Typical Greek Cookies Made For The Christmas Holidays

I don't like sweets that are too sweet and syrupy similar to the ones made in North Greece and Turkey with syrup drooling all over the place where your throat burns from excess sugar.  On the other hand I love cookies with the back-taste of butter made from ewe's milk. These cookies are more or less similar to the European Butter Shortbread cookies. These are the Greek Kou - ra - bi- edes. (Κουραμπιέδες) and can be found in commerce and homes which make them only during the Christmas Holidays....
To make these cookies you will need:
-  300 gr good quality butter (your choice) try butter made from ewe's milk if you can find it.

 -  110 gr confectioner's sugar.
-  125 gr skin-on almonds roasted in preheated to 160 degrees C oven for 15 minutes then roughly chopped or roughly broken in big pieces in a mortar and pestle.

-  600 gr all purpose flour.
-  ½ tsp. baking powder.
-  ½ vanilla pod.
-  25 gr black rum.
-  Extra powdered sugar for coating.

-  Mix on high speed for not less than 20 minutes the butter and powdered sugar. The more you beat them together the better. I usually beat for 30 minutes and put earplugs on!!
-  Once you have beaten the above at least 20 minutes on high speed of your mixer, stop then add flour, baking powder, vanilla and beat slow speed gradually increasing to medium for about 10 minutes till all the flour is well absorbed by the dough.
-  Add almonds and mix.
-  Add rum and mix.
-  Once a homogenous mixture is obtained by mixing another 10 minutes, transfer dough onto your working table and start forming little round balls between the palms of your hands. One bite size is the best.
-  Bake on oven paper lined cookie sheet for 20 to 30 minutes at 160 degrees C.
-  It is alright for them to take a slight tanned color.
-  Take out from oven and let cool completely before coating in powdered sugar then placing on a nice serving dish.
Hope you will like them,
We certainly love them and cannot stop eating them once we have one.
 When you want to play around using your imagination:

-  The final weight of all the cookie dough was 1005 gr.
-  I divided the dough quantity into three to make brown ones (with cocoa), plain ones with an almond stuck at the top, and conventional sugar coated ones So I divided the dough into 405 + 300 =705 gr and added all the chopped almonds into this dough.
-  The dough which weighed 405 gr was made into little bite-sized balls and baked at 160 degrees C for 30 minutes. These contain almond pieces and sugar coated.
-  The 300 gr dough I added 1½ Tbsp. cocoa powder to the dough. and ran through the blender to blend in the cocoa powder. These were also baked for 30 minutes at 160 degrees C and contain almond pieces.
-  The last 300 gr which had no almonds, one whole almond was stuck to the dough and baked for 30 minutes at 160 degrees C. (Sorry I forgot to take a picture of these. Could not concentrate when my family came to visit me in the kitchen).
Note:  The cocoa cookie is only made in the central part of Greece all year long. The area is called Lamia, and the town which makes them is Kamena Vourla famous for thermal baths.
All the best,


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