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Koulourakia (Butter cookies)

1 pound unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 eggs
2 tsp. vegatable oil
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
Zest of one orange or 2 tsp. orange extract
4 to 5 cups of all purpose flour
Small can of sesame seeds

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Mix well.  Add in cream, vanilla, oil and zest. In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to form a firm but pliable dough. Using about a tsp of dough, roll with hands on counter surface in long ropes, then fold in half and twist into a braid like cookie.

Place on cookie sheet. Brush tops of cookies with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

This one is my Mother’s recipe. I have made these cookies by hand with and without a mixer. I always give them out at Christmas.

Helpful Hints

I read that if you want to clarify fat add slices of potato to the melted fat and fry them until the potatoes are brown. The potatoes are supposed to absorb unwanted flavors and collect some sediment.

This hint was listed in one of my Mother’s Greek recipes books.  I have six,  all published by various Greek Orthodox groups.  This one is from the Sts. Constantine and Helen Ladies Society from the Fall of 1956. It was so well used the front cover is gone and the pages are tattered, so I don’t have the title of the book. My Mom has notes penciled in the margins. It’s a treasure.