Every year I make these Cypriot almond shortbread cookies called “kourabiedes”. I think they are special, because I can just imagine how special these were once a year in my grandma’s house … if, in fact, she actually made them because I imagine the ingredients would have been quite expensive. I love the simplicity of this recipe. The only trick is to know when your dough is ready, and to ensure your butter is well mixed. … On Monday, Heart Cyprus will be filming me making these so I am a little bit nervous to say the least! Obviously I set out to practice a little beforehand. Hence, anybody who visits my house is having a plate or two of these guys. I am not going to write much today, because I am off to bake with another group of gals in Nicosia this afternoon. I made some awesome gingerbread with my friend from Cypriot and Proud earlier this week too which I hope to share if I have time to post it this month. Am off to Canada in about a week, so am super excited and busy getting ready. … Anyway, enjoy these. As I said, super easy to make. Buttery, flaky, fabulous with tea. Even my crazy parrot makes a point of asking my mom for these cookies. For the recipe, I used the same one I used last year which you can find here, but halved it as you can see below. Beware that the amount of flour WILL vary depending on where you are cooking them. I halved my recipe, and still found I needed about 1 extra cup of flour to get the a dough that didn’t stick to my fingers. Follow the pictures in the recipe and they will turn out great.
1.5 cups butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1& 1/4 tbs brandy
1/2 tsp liquid vanilla extract
1 & 1/3 cups coarsely chopped roasted almonds
roughly 3-4 cups Mitsides All Purpose Flour (or less or more flour as is needed per the instructions below)
1. Preheat the oven to 176C.
2. With a mixer (or hand mixer) beat the butter and icing sugar together for about 10 minutes, until the butter turns a light yellow colour.
3. Continue to mix and add the egg yolks. When the egg yolks have been incorporated, add the brandy. Continue to mix well incorporated, about another 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, add your vanilla and nuts. Then add the butter mixture. Begin to mix with your hand, adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to mix with your hands. The mixture will be very sticky at the beginning, but should become less sticky as you add more flour. Continue to add flour until the mixture holds together and does not stick to your hands. Really just keep adding flour until the dough is soft but doesn’t stick.
5. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Do not work the dough too much, as this is not good for the cookies. With a cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the dough.
6. Place the cookies on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 20 to 22 minutes. The cookies should be a very light golden brown colour.
7. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool.
8. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top to cover the cookies and enjoy!