These are my Dad’s favorite cookies. This year, because we’re all trying to cut back on sugar, I tried a slightly healthier version with a heartier flour and a bit less sugar. I also used maple sugar just because I had some sitting around. Maple sugar has more nutrients than regular table sugar, but it’s still sugar. I know holidays are treat time, but one thing tends to lead to another and the next thing you know you’re jackknifed in the corner in a pool of ham fat, chocolate and jelly beans… Anyway, they were delicious, and I might be on the verge of replacing my usual recipe with this one every year. I still used citrusy cardamom even though I wasn’t sure if it was a natural match to the earthy maple flavor. Using a pinch or two of cinnamon would be a good alternative.
I also made them a bit smaller and got the same number of cookies as with the usual recipe, about three dozen.
Whole Wheat Koulourakia (makes about 36 cookies)
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) maple sugar or regular sugar
1 large egg, room temperature and separated
1/4 cup (60ml) cream, half and half or milk
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla
Pinch of ground cardamom or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) baking powder
1 cup (240ml) whole wheat flour–I used Graham flour
1/2 cup (120ml) white all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. (30ml) sesame seeds
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg yolk, cream, vanilla and mix until blended. It might not completely come together, and that’s ok.
Whisk the cardamom or cinnamon, baking powder, and flours together. Add the dry to the wet mixture and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Don’t over-mix.
Preheat the oven to 350F/175C degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Shape the cookies. Brush with the egg white. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Bake the cookies until lightly golden, about 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time.
When cool, the cookies can be kept in an airtight container for a week or more.
These are classic dunking cookies, if you’re into that. I don’t generally dunk, but if I were thinking about it… I might use two baking sheets, cook them all at once, and at the ten minute mark, turn off the heat, and let the cookies sit in the oven until cool. This would ensure they would be extra crunchy. Just a thought.