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December 20, 2012

KOURABIETHES - GREEK CHRISTMAS COOKIES



      There isn't a home during Christmas time that won't bake (or at least buy) kourabiethes. Even though one can find them in pastry shops all year round, during Christmas it is the honored dessert and/or treat for guests along with the melomakarona. (will be posting this recipe after Christmas, don't miss it!)


      Kourabiethes (also kourambiedes) are sugared shortbread cookies made with toasted almonds. (There's also a version with walnuts or hazelnuts). In Greek: koo-rahb-YEH-thes. They have simple ingredients and are simple to make!
      The key to good Kourabiethes is the use of butter, and lots of it! Mind you, it has to be good quality full butter!



Recipe for Kourabiethes
(recipe is for 2 baking trays, aprox. 80 cookies)


1 lb. unsalted pure butter at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's, icing)

2 egg yolks
3/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
 
2 cups of roasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1 shot of cognac or brandy

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 heaping Tbsp. of baking powder

5 cups of of all purpose flour
, sifted

For topping:
1/2 cup Rosewater
Extra icing sugar for powdering (about 2 cups)

 

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Then add the oil. Add the egg yolks and beat for 10 minutes longer.
  2. Add some of the flour (add 1-2 cups at a time and keep some to add later). Poor your brandy (cognac) to a large glass and then add your baking powder and stir it until dissolved. Now pour this mixture, along with the vanilla extract and the nuts and continue beating until blendid in and the dough is a cohesive soft mass.
  3. Start kneading with your hands the mixture and s-l-o-w-l-y add the flour to the mixture until all the flour has been absorbed.
  4. Set the dough aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
  5. Using your hand, grab a piece of dough the size of a walnut and form them into the shape of choice - crescents or patties (you could also use a cookie cutter). Place each formed cookie on a baking tray lined with parchment paper (or greased cookie sheet). Repeat process until all dough has been shaped into cookies.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven (middle rack) for 25 minutes for each batch.
  7. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with rosewater, then roll in the powdered sugar. Dust serving plates or platter with confectioner's sugar and add cookies.
    Now place some more icing sugar in a sifter and generously dust the Kourabiedes with more icing sugar until well-coated.
  8. The cookies can be stored in a sealed container, in a cool, dry place and they’ll keep for at least two weeks




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40 comments:

  1. This recipe is almost identical to one that we have been making in our family for well over 100 years--we call them Pecan Balls or Powder Puff cookies. They are so delicious! Many years ago when my children were young, we were rolling the cookies in the powdered sugar and ended up having a funny, impromptu sugar fight----my whole house was dusted in confectioner's sugar...but not so much fun to clean up!

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    1. I bet it wasn't fun to clean up! That's why I do them when they're at school!!!

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  2. I LOVE these cookies! Sooooo tasty with a strong black tea. MMmmm.
    Jamie
    http://chatterblossom.blogspot.com/

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  3. Hi Vicky,
    You are speaking my language with this recipe. YUM! and thank you.
    Thank you for stopping by the Thumping Thursdays Blog Hop and commenting on becoming a member of our community. It is great to have. I look forward to seeing you again and more of your posts from Greece. How fascinating.

    Karina

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    1. Thanks, Karina! I'm glad you like my blog!

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  4. These look amazing! My mouth is watering right now :) Thanks for sharing glad I found you on the Thumping Thursday blog hop. I am your newest follower. Would love if you would come by to visit sometime.

    Thanks
    Nichole
    www.pinkieforpink.com

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    1. Thanks for following Nicole. I'll be right over!

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  5. Yummy cookies! Following you back from the blog hop!
    Love the layout of your blog by the way. So pretty!
    Katie from Life in the simple lane

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  6. Thanks for hopping by the Thumping Thursday blog hop!! Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Thanks Megan! It's going to be a great weekend of great preparations for Christmas Day!

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  7. These sound delicious!!! We spent a couple of weeks traveling Greece in 2010 and I LOVED it - especially the food :) Looking forward to following along and reading more!

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    1. I'm glad you had a great time in Greece! Thanks for following!

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  8. I like them a lot but not as much as Melomakarona. However, the moon and star shape of Kourabiethes is a must for Christmas table.

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    1. OH! I prefer melomakarona, too. Plus, they are less messy!

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  9. I could eat these all day long. They sound delicious. After the Christmas rush, I'm going to give them a try. Thanks for the recipe :) Happy Friday, as well!

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  10. Let me know how they turn out! Have a great weekend!

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  11. those cookies look amazing, may have to try these

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  12. I love Greek food....and the dancing too:) I´m following you back from the blog hop...thank you for inviting me here -
    love it!
    Dinah
    http://thetravelingclassroom.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for following back! Welcome to my blog!

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  13. OMG I miss these cookies! Thank you for the recipie, cannot wait to make them.

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  14. ...and now I am hungry! haha. those all look D-lish! Newest follower from the weekend blog hop! Cute little button over there "I blog to hide from the laundry" - ha, me too!

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    1. Welcome! I hope you enjoy reading my blog!

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  15. Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you like it!

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  16. Those cookies look super delicious! And I agree there is nothing like unsalted butter to make anything taste so much better!! I'll bet these cookies melt in your mouth!

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  17. They sound light & delicious. Visiting from Friday Chaos. :)

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  18. Newest follower. Those cookies look so good!!
    xx sandra
    http://larasvintage.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for following! I hope you'll enjoy reading my blog!

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  19. I finally made it over to your blog! Thanks for the sweet comments. I just posted a stocking stuffer idea I thought might interest you. Go check it out:)

    xoxo,
    Angela
    http://angelabrabon.blogspot.com/

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  20. Those looks great, thanks for sharing

    Thank you so much for following. I'm a little late following back, but I am now. hope you have a fantastic 2013

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    Replies
    1. Welcome to my 'world'! You, too, have a fantastic 2013!

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  21. Oh I'm trying to eat healthy and you are posting such yummy treats!
    Happy 2013 :)

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    Replies
    1. They're healthy yummy treats! I've taking all the fat out of it! Hahahaha! Happy 2013 to you, too!

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  22. These look delicious. Btw, thank you for dropping by my blog.

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  23. Vicky, these remind me of some Polish Christmas cookies that my ex mother-in-law used to make ... I think I have her recipe somewhere I must fish it out. Hope you are having a good week.

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