Diane Kochilas’ Stuffed Lenten Cookies
IngredientsFinikia Dough (Recipe follows)
2 cups ground walnuts
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ cup raisins (optional)
Grated peel of 1 orange
2 Tbsp. Ikarian pine or other honey
Powdered sugar or granulated sugar for garnish
6-8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups Greek extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup sugar
Juice of 2 oranges, strained.
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Heaping ¼ tsp. ground cloves
• In a large bowl, sift together 6 cups of the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
• In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the olive oil and sugar until fluffy. Add the orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and beat to combine.
• Add 2 cups of the flour mixture to the batter and whisk to combine. Remove the whisk attachment. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, slowly add as much of the remaining flour as you can in ½-cup increments to form a smooth, soft, but dense dough, kneading as you add.
Stuffed Lenten Cookies
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Prepare the finikia dough and divide it into 3 balls.
• In a bowl, combine the walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, raisins (if using), orange peel and honey.
• Roll out a ball of dough to a round about 15 inches in diameter. Take a 3-inch glass or cookie cutter and cut rounds out of the dough. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle and fold over to form a half-moon. Wet the inside edges with a little water and press closed with your fingers or with the tines of a fork. Continue until the dough and filling are used up. Gather any excess dough and roll it out and fill it, to finish off the cookies.
• Bake until lightly golden, about 25 minutes. Removes the skaltsounia from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Sift a generous amount of powdered sugar over them.
*Note: Instead of sprinkling powdered sugar on the cookies after baking, you can sprinkle them with a generous amount (about 2 teaspoons per cookie) of granulated sugar before baking.