These Greek Olive Oil Cookies are so crunchy, lightly sweet and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. With a slight hint of spice and orange, they are such a lovely, simple cookie.
About a year or so ago, my husband and I went to a great Greek restaurant with a group of friends. After our meal, we wandered into a Greek grocery store just next door and loaded up a shopping basket with an assortment of cheeses, breads, olives and…cookies.
Ah, cookies. My weakness. I’d take a cookie over a slice of pie or cake any day. So, you’ll understand when I tell you that I tore into that bag of cookies as soon as we got home that night. Those Cretan Cookies, or Ladokouloura, were simple, crunchy and just slightly sweet. I spent the entire time eating them wondering how I was going to make them myself. I even saved the bag with its list of ingredients to refer to. Unfortunately, finding a recipe for those specific cookies was impossible. I’ve found versions of them, so many, but none that were as basic as my Greek grocer’s find. I imagine that many wise, Greek grandmas hold tight to those cherished recipes.
I’ve said this before, but I’ve got a thing for simplicity. That goes for cookies, too. I love a crunchy, unfussy cookie that’s not overly sweet that I can pop in my mouth every time I walk into the kitchen…err, I mean, so I can have just one or two with a cup of coffee. I do find some consolation in that, although these are not healthy by any means, they are made vegan with heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter and with very little sugar.
I love baking with olive oil. It’s been done forever by many cultures, but for some reason, so many of us find it odd and only associate olive oil with savory foods. One bite into these crunchy nuggets and you’ll never even guess they were made with olive oil. Try it with some of your favorite baking recipes. A key tip to remember when substituting olive oil for butter is that olive oil is one hundred percent fat, while butter is eighty percent fat and twenty percent moisture. That in mind, you’ll want to use a bit less olive oil and you may need to increase the liquid in your recipe a bit.
I hope you love these as much as I do. They are not authentic by any means, but they are my interpretation of a beautiful Greek cookie. If you are Greek or have a sweet Greek grandma who bakes amazing cookies…tell me what you know about my new favorite cookie. And, if you have your own recipe for these…I’d love to hear about it!
Greek Olive Oil Cookies
- 3/4 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- zest of one orange
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer, combine the olive oil and sugar and orange zest. Beat just under high speed for about five minutes to begin emulsifying. Add the orange juice and continue beating for another two minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together to flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture to the olive oil mixture a half cup at a time, adding as the flour mixes in, but try not to over-mix. I turn the mixer off while adding each half cup and run it just until the flour combines.
- When the dough has formed, scoop by slightly heaping tablespoon size and form a ball. Dip the top of the ball into a bowl of sesame seeds, then placing it on a cookie sheet, press down a bit to flatten, this will press the seeds into the cookie as well. Space the cookies about two inches apart, although they really won't spread at all.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the cookies begin to look golden and are crunchy the whole way through. They'll crisp up more as they cool. Cool on a baking rack.
If you love baking with olive oil, take a peek at these beautiful recipes…
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake from Flourishing Foodie
Olive Oil Blondies with Chocolate Frosting from My Name is Yeh
Greek Yoghurt Olive Oil Cake with Orange Blossom Glaze from Artful Desperado
hello I tried this recipe today for the first time it was both crunchy and delicious.
I love the orange flavor in this cookie. thank you for sharing the recipe
I tagged you at instagram .
That’s wonderful, Sara! I absolutely love these cookies and I’m so glad you do too! I’ll keep an eye out for them on Instagram! xo
Simplicity is one of the main characteristics of Cretan cuisine, and this recipe could easily be a real Cretan one! And the cookies seem great! :-)
I’m all about simplicity, Makos! I need to try more Cretan recipes! Thanks so much…I hope you get a chance to make these! :)
Hey Caroline, love your recipe! Tried it for the first time tonight and was rewarded with some really subtle yet provocatively sweet cookies. Definitely a perfect complement to tea or coffee! However, I noticed that your recipe calls for orange zest but doesn’t specify where it belongs in the instructions; I wanted to ask you if the zest belongs in the orange juice, or is it to be used as a garnish after the cookies are done baking? Anyway, thank you for posting this recipe, I truly enjoyed it! I will bookmark your site and keep an eye out for more recipes. (:
Thanks a million for your kind words, Abbey…and for catching that mistake! I just corrected it in the recipe. The zest goes in with the olive oil and sugar. I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed them as much as I do! Wishing you the happiest of holidays! :)
I always tend to gravitate towards simple as well, and I love how these are just ever so sweet and covered in those beautiful seeds. Mine kind of cookie. :) Hope you are well during this busy season, sweet Caroline. Hugs to you. xo
Thanks so much, Emily! I’m doing well! Miss chatting with you! xo
Ruby & Cake
I have been searching for different cookies for this christmas period and I think I have struck gold with these. They look amazing I can’t wait to try them – love your blog, excited to see more x
I hope you love these as much as I do, Ruby! Thanks so much for your kind words! :)
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Cookies are my weakness too Caroline, especially during the holiday season! These look so simple and delicious. I love the oj and and the cinnamon and clove additions. I bet they’re perfect with a cup of hot tea!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
These look like such a nice change from the usual Christmas cookies. I love the orange flavor combined with all those spices. Just lovely!