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GREEK EASTER COOKIES (KOULOURAKIA)

For 1500 gr. cookies
Preparation: 20 minutes - Cooking: 25-30 minutes


INGREDIENTS
250 gr. butter, at room temperature
250 gr. granulated sugar
5 eggs
100 gr. fresh milk
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
2 vanilla tubes
1 kg flour for all purposes
1/4 tsp salt
20gr. baking powder (1 sachet)
1 tsp cooking ammonia (see note below for substitute)
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp milk (for the brushing)

HOW TO MAKE
In a deep bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder and ammonia and leave it aside.

Attach the "feather" to the mixer, put into the mixer bowl the butter and the sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and whitened.

Gradually add the eggs, milk, zest and vanilla, beating for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are incorporated.

Stop the mixer and attach the "hook". Pour gradually into the mixture the flour and knead for about 3-4 minutes until you have a firm, smooth, elastic dough that does not stick.

Preheat  oven at 200oC and lay a large baking dish with parchment paper. Shape the mixture by hand into any cookie design you like  (round, braids etc.). Make sure to leave a distance between them (apr. 2-3 cm). Brush them with the egg-milk mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes, until slightly browned.

Remove from the oven and set them aside to completely cool. Once cooled, store them in an airtight container.

Note: If cooking ammonia isn't available at your market, you can substitute it with equal amount of baking powder (but your cookies may not be as light and crisp) or with with a mixture of baking powder and baking soda (1 tsp ammonia = 1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda).