These grape molasses cookies or moustokouloura as we call them in Greek, remind me a lot of my childhood. My mum always made sure we had some kind of homemade cookies in my house. My father had a couple with his coffee in the morning and for the little ones, they were a treat and we used to dip them in our milk. Since the cookies don’t have any butter or milk and are vegan, in the past they were very popular during the Lent period.
As a new mum, I enjoy making these grape molasses cookies with the help of my little one. She loves adding the ingredients to the bowl and then shaping the cookies. I will admit that it’s still a skill that she needs to master but what matters is having a good time, right?
They are very easy to make, you will ony need 15-20 minutes to mix the ingredients and shape them. The recipe makes a big batch, around 35-40 cookies and they can last for up to two weeks at room temperature.
What is Grape Molasses
Grape molasses, which is also known as petimezi or epsima, is a thick dark syrup made of concentrated grape juice. It’s considered one of the first sweeteners used in ancient Greece along with honey and it’s full of vitamins and nutrients. People use it as a syrup on waffles, bread or pancakes and in some countries like Greece, you will find traditional cookies and other desserts using it as a sweetener.
Why you should try my recipe
- Easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to make the most aromatic Greek Moustokouloura.
- They are quite soft and chewy.
- Great dippers for coffee and milk.
- Ready in less than 40 minutes.
- They can last up to 2 weeks at room temperature.
Ingredients & How to
To make these grape molasses cookies you will need grape molasses and some simple baking ingredients: plain flour, sugar, baking soda, orange juice, cinnamon, ground clove and olive or vegetable oil.
01. I start by mixing the oil and the sugar for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. I like to use olive oil, not extra virgin as it’s too heavy for baking but instead a lighter one. If you find olive oil too heavy and with a strong aftertaste, you could use a vegetable oil of your choice. You could also use regular sugar or brown sugar. The cookies already have a dark color from the grape molasses so the brown sugar will not affect how they look.
02. Next, I add the grape molasses to the mixture and give it a stir to mix it all well. Our cookies will get a nice dark brown color from the molasses.
03. Next, I’m adding the ground cinnamon and clove to the mixture. The aromas from the cinnamon and clove really compliment the grape molasses and will make our cookies taste great. If you don’t have ground clove though, you could totally leave it out and just add the cinnamon
04. Before adding the flour, I add the orange juice to a small bowl and mix it with the baking soda. That will cause a reaction and the orange juice will start foaming. I then add it to the mixture and stir a little bit. Now it’s time to add the flour. I add half of it to the bowl and start mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon. When that’s incorporated, I continue with the other half of the flour.
05. After adding all the flour in, try not to knead the dough too much as the oil will come out and separate, which is something we don’t want. Just mix it gently with the spatula until all the flour is incorporated with the wet ingredients and then move on to shaping the moustokouloura cookies.
06. For shaping the cookies, I first add some parchment paper to the bottom of a baking pan and have it close to my working surface. I take one small piece of dough around 35gr or 1.2oz, a little bit smaller than a golf ball. Try not to overwork the dough in your hands as the oil will start separating and dough might get more sticky.
07. I start rolling the dough ball into a rope using my fingers. The dough rope will be around 15-17cm or 6-7in. I like to use a wooden board to roll the dough cause it’s oily but you could use whatever surface you have available in your house.
08. Then I bring together the two edges and press to form a circle. I gently take the cookie and place it on the lined baking tray. You could make other shapes, like coil shape or braid. Whatever you like! If you have children, you could get them involved!
09. Make sure you leave some space between the cookies on the tray as they will get a bit bigger in the oven. I leave around one finger space between them. The recipe makes around 35-40 cookies depending on the size, so they will fill a couple of trays. I usually put the first tray in the oven and then start making the second batch. By the time, the first one is baked, the second is ready to go in.
10. I just leave them in the oven for 10 minutes as they are meant to be soft and chewy, but if you like them more crunchy you can leave them for a couple of minutes longer. When they come out, they are very soft and delicate. Leave them to cool down for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to completely cool down.
These grape molasses cookies are great as dippers for coffee or a cup of milk. They are also easy to pack, so you can take a couple with you when you are out and about as a snack.
You can store the moustokouloura or grape mollases cookies in an airtight container for a couple of weeks if you can resist eating them all in a few days!
What is grape molasses? Grape molasses is a thick dark syrup made when boiling grape juice.
Are moustokouloura cookies vegan? Moustokouloura cookies are vegan since they do not have any dairy or eggs.
Do grape molasses cookies have sugar in them? Grape molasses cookies have regular sugar on top of the molasses. For a healthier version, you can skip the regular sugar and just add the molasses. The cookies will not be as sweet by they will still be delicious and full of aromas from the molasses, the cinnamon and the ground clove.
Watch the video
Grape Molasses Cookies- MoustokoulouraThese Greek grape molasses cookies are so easy to make and ready in less than 40 minutes. They are vegan since they don't have any butter, milk or eggs. Try a couple with your coffee, pack a few and take them out with you, add them to your lunchbox.
- 5 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cup grape molasses
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Mix the sugar with the oil in a bowl. Stir well for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the grape molasses, cinnamon and clove to the mixture.
- Add the orange juice to a small bowl. Add the baking soda and stir for a couple of seconds until it starts foaming.
- Add the orange mixture to the oil and sugar mix and stir.
- Add the flour and the baking powder and stir using a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Do not over mix as the oil in the dough will start separating.
- Take a small piece of dough (around 35gr) and shape it into a ball in your palm. Knead it into a rope and join the edges together to form a circle. Continue with the rest of the dough.
- Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving around one finger distance between them.
- Bake each tray for 10-12 minutes.
- Let them rest for 5-10 minutes before removing them from the baking tray, as they break easily when hot.
- This recipe yields around 35-40 cookies depending on the size. Try to shape them the same size to cook uniformly.
- Leave some space between them on the baking tray as they will get bigger.
- You could use regular white sugar or brown sugar if you prefer.
Keep them in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.