Greek Christmas Cookies (Kourabiedes)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter (453 grams), room temperature
  • 1 cup (140 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (135 gram) slivered almonds, lightly roasted and cooled*
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups (600-680 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • orange blossom water
  • 5-6 cups confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Instructions:

*How to roast slivered almonds~

  1. Add the slivered almonds in a single layer to a dry skillet pan on the stovetop.
  2. Heat over medium heat.

  1. Once you smell the nuts toasting, toss the nuts to turn them over, and shake to flatten them into a single layer.
  2. Continue tossing and shaking until all sides of the almonds are golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and pour the almonds into a bowl to cool.

Tip: Keep an eye on the stove when toasting almonds. Due to their aromatic oils, they can go from nicely toasted to burnt in a split second.

Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add the butter and 1 cup powdered sugar to bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until very light and fluffy (about 15-20 minutes).
Add egg yolk, brandy, and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.
Add roasted almonds, beat until mixed in.
Sift flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Gradually add flour to butter mixture until a dough forms.
Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon-size balls.
Use a sieve to evenly spread about half of the powdered sugar in a large deep baking pan.  Then, carefully place each cookie in powdered sugar lined pan.  Sprinkle cookies with remaining powdered sugar.
Cool completely and transfer to serving platter.
Enjoy!

I hope you make these yummy confections, and if you do, please tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!!

Recipe inspired by: Angelina @bakedambrosia

 

 

Italian Christmas Cookies Zuccarini

IMG_0518

My first teaching position was at a private preschool in a nearby resort town.  One year, one of the moms brought these amazing Italian cookies in to share with us.  Oh my goodness, they were about one of the best cookies I had ever eaten.  I asked if she would share the recipe with me, and she did!

I love the taste of anise, and these cookies are loaded with anise flavor!  They are so light and buttery.  They are one of my hubby’s favorites:).  From the buttery cookie to the sprinkles on top (please don’t forget the sprinkles), these are sure to please!!   

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (489 grams)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of fine kosher salt

Icing:

  • 2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar (240 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or pure anise extract)
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • Sprinkles

Instructions:

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for 2 minutes.  Scrape sides of mixing bowl and paddle.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Refrigerate for one hour.

Scoop or cut off a small amount of dough and roll on floured surface into 6 inch strips.

IMG_0506

Roll into shape and place on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (the bottom should be lightly browned but the tops should remain light).

Remove cookies to wire rack and cool completely before glazing.

IMG_0511

Add the icing ingredients to a bowl and whisk until smooth.  You want it more thick than thin, but still runny.

Dip the tops of the cooled cookies into the glaze, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cookie.  Top with sprinkles while the icing is still wet.

Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to set (about an hour).  Enjoy with your hot beverage of choice (mine is a nice cup of hot black coffee…yum!).

I hope you make these, and if you do, I am sure they will be one of your favorites.  Maybe they already are your favorite and you misplaced your recipe (it could happen).  Either way, tag me on Instagram @goodeatsbymimi.  I would love to hear from you and see your photos!