A Greek family celebration wouldn’t be complete without the delightful buttery goodness of Kourabiethes (koo-rah-BYEH-thes).
These are very rich cookies (as are most shortbread cookies) yet somehow lighter and melt-in- your-mouth good. Be sure to make extra because these will go fast!
- 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting (about 2 cups)
- 2 tbsp. ouzo
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder (substitute two tsp. vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped very finely
- 1 lb. cake flour (about 3 1/2 - 4 cups)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- Whole cloves for decoration (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar. Mix well. Add the ouzo, vanilla, and the toasted chopped almonds.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. With the mixer on low, add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. You don’t want to over mix the dough because that will toughen the cookies.
Chilling the dough for about half an hour makes it easier to handle and roll.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Growing up, we shaped these as crescents but they can also be made round. To make a crescent, take a piece of dough about the size of a walnut. Roll it into a log and then curl the ends in and pinch slightly to make a half-moon or crescent shape.
Stud each cookie in the center with a whole clove and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until just beginning to brown.
When the cookies are still very warm, dredge in confectioner’s sugar. (Handle them with care!) The sugar layer will almost melt and coat the cookies. After the cookies cool a bit, add another dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
(Remove the clove before consuming unless you like to chew on whole cloves!)