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Gluten-Free Kaloudia, Greek Cookies

If I grew up on one thing, it was this recipe. My entire childhood was filled with a stash of these cookies from my YiaYia (grandma). Whether we were at her house or my YiaYia’s, even when we weren’t even visiting, Kaloudia was always present. I remember fondly opening giant boxes of Kaloudia while at college, which helped me feel at home. These are traditional Greek cookies, and they are straightforward to make for how much flavor they have in them.

Kaloudia has a very signature shape, like a twist. Not only is this a distinction on which cookie it is, but I think it aids in the texture of the cookie. When I first started making my YiaYia’s recipes gluten-free, I was concerned that these could be strange in texture, but dare I say, I like them more gluten-free. They have a very similar flavor, but they are less crumbly. I love how they have shortness to them, and the crumb is a little moister than that of all-purpose flour. Typically, gluten-free desserts have a bad rap for being dry, crumbly, and underwhelming, but in this case, these are perfect.

As a kid, I would eat them plain by the handful, but recently, I have been enjoying them as a breakfast cookie with a cup of black coffee or in the afternoon with an espresso. Traditionally, these cookies are enjoyed since they aren’t a super sweet style of cookie. I think that is why I love them so much. The cookie itself has only a handful of ingredients, but the sesame seed sprinkle on top is the winning addition. The sesame seeds add a savory flavor to the cookie, which pairs well with the subtle sweet dough.

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Gluten-Free Kaloudia, Greek Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking

Description

Traditional Greek Easter cookies made gluten-free and dairy-free for every diet. There are so many varieties of these cookies, for this recipe I took my YiaYia’s handwritten recipe and made them gluten and dairy free.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups of flour

Topping

  • 1 beaten egg
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a bowl cream the butter with your sugar
  2. Add in the baking powder, salt, and add in the eggs 1 at a time until they are incorporated
  3. Lastly add in the flour until the dough forms and is not sticky to the touch – you should feel like you could easily roll the cookie without it sticking to your hands
    1. if your dough is sticky, add in gluten-free flour 1/4 cup at a time
  4. Scrape down the cookie dough and using a clean surface, pinch about 2-3 tablespoons of dough and roll it out into a 1/3″ thick log
    1. once the dough is a long log, fold it in half like a horse shoe, grab the top of the arch and then twist the sides over each other twice to form a twist
    2. Repeat this with all of the cookie dough
  5. Once the cookie twists are placed on the parchment lined baking sheet and beat your egg thoroughly
  6. Using a pastry brush, paint a thin layer of the egg mixture on each cookie, and top with a light sprinkling of Sesame seeds
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

There are a ton of Kaloudia recipes out there, some people call these cookies Kaloudia some call them Koulourakia but this Is just an adaptation of my YiaYia’s recipe from her time In Greece. 

I love the tradition we have as a family in making these each year. Greek Easter was always our biggest celebration for Easter as a family with Greek heritage. I love the food, the excitement, and again back to the love of the food. Greek food is hands down my favorite food. It is so fresh, light, and the sweets have a perfect balance of sugar and brightness.

Happy Greek Easter (Καλό Πάσχα) and happy baking!

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