I have talked about petimezi in a previous post but for those of you who are reading this for the first time petimezi is a syrup made of grape juice and is used as a sweetener. One of its uses in Greece is to make moustokouloura (must cookies). We usually make these cookies with petimezi all year round but this month is the months we have lots of grapes so instead of using petimezi we use fresh grape juice. In this case you may substitute the ingredients which are in bold. If you want to use baking soda instead of baking ammonia you may reduce the amount of grape juice and substitute it with 1/4 of a cup of orange juice where you will dissolve the baking soda.
I could not resist making a twist to this traditional recipe and as I had some leftover anthotyro, I made some cookies with the same mixture. I just placed a spoonful of the mixture in the baking tin and added a teaspoon of anthotyro on top. They were extra delicious.
I am submitting this recipe to Loulou, who is hosting an event all about cheese, La Fête du Fromage.
Moustokouloura with anthotyro
1/2 cup of olive oil
½ cup of petimezi
2 tbsp of honey
½ cup of orange juice
1 cup of fresh grape juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ cup of brandy
1/2 teaspoon baking ammonia or baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
750 grams of all-purpose flour
150 g rams of anthotyro (soft whey cheese similar to ricotta)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of orange blossom (just mix them together)
In a large bowl add olive oil, petimezi, brandy, orange zest and honey. Dissolve baking soda in orange juice (attention as it will bubble) and add together with all the other spices. Mix baking powder with flour and add until the dough is not sticky on in the bowl or your fingers.
Line a baking tin with parchment paper and preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Shape as you like and place in the tin, spaced apart.
Mix anthotyro with remaining ingredients. Add a tablespoon of dough on the parchment paper and a teaspoon of anthotyro on top of the cookies.
Bake for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. The cookies may seem soft but they will firm up as they cool.