Nistisima Paximadia

Here I am, mid-week into the first week of Lent. The first day is the hardest and then each day it becomes easier and easier. One meal that’s a challenge is breakfast. I eat breakfast, rarely skip and when I do, I fell out or sorts – almost ill for the rest of the day. Eat your breakfast folks.

With breakfast options being restricted (no butter, no cream for coffee and no cheese or eggs, I leave the table in the morning a little hungry. Part of the solution are these Lenten (Nistisima) Paximadia. Paximadia are, a twice baked cookie that’s perfect for having with coffee.

I’ve been enjoying anew my Greek coffee (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) and a Paximadi or Kouloraki is always nice to have/serve with the coffee. These Paximadia are Lent-friendly in that there are no eggs or dairy…just flour, spices, sugar, and orange juice and zest and some white wine.

These Paximadia will not get you drunk but they will making fasting a little easier. Grab your notepad, I’ll put the coffee on and we can dream about that Easter Feast coming in early April.

Nistisima Paximadia

zest and juice of 1 orange

3/4 cup vegetable (sunflower) oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 heaping Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 cup almonds

3 cups of all purpose flour (+ more if necessary)

sesame seeds

Pre-heated 350F oven

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F. In a food processor, add the orange juice, zest, wine, vegetable oil, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. Process until mixed well. Now add your almonds and pulse until they look like they are roughly chopped.
  2. Empty the contents into a large bowl and now gradually add your flour and mix in with your hands. You will need  approx. 3 cups of flour. Your dough should be smooth to the feel and not tacky. Add more flour if needed.
  3. Gather your dough and knead it into a ball. Turn onto your work surface and divide into 3 pieces. Form into three loaves. Place some sesame seeds on some parchment and then place a loaf of dough in it. Wrap the parchment around the loaf so that the sesame seeds adhere to the dough. Repeat with the other two loaves.
  4. Place the sheet of parchment paper on your baking tray and lay your three loaves of dough on top. Place your tray on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut the loaves into slices with a serrated knife. Arrange the cookie slices flat on the baking tray.
  5. Turn down the heat of your oven to 300F and bake for another 10 minutes. Now turn off your oven and allow the cookies to cool in the still warm oven.
  6. Remove the Paximadia and store in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.

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36 Comments for “Nistisima Paximadia”


If you’re pouring the coffee, I’m there! Those Nistisima Paximadia look like a great breakfast — particularly for those of us who are fans of biscotti! The sesame seeds are a great touch.


No eggs and butter,,,,really???? On first glance I would never have thought that about these cookies!!! That coffee sure looks strong and most inviting!!


Mmmm….. I heart me some paximadia…. It is def a great breakfast treat… Or even dessert. I look forwadr to making a batch this weekend :)



They look delicious, Peter. My mom made these all the time. Just add a little fruit (no yogurt, of course during Lent) and you have a wonderful breakfast. Thanks for the recipe.



Those look grat. Other breakfast options: bread, friganies, jam, tahini and nut butters. I am a big fan of peanut butter and it’s very filling.


Have you personally given up butter, cream, milk and eggs for Lent, or do all Greeks do that? I think my resolve would fade with the denial of even one of those. But the cookies look pretty great considering they have no fat in them.


Peter, is the cup full of Greek coffee? It looks to me like hot chocolate. Why so frothy? Was anything added to it? Never having tasted Greek coffee, what is different about it? Now I want some Greek coffee! :)


Great post. I agree: breakfast is so critical… need something to jump-start the day, and the paximadia are perfect, with coffee. I can’t see a picture of a cup of Greek coffee like that, though, without wondering if the coffee drinker (you in this case) “said the cup”?

Cheryl Lynn


Breakfast is the best meal of the day but when you are fasting it sure can have it’s limitations. I find that oatmeal is a great way to stave off hunger and have something nutritious at the same time. I add all kinds of things to my oatmeal like dried fruit and nuts. Since you are fasting there are a whole slew of dairy substitutes out there just in case you desire something creamy in your coffee. A Greek friend of mine told me that paximadia are just a fancy name for cookies. I can certainly get used to having cookies for breakfast!

Emanuel Vergis


Rolling the dough to make the logs on a wooden board covered with sesame seeds will make for a nice sesame seed coating on the paximadakia.


I didn’t know if you were a Greek coffee aficionado. I have studied the making of Greek coffee rather intensively and been trained by the Monks of Mount Athos over the course of my 14 visits in 35 years. Greek coffee is a passion. My wife and are both severely addicted, starting off every morning with two “thiplous”. Strangely enough, the first post I ever did on KAFENEIO was about the making of Greek coffee. For your amusement:

It is a common misconception that Greek coffee is the same as Turkish coffee. This is completely untrue, as Greek coffee is “cut” with a little chicory, giving it a unique smoothness and almost a background sweetness (even without the sugar). Turkish coffee is typically darker and more bitter (although very, very good). I’ve had Turkish coffee on many occasions while in Turkey and it bears little resemblance to the Greek version.

Blame the Greeks for the confusion. We called it Turkish coffee up until the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Then, as a protest, it became anathema to do so. I’ll never forget going to Crete in 1975 and ordering a “Turkish” coffee in a kafeneio owned by a black-booted, knife bearing, scarved, Cretan, who threatened to throw me out if I ever did it again! As a Greek Canadian of course, we were not “up” on the latest political subtleties, so it was an honest mistake. Hell, my Grandmother continued to call it Turkish coffee till she died in ‘91!

Maureen Kris Halikis


Alexia and I were discussing lent and what foods are beneficial. She sent me this recipe and I look forward to participating. Its nice to have good recipes to share. If you are interested, I’ll study the family’s Castellorizan cookbook (Dodekanese) and send one for your consideration.
Thank you.

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