This week is Holy Week here in Greece and we celebrate the life and death of Christ. Pascha (the Greek word for Easter) is the most honored feast in our culture and the last week of it is full of devoutness, with lots of food traditions and symbolisms. Amongst many food preparations for this Sunday, when fasting ends, we bake traditional Easter cookies.
Orange zest, cognac, vanilla aromas fill the kitchens when we bake these cookies and bring memories from childhood, from previous Easter times, with grandparents and special family times.
Traditional Easter Cookies
1.000 gr. all purpose flour + some additional to knead
350 gr. butter
400 gr. sugar
350 ml. milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbs orange juice/ 3 tbs cognac
1/2 ts baking soda
2 ts baking powder
2 ts vanilla extract
zest from an orange
1 egg + a few drops of olive oil to cover cookies at the end
* Pre heat the oven at 180*C. In the mixer bowl, whisk the butter and the sugar until white and fluffy. Add the yolks, one by one and keep beeting until homogenised. Add the rest of the ingredients until the dough is soft enough not to stick in your hands.
Spread some of the extra flour to a surface. Place a non-stick paper on a pan, shape your dough. Mix the egg and a few drops of olive oil and cover the cookies. Bake for about 40 minutes, depending on the oven power, until golden.