Moustokouloura are very popular cookies throughout Greece and one of my favourite kind of cookie. The name derives from the Greek word 'moustos', which is the juice from the grapes before or during fermentation.
Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to make these cookies in the UK, because it is very difficult to find the main ingredient. That ingredient, 'petimezi', is basically a type of grape molasses. It is used in Greek cuisine and especially in deserts. However, I have come across a number of UK websites which do sell Greek products, including petimezi. If you can find it, buy it and make the cookies!!! They are a great accompaniment to your coffee or tea.
This specific recipe comes from the beautiful island of Lefkada, in the Ionian Sea.
1200gr white flour
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup petimezi
Half cup cognac
2 tsp ground cloves
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp baking soda
Sesame seeds, for the finish
1) In a bowl, mix well the flour with the olive oil.
2) Dissolve the baking soda into the cognac.
3) Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and add the water, sugar, petimezi, cognac and cloves.
4) Knead well, adding a bit of water if needed.
5) Slightly oil your hands and make small cookies by rolling a bit of the dough with them. Then roll each cookie in the sesame seeds.
6) Place the cookies in a slightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 180C. You can bake until they are hard or until they are softer, depending on how you prefer them.