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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kourabiedes (Holiday cookies)

Every country has their traditional foods for the holidays and Greece is no exception. My mother would bake these crescent shaped cookies every December and put a single stick of clove in each one. These are a traditional Christmas cookie in Greece. You can flavor them with ouzo, metaxa (brandy), mastic, or rose water and add nuts. Below I have two variations that are quite delicious. I love it when my house smells like cloves and cinnamon in December. Over the next two weeks I will post at least three different recipes for this holiday season.


1 cup walnuts or almonds
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup powered sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. brandy, ouzo, or orange liquor
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Whole cloves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fahrenheit

Toast the walnuts or almonds until lightly browned and fragrant. I do it over the flame in a stainless steel pan. Let cool. In a food processor finely grind 1/2 cup of the nuts. And then chop the rest into medium small pieces.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, add the nuts. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolk, brandy or orange liquor for walnuts OR ouzo with almonds, and vanilla extract on medium speed. Mix until the mixture is light and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes.

At low speed at the dry ingredients. I add about 1/3 of the dry mix into the mixing bowl at a time, mix, add more, mix until you have a crumbly mixture. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature. About an hour.

Line a couple of baking sheets with either parchment paper, non-stick foil or coat with nonstick spray.

Take a tablespoon at a time. Walnut version - roll into balls between the palms of your hands.

Almond version - form into a crescent shape and stick a clove in the middle.

Bake cookies until lightly browned and set, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven, while hot dust all sides with powdered sugar and set in a pan to cool. Once cooled give them another dusting of sugar to give them that lovely white snowy look.


1 comment:

  1. It really brings out the flavor, but for some reason I never make it. I should - it's a perfect holiday treat.I can't wait to be back to cooking again!