I just made a bunch of Paximathia using Thea Rae's recipe, and thought it was the perfect "just before Christmas" choice for the first post to The Other Man's Pot.
Like all Greek pastries, these take a good part of an afternoon to finish, as you have to bake, slice and toast, but they are worth it! And while you're waiting, you are rewarded with your house being filled with a wonderful scent. In my opinion, the finished cookie is one of the best -- if not the best -- Greek cookies. Thanks Rae.
- 1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temp
- 1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 T vanilla
- 1/4 t anise extract
- 1/2 t lemon extract
- 6-8 cups flour
- 1-3/4 cup sugar
- 4 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 3 t anise seeds
Combine cooled butter, oil, eggs and extracts until blended.
Combine all dry ingredients (start with 6 cups of the flour).
Mix in dry ingredients, alternating with canned milk. Add more flour, if necessary. Dough should be soft and sticky, and hold its shape.
Shape into long, thin, flat logs on parchment lined cookie sheets (one per sheet). Brush tops with an egg wash (one yolk and two tablespoons of milk). If desired, top with sesame seeds.
Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned and firm to touch (35 - 45 minutes). Cool. Cut into cookies and place on cooling rack on a baking sheet. Place in oven and toast as desired (Note: I turn down the oven for this step).
If you'd prefer to make a cinnamon orange version, substitute as follows:
- Anise seed - 2 t cinnamon (ideally from the Hania agora!)
- Lemon zest - orange zest
- Anise extract - cinnamon extract
- Lemon extract - orange extract
NOTE: I saw a version that said to slice the loaves half-way thru with a floured knife prior to baking, then to slice completely after the first baking. I've never tried this, but it may be a good way to prevent some pieces breaking when cut.