixing time at this point as over-processing the dough toughens the cookie. Once mixed, divide dough into two balls, wrap each ball in wax paper and place in fridge for 90 minutes or longer.
  6. Preheat (or reheat) oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets with a light brush of oil or cooking spray.
  7. Take one ball of dough and split in half. Return half to fridge while working with the other. With the half you are working with, pinch off a ball of dough about the size of a shelled walnut. Quickly roll into a rope about 4 to 6 inches long. Ropes can be shaped into rings, horseshoes or an ‘S.’ Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. If the dough warms and becomes difficult to handle, return it to the fridge and continue working with another piece of well-chilled dough.
  8. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are browned on the edges and just a little golden on the tops. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 2 or 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Once fully cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

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