These crumbly & buttery almond cookies are called "Kourampiedes" and are traditionally made in Greece during Christmas period. They are buttery & nutty little cookies made from an almond shortbread dough that is baked, cooled and then coated in icing sugar.
For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
blanched silvered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
cognac/ brandy/ black rum/ almond liquor
The butter you will use will define the identity of these delicacies. Traditionally they are made with goats and sheep butter, but I prefer cows butter, which works exactly the same and gives them a great aroma and a rich flavor. Some recipes also call for 3 different types of butter. It is always best to use the highest of quality, that you can find or use!
The key to making the very best kourampiedes, no matter what recipe you make is to beat the butter and the powdered sugar until its very fluffy and soft, like a whipped cream. That ensures that enough air is in the butter mixture and your cookies will be light and fluffy, and they will melt in your mouth. Make sure not to overwork the dough. I recommend to incorporate flour and almonds in the batter either mixing it in with your hands or folding it in by using a spatula.
How to store Kourampiedes
Once the cookies have cooled completely and coated in icing sugar, they should be stored in an airtight container. They last for approximately 14 days in room temperature.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
350 gr. butter (in room temperature)
350 gr. all purpose flour, sifted
350 gr. blanched silvered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
80. gr powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla powder
60 gr. cognac or black rum or brandy or almond liqueur
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. rosewater
300 gr. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla powder
Preheat oven at 180 C (350 F), set to Fan.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the raw almonds.
Toast almonds for 10 minutes.
When ready, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
Then crush them, using a mortar and pestle or place a parchment paper on the top of them and crush them using a rolling pin. Set aside.
In a mixer's bowl add the butter, the sifted icing sugar and beat with a paddle attachment at low to medium speed. When the sugar is incorporated with the butter, increase speed to medium-high. Beat for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture is white and fluffy. Its texture should look like whipped cream.
Turn mixer speed to low and add the vanilla powder.
Mix baking soda with the cognac and add it to the mixture.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gradually and alternatively add sifted flour and roughly crashed toasted almonds. Mix them in by hand or fold in with a spatula just until incorporated.
Preheat oven to 170 C (338 F), set to Fan. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Shape balls, 30 gr. each, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly press the center with your finger and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Repeat the same process for the whole mixture.
When ready remove from the oven and spray them with rosewater (while they are hot). Allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
In a bowl sift powdered sugar with vanilla powder.
Sift 1/3 of the powdered sugar on a pan or on a clean surface (until you have a thick layer). Place the warm (but not hot) cookies over the powdered surface. Allow them to cool completely and dust with icing sugar until completely covered. Follow the same process for all of the cookies.
Place cookies on a serving plate and enjoy!
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