Snow-capped Drunk Kourambiethes – Shortbread. Κουραμπιέδες.

A sugar powder coated shortbread inspired from Greece. There are many variations, this take on the Greek favourite certainly won’t disappoint.  It’s heavy dusting of icing sugar to form distinctive mountain peaks, a nutty, buttery texture also lightly laced with Brandy or ouzo is certainly an occasion biscuit.

You can make them crescent-shaped, triangle, square or ball shaped. In this case cookie cutters are used to make hearts, daisies and moon shapes. This is not traditional but this blog is certainly not about strictly keeping tradition but rather adding your own touch to a recipe and making it your own.  These shortbreads are also laced after they’ve been cooked with cognac or brandy or vodka. If you don’t like this a little orange juice this will do the trick.

My shortbreads are a little drunk as vodka is brushed on prior to icing and  after they have been cooked.  The icing stays on the biscuit and the added moisture will ensure the icing isn’t so airborne that you breathe it in as you take a bite.

Dry roast your raw almonds, in the oven. It’s best to do this at a low to moderate temparature. After they are cooled, crush with a mortar and pestle.  If you use a blender they will be blended to dust which is not really what you want in this case. The short bread is Buttery and smooth the addition of little nutty pieces add variation in the texture.

Ingredients

1 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature

2 cups light pure olive oil

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks – room temp

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5-6 cups plain flour sifted twice

1/4 cup of a cup ouzo or brandy

1/4 cup vodka for drizzling afterwards before icing

1 cup chopped dry roasted almonds

2-6 tbspn water room temp

1/4 cup icing to dust

Method

Before you start it should be noted the consistency of the butter is imperative to your end result.

The butter needs to be at room temperature. It should keep it’s form and be soft to very soft when touched.  If it’s winter and your room is cold place the butter somewhere warm. If it’s summer and the room is hot leave it in a Shady call a spot to cool for the morning.

1. Beat the butter and olive oil together

2. Add the powdered sugar and egg yolks and beat for a minute.

3. And the rest of your ingredients and stir through With a spoon.

4. At this stage use your hands and form a large ball. If the dough crumbles,  gradually add a little bit of water it needs to be one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, then add a little dusting of plain flour – 1 of tablespoon at a time. Mix with hands, try to form a large ball if it holds it’s shape it’s the right consistency.

5. Dust your dry surface with flour very very lightly. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough thickly. Use cookie cutters. You can make crescent shaped cookies with your hands in this case you don’t need the rolling pin it just grab a tablespoon and a half at a time roll with your hands a ball and then shape a Crescent.

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6. Bake in 170 degrees Celsius oven for 20-22 minutes or until your cookie has formed a light Golden Glow on the top and the base of the cookie has a nice golden colour as well. The base is a good indicator to the readiness.

7.Remove from oven and allowed to cool for 5 minutes.

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8. While still a little bit warm, this is when you will do the dusting with icing and the drizzling with the extra alcohol as described earlier.

My biscuits are only dusted on top. This gives them a dimensional effect and are much more interesting.

9. Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea seal in an airtight container. Store in a cool dry place as they will absorb moisture. These cookies are perfect as they do keep well if stored properly.

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