NEW YORK – Chef Melina Milionis, best known for Greek Girls Kitchen with Chef Sophia Manatakis, shared a recipe for moustokouloura (grape must/molasses cookies) with The National Herald. She said via email: “Moustokouloura cookies have been a favorite of mine since childhood. The molasses, clove, cinnamon – every bite tastes like winter in a cookie.”
“On a recent trip to Greece, I visited the beautiful city of Nafplio,” Milionis continued. “I stumbled upon a bakery as a fresh batch of moustokouloura was just coming out of the oven – I could smell them from down the street. I am pretty sure I followed the scent right to the door of the bakery.”
“After one bite I knew I was coming home to recreate these cookies – so fluffy, so moist and light,” she said. “It took a few months of trial and error and taste testing until I finally perfected them. But, of course, I couldn’t stop there. My creative mind was running.”
“I had recently purchased a Goldtouch Brownie Bowl pan (and never used it because I don’t like brownies) but suddenly it clicked! I was making Moustokouloura Cookie Bowls to be filled with homemade Greek frozen yogurt with the most delicious pistachios I have ever eaten from the quaint, stunning Island of Aegina and then, of course, drizzled with the best honey from Crete,” Milionis said.
The recipe follows:
Moustokouloura Cookie Bowls with Aegina Pistachio Greek Frozen Yogurt
2-3 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoon clove
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 packet Vanilla Sugar
2 teaspoon Nescafe (dry for color)
1 1/2 cups Petimezi [grape must/molasses]
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cognac
In a bowl, add all your wet ingredients orange juice, cognac, olive oil, petimezi, and your dry Nescafe. Mix until ingredients are all incorporated. Set aside
In a separate bowl, sift 2 cups of flour, add the cinnamon, the clove, baking powder, baking soda, and the Vanilla sugar packet.
Slowly add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until a loose dough is formed. You want it almost to the consistency of brownie batter. Add the extra flour, if needed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray the Brownie Bowl pan (I got mine at Williams Sonoma – Gold Touch Pro bakeware is amazing) or butter and flour it well. Pour the batter 2/3 full as the dough will rise to the top during baking.
Bake 20 minutes or until cake tester/tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before taking out of the pan. Let sit on a cooling rack.
Aegina Pistachio Greek Frozen Yogurt*
*You will need an ice cream machine – I love Cuisinart Ice 22: Super easy and not pricey.
1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean paste (I use Nielsen Massey)
1 cup Aegina Pistachios
In a bowl, add the Greek yogurt, the sugar, almond extract, and the vanilla bean paste – mix well until sugar has dissolved. Add the heavy cream and whisk until combined but don’t over whisk. Pour into your ice cream machine and press start. It’s that easy! Don’t add the pistachios until frozen yogurt is almost done.
To assemble your Moustokouloura Cookie Bowls, scoop your Fro-yo right into the bowls, top with more Aegina Pistachios and drizzle with Greek honey of your choice – I used Cretan Honey on this one.