Koulourakia (Easter Cookies)
1 C. butter
1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
4 large eggs, divided
1 T. baking powder
6 C. all-purpose flour, divided
2 t. vanilla extract
1 T. grated orange rind
1/2 jigger ( 3/4 oz.) bourbon
Shortening for the baking sheets
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until creamed together, about 6 minutes. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, blending well after adding each. In a separate bowl, combine baking powder and flour. Measure out 3 cups of the flour mixture and slowly add to the creamed mixture, combining well. Next, add the vanilla, orange rind and bourbon and blend. Slowly add remaining flour to make a medium-soft dough.
Scoop about a generous tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball, then into a long rope. Shape the rope in a circle (doughnut shape) or bend the rope in half and twist the two sides together to make a small braid. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Continue until all the dough has been shaped.
In a small bowl, combine remaining egg and 1 tablespoon water and beat until blended. Brush cookies with the egg wash. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on rack and serve or store in airtight containers.