Classic Greek Almond Cookies
Kourambiedis have always been my favourite Greek cookie/confection. One of the best parts of holiday dinners was unwrapping the packages from the bakery on Broadway in Greektown and sneaking an early piece or two. I loved them enough that it was one of the things I learned to make early in my teens for family parties.
Some recipes make kourambiedis with slivered almonds, but I prefer the crumblyness that is given by substituting part of the wheat flour with almond flour aka almond meal.
- 1 lb butter
- 1/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 lb flour remove 1 cup to allow for the almond flour
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- A food processer is great for this recipe. Shortbread is all about lightness and a food processor really helps to whip the ingredients together. Otherwise, an electric mixer and/or a very strong arm.
MIxing the dough
- Remove one cup of flour from the weighed pound, and replace it with the almond flour, mixing the two together with the icing sugar
- Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy
- Beat the vanilla and egg into the butter and whip until they are fully incorporated
- Add the flour/almond mixture in stages, using the food processor for as much of this as possible
- After mixing the dough, smooth it into a ball and wrap it in plastic to keep it from drying out while you store it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight
Shaping and baking the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 325º
- Scoop out small amouns of the dough and shape them into a ball or an oblong around the size of a walnut
- Place them on a baking sheet
- Traditionally, you place a clove in the cookie where it would indicate a cross, in the top third of an oblong, or the centre of the circle. This also flavours the cookie as it bakes. The clove is removed to eat the cookie
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes at 325º
- Watch them carefully for the last 5 minutes to make sure they don't brown.
Finishing the cookies
- When the cookies are completely cooled, sift icing sugar over them until they are covered.
- They are tasty right away, but get better after they have aged a day or so.