When Jo told me about her plans to go for a family holiday in Paphos in Cyprus, I was already thinking of their traditional Christmas cookies - Kourabiedes. I googled for kourabiedes and I knew I could not resist making them. There are many versions , so I read them all and make my own and as close to the traditional ones :p The melt in mouth texture and the wonderful flavor and brandy in it...whoa...really very Greek. I have most of the ingredients at home except ouza which is an anise aperitif. To replace the ouza in the recipe, I grated some anise powder onto the orange juice and the kourabiedes turned out lovely. I finally had my craving for this Greek cookies fully satiated. Read on if you want to know more about Kourabiedes - Greek Butter Cookies ....
Traditionally, kourabiedes were flavored with rose water or blossom water and their local butter, usually ewe's and goat butter is used and roasted almonds are sometimes added. They are formed into either round or crescent cookies which after baking are coated with confections' sugar. Through centuries, other flavorings have been added in lieu of , or in combination with, rose or blossom water such as lemon zest, orang zest,and vanilla . Liquor like the Metaxa brandy, Greek mastika, or ouzo - a kind of anise aperitif are sometimes added to kourabiedes. After the cookies are removed from the oven and slightly cooled, the rose water may be sprinkled on the cookies before dusting with sugar to help the coating to stick, although this method is not in used anymore. The Greek served this during Christmas time.
I omitted the rose water but once I get hold of the rose water , I shall add them to these delectable melts in the mouth cookies. It will be even more authentic then :)
the steps to make these cookies
are easy and the ingredients other than ouza are
easily available too.
I shaped them into crescents...which I think is more traditional :)
and added clove as decoration....the greeks do that for
their Christmas kourabiedes cookies :)
when they are still warm,
you can sprinkle rose water followed
by a layer of confectioners sugar
after which , followed by another layer
of confectioners' sugar until
the cookies are covered with sugar
before putting this into your mouth...remove the clove
mmmmm this cookies really melts in the mouth
and I could not stop at one........I lost count
how many I have put into the mouth LOL!
Kourabiedes - Greek Butter Cookies
- makes 20 pieces
4 oz butter
1/2 egg yolk
1/8 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp of ouza - I replace with 1 tbsp of orange juice + a speckle of anise powder1/2 tbsp of brandy
1/4 cup almond - toasted and chop fine
4 oz cake flour
1/8 tsp of baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
cloves for deco
Preheat oven to 170C
Mix the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda together and sieve through once. Leave aside till needed.
Whisk butter till light and fluffy, add in egg , and mix till well incorporated. Add in the sugar and whisk till till well incorporated. Add in ouza, brandy and almond and mix till well blended. Fold in the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 parts. Do not over mix or the cookies will be tough and lost its melt in the mouth effect. Wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30-40 mins for easily handling. Shape them into round or crescent cookies and add a clove on top of each cookie . Bake them on parchment paper in baking sheet for 25 minutes or till lightly brown. Take them out of oven and add confectioners' sugar on them while they are still warm. Coat a second layer and store them in air tight container when they have cooled down completely. They can keep for a week in air tight container.
* * *