These Festive Sweet Butter Cookies, or Kourabiedes, as they are called in Greek, are everything you’ve ever wanted from a Christmas treat: they are soft, fluffy, deliciously buttery, and lusciously garnished with sugar.
Together with Melomakarona, the honey-soaked Christmas cookies we learned how to make last week, Kourabiedes are an embodiment of the Greek Christmas Spirit: traditional, decadent, and mouth-watering. No Greek Christmas meal would be complete without a serving of Kourabiedes and Melomakarona at the end of it.
So, if you are interested in mixing up your Christmas menu with the sweet touch of Hellenic tradition, this is your chance. After all, you can only have so many slices of Christmas cake and mince pies. Try something new and your taste buds will thank you for it.
What you need to know
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 80 cookies
For the Cookies:
1 1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
350g vegetable shortening
1 kg flour shifted twice
2 egg yolks
1 cup blanched, roasted, roughly chopped almonds *
3 tbsp corn-oil
2 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 cup icing sugar
For the Garnish:
1 cup icing sugar
*You can buy blanched chopped almonds pre-packed or you can buy a pack of regular almonds and make them yourself. To make them yourself, place almonds in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until swollen. Remove the almonds from boiling water and place in cold water for 10 minutes. Peel the skin off the almonds. Chop them up, and place them in the oven at 100°C for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 175°C
- Beat the butter, vegetable shortening, corn-oil, and icing sugar together in a large bowl.
- Add the egg yolks and keep on mixing for a few minutes.
- Gradually shift in half of the flour.
- Add the vanilla and brandy.
- Shift in the rest of the flour.
- Add the blanched, roasted, roughly chopped almonds.
- Mix well. At this point, the dough should be soft and fluffy.
- Mold the dough into oval shapes (approx. 3-4 cm long).
- Place in an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes.
- While they are warm, place them on a baking sheet and garnish with lots and lots of icing sugar!
So, there you go. You are all set for an authentically Greek Christmas. And if you end up loving them, you can make them all year round. We won’t tell!