Any recipe that starts out with one pound of butter has got to be good. I’m sorry, but it’s just a fact. Kourambiedes are another one of my favorite cookies. They are basically the Greek’s version of shortbread cookies, and are rolled in powdered sugar. The cookies are really similar to Mexican wedding cookies/Russian tea cakes. If you were thinking maybe the pound of butter wasn’t rich enough, then surely the dousing of the cookies in powdered sugar adds that extra sweetness you want :)
The last time I made these, we were out of ouzo and brandy, so I used about 1 tsp. of almond extract and they were still really good, and more almond-y. I say this in case you tend not to keep liquor around the house and want to know if something can be substituted. But today, I went the traditional route since I have a just-opened bottle of ouzo in the liquor cabinet.
I’m submitting these cookies over to Susan at FoodBlogga who is hosting a Christmas cookies event. New cookies are being added constantly, and I have been drooling over a large portion of them for days.
makes about 4 dozen
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1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 shot ouzo, brandy, or cognac
3.5 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup roasted and crushed almonds
additional confectioners sugar, for rolling
Preheat the oven to 350.
Beat the butter until very creamy, a good 10-15 minutes. Add the sugar into the butter until incorporated and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, one a a time, until well incorporated and finally, mix in the vanilla and the ouzo.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture slowly, until incorporated and a relatively stiff dough forms. Add more flour, if necessary. Knead in the almonds, and knead the dough 5 or 6 times.
Using tablespoon sized portions, roll the dough into whatever shape you want (I did crescents; in my family, crescents, rounds and esses were the most popular) and place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 24 minutes or until done. Cookies should be slightly browned, but not too dark.
Let the cookies cool for ten minutes or so before rolling in powdered sugar.