Basically a Greek butterball cookie recipe. These, with Melomakarona, are found in every Greek home during the Christmas Holidays. I go through phases. One year, or for a couple of years, these are my favourites, then Melomakarona are, and I keep switching back and forth. They're both wonderful! These keep wonderfully, long after Christmas is over, if any are left.
- 2 cups butter, at room temperature or 450 g butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 -4 cups flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups almonds, chopped and roasted
- rose water or orange flower water (available in many ethnic groceries) or ouzo
- extra icing sugar, for rolling the cookies in
- Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for 15 minutes, until it begins to turn white. Mix in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the egg yolks, the brandy, vanilla extract, and gradually add the flour, until you have a dough that is neither too soft nor too firm (you may need to add slightly more than the amount I've written); stir in the almonds.
- Let the dough stand for an hour at room temperature, covered with a clean dish towel.
- Next, with small amounts (about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough), shape small rounds by gently rolling the dough around between the palms of your hands.
- Arrange the round cookies on a buttered pan and flatten ever so slightly on top with your hand.
- Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.
- Immediately upon removing the kourambiedes from the oven, sprinkle them with rose water (or orange water or ouzo. I do this by putting a small amount of the liquid in a bowl, wetting my fingertips, and shaking the droplets over the hot cookies a few times. The scented water or ouzo gives the cookies a very delicate fragrance).
- Roll the hot cookies in icing sugar to cover and let cool.
- When cool, arrange on a pretty holiday platter, sieving more icing sugar between the cookie layers to give a snowdrift effect.
By far a great recipe. Don't tell my mother that I'm using this one instead of hers. They are light, and short. They really melt in your mouth. I like them with cloves, which adds some dimension, but it's a pain to remember to tell people to take it out before they eat it, so I wonder if adding a touch of ground clove to the batter would do the trick?
Evelyn, I am sorry I forgot to review these. I made them for Christmas and they were delightful. I loved the fact that they melted in your mouth. I did make them ahead of time and froze them formed on a lined baking tray. Then I put them in plastic bag in the freezer. I baked from frozen, adding maybe 5 minutes cooking time and they were outstanding.
Thank you so much for this recipe ! My giagia is sick and had to undergo surgery and she makes them every year and I didn't want them to not be made so I found this recipe and did it today to see if I'd make them for Christmas ... They're amazing ! Just like ones from Greek bakeries. I was looking for other ones online before I found this one, but since none of the bakers were Greek the other recipes weren't at all authentic and were more like Americanized interpretations of the kourambiedes. THESE are the best ! I didn't have brandy on hand and used mastic ouzo from Xios and they still came out really good. Thanks for this recipe <3