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Greek recipes

By Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 7, 2001


(Powdered Sugar Cookies)

  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4-6 cups flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Baking the Greek way
Greeks bearing cookies buzzed around the kitchen of a local Greek Orthodox church. Kneading, rolling, sprinkling, chatting, tasting, these busy women baked a heavenly batch of goodies for their annual church festival.
Beat butter in mixer, add powdered sugar and mix until light-colored and fluffy; add egg yolks and vanilla. Add baking soda and then begin to add flour, 1 cup at a time. When dough pulls away from the sides, it's ready.

Shape as desired into crescents or oblong balls. Makes about 30 large cookies or 4 dozen small ones.

Bake on ungreased parchment paper at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Dust generously with powdered sugar while cookies are warm.

Source: Ranie Glicos, St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg.


(Sesame Cookies)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in 2 of the egg yolks, 1 at a time. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the half and half.

In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mix and blend.

To shape cookies, pinch off 2 1-inch balls of dough and roll each into a 7-inch strand. Bring ends together and twist to form a twirled look to each one.

Beat remaining egg yolk with remaining half and half and brush lightly over cookies and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Makes 30 cookies.



("Greek Biscotti")

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cups walnuts or almonds, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon anise, optional

Beat oil and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Combine remaining ingredients and mix into creamed mixture with wooden spoon. Form dough into 4 oval loaves on baking sheet. Score into 1/2-inch slices, not cutting all the way through the loaf. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until done. Slice completely through while warm and cool completely. These freeze well.

If you want a harder cookie, you can return just-baked cookie to oven, reduce heat to 200 and bake 20 minutes longer.

Makes about 2 dozen biscottilike cookies.



(Semolina Honey Cookies)

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup fine semolina
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Toasted sesame seeds or chopped walnuts
  • For syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cream butter, sugar and orange rind until light and fluffy. Gradually add oil and continue to beat on high speed until mixture thickens to whipped cream consistency.

Sift flour and baking powder twice and combine with semolina and spices. Gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with orange juice.

When combined, knead with hand to form a firm dough. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into ovals, place on ungreased baking sheets and pinch ends to form torpedo shape.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

While cooking, make syrup. In a pan stir water and sugar over heat until sugar dissolves. Add honey, cinnamon stick and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Boil over medium heat for 10 minutes and remove cinnamon stick.

While syrup is boiling, dip cookies in 3 at a time with a slotted spoon, turn over in syrup, then remove to a rack placed over a dish.

Sprinkle dipped cookies with sesame seeds or chopped walnuts and serve. Makes 60 cookies.


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