Petimezi & Moustokouloura
October is here already?! Wow, this year has gone by really fast.
I hope you are having a great weekend so far, and baking up something delicious? On today’s post, I am sharing two of my favorite October recipes.
The key ingredient in these recipes is GRAPES! Our grapes are in full bloom, so we have plenty to use in the kitchen. I am sharing an ancient Greek recipe called “petimezi” which is grape molasses. A recipe that has been around for many many years, and a beautiful simple treat. Petimezi is made up of just two ingredients usually; grapes, and wood ash. When sugar wasn’t known in the ancient Greek times, petimezi would be the “all-natural sugar” to use. Petimezi and “moustokouloura” are two recipes that work hand in hand. (Moustkouloura meaning grape must cookies.) These cookies are quite similar to the Greek easter cookies “koulourakia” but they have a beautiful aroma of grapes and spices in the mix.
For the petimezi I decided to kick this recipe up a notch and make spiced petimezi. I only use two ingredients for this recipe; grapes and cinnamon sticks. I don’t have wood ash on hand, so I just passed that process, but do feel free to use wood ash if you like.
Spiced Petimezi (Grape Must) Recipe
- 10 pounds of fresh grapes washed
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup of organic sugar
- Optional – 1 tablespoon wood ash
- In a large crush the grapes with your hands, making sure to get as much juice as you can out of all the grapes. I like to use a metal meat tenderizer to help me get all the juice out. Once all the juice is pressed, then strain out the seeds (if your grapes have seeds) and any pulp or stems.
- Pour the grape juice inside a large pot over medium heat. At this point, you can add the wood ash to the pot and stir to combine. If you use the wood ash then let that mixture cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Once the liquid has reduced down, remove from heat. Let cool and then strain out the wood ash. Place liquid back over the stove and add the sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Cook until mixture resembles thick honey.
- Follow this if you don’t use the wood ash:
- Cook the grape juice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks over medium heat. Let the mixture cook down for about 1 hour or until liquid has become thick like honey.
- Petimezi tends to be a bit sour, so if you want to add a bit more sugar to the pot then feel free to do so. Store petimezi in a clean sterile glass jar.
Moustokouloura (Greek Grape Must Cookies) Recipe
Servings: 20-25 cookies
A delicious vegan and dairy-free Greek cookie! Perfect with tsai tea or Greek coffee.
- 1/4 cup of petimezi
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1.5 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground clove
- 2 tablespoons of bourbon
- 3 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour and more for dusting the surface
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- Optional: Sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl mix together the water, and petimezi. Whisk the oils, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, clove, bourbon, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
- On parchment paper sift the flour and baking powder.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix to combine with your hands. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
- Prepare to roll the dough in 4 inch long ropes. I like to cut the rope in half so I make two round twisted cookies per rope. You can make any shape you like with these cookies.
- I like the texture of the sesame seeds, so I roll my cookies over sesame seeds. This is optional for you.
- Place cookies on baking parchment and tray. Bake in the middle rack for about 22-25 minutes until golden brown. (I like my cookies crunchy so I do cook mine a bit longer.)
- Remove from heat and let cookies cool on wired rack. Store cookies inside a sealed container.