Possibly the best and easiest Christmas cookie ever: YiaYia's Greek Koulourakia Recipe With Printable

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a late bloomer when it comes to cooking. It wasn't until getting married that I really got my hands dirty in the kitchen (pun intended). I love to cook now, and love to experiment with desserts in particular.

But in our family, there is one thing you don't mess with: YiaYia's Koulourakia cookies. They're pronounced "Kew-doo-la-kia," but we call them Koodles for short. They are easy to make and have a universal appeal because of their plain, shortbread-like flavor.

I feel it's my duty to add this koulourakia recipe to the Interwebz, because it's straight from my grandmother's mouth. Not an exaggeration-- I got this recipe from my YiaYia over the phone in 2006 when the 2nd grade class I was teaching purchased a page in a cookbook for me and I had nothing but "how to make a bowl of cereal" in my cooking arsenal.

What you see below is pretty much what YiaYia told me, verbatim, on how to make these cookies, and what ended up in the cookbook. 

These cookies are legendary to my family.  We fight over them in our house; we devour them for breakfast, and dunk them in coffee as a midday snack. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Feel free to share this with anyone you please, as it's not top-secret... but it is much-loved. Printable 5x7 recipe card at the bottom of the post.


  • 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter (make sure it's room temperature, this is very important for consistency!) and flour in a bowl until completely mixed.
Knead in baking powder. Form a donut shape with the dough in the bowl (leaving a concave hole in the middle).
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla to make an egg mixture.
Pour egg mixture into the hold in the dough. (Leave a little to use as a wash at the end). Knead together until well-blended.

The dough shouldn't be sticking to your hands once all this is blended. If it does, simply add more flour until you get a consistency that is pliable but not sticky.

Take heaping tablespoons of dough and shape in "S," "O," and "X" to form cookies. You could also roll them up and give them a little twist. Get creative!
Place on a prepared greased sheet. Wash with egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds or sugar, as desired.
Bake at 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn off heat, transfer cookies to baking pan, and cool inside oven on wire rack.

Enjoy! This batch passed the ultimate taste test in our house:

The cookbook page

Click here for recipe card

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