Wednesday, December 12, 2007


KOURABIEDES - Traditional Greek Christmas cookies coated
with powdered sugar
This is one of the two kinds of confection that are tradi-
tionally consumed in large quantities in Greece during the
holiday season (the other is melomacarona). As a quick les-
son in greek, ``kourabiedes'' (pronounced ``kou-ra-bi-ETH-
es'', is the plural of the word ``kourabies'' (kou-ra-bi-
ES). Now all you need to enjoy them is the recipe. I got
this one from a Greek cookbook and translated it into
INGREDIENTS (makes about 30 pieces)
500 g unsalted butter
130 g powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
50 ml brandy
10 ml vanilla extract
600 g flour
60 g blanched almonds, chopped
500 g powdered sugar (one package)

(1) Beat the butter with the sugar until it becomes
(2) Add the egg yolks one by one, beating continu-
(3) Add the brandy and vanilla.
(4) Blend in the almonds and the flour, a cup at a
time. Use enough flour to get a firm dough (it may
take a bit more or less than the amount mentioned
in the ingredients list). Use your hands to do the
mixing, as an electric mixer will be useless after
the first two or three cups of flour have been
(5) Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least
one hour.
(6) Shape the dough into balls, about 2-3 cm in diame-
ter, flatten them, and place on greased cookie
sheets. Bake at 175 deg. C for 20 minutes.
(7) Remove from the oven. Roll each cookie, while it
is still hot, in the powdered sugar, and put it
back on the cookie sheet. Repeat this step once
more, so that you get a thicker coating.
(8) Place the coated cookies on a platter, liberally
sprinkling each layer and the bottom of the
platter with powdered sugar. When you are done,
there shouldn't be any sugar left.
(9) Let them cool, and they are ready to eat!

The cookbook suggests the following variations: using ouzo
or scotch instead of brandy, and almond extract instead of
vanilla extract, but I have not tried any of them. Also,
putting granulated instead of powdered sugar in the dough
didn't seem to affect the recipe-there's so much sugar in
it, that you couldn't tell the difference anyway.
The cookbook also suggested using twice the amount of sugar
for coating. This is obviously too much, but it should make
you realize that you must really be liberal with the sugar!

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