I’ve never been to Greece or even been to a frat party til I was in graduate school, but you can trust me that these Greek Christmas shortbread cookies with ground almond are airy, fluffy, and delectable. Traditionally, kourabiedes have a piece of whole clove in the center which represents the spices and aromatics that the Three Wise Men (aka Magi) brought to baby Jesus after his birth. I only had ground clove and didn’t want my family to think it has an overly powering taste so I didn’t do so.
I made my kourabiedes with almond extract and ground almond (almond flour actually, the giant bag I got for making macarons and I’m too lazy to grind my own in a food processor) but you are free to substitute vanilla extract and other types of ground nuts. The dough for kourabiedes is very crumbly since no liquid or egg is used, but they come together if you squeeze it a little. These cookies only turn slightly light brown when they’re baked through, so be careful not to over bake them! They do not turn dark brown like most other cookies. Also! Most recipes tell you to heavily spray/butter parchment paper. I find both steps unnecessary as long as you have a good quality non-stick baking sheet. I love all of Farberware‘s bakeware and they’re really inexpensive and durable. Nothing ever sticks!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup ground almond (almond flour)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- With a mixer, beat the butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add almond extract, continue to cream the mixture until smooth.
- Stir in flour and almond flour with a rubber spatula until butter is thoroughly mixed.
- With your hands, gently squeeze a small ball of dough into a firm log. Taper the ends slightly and fold dough into crescent shape.
- Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown.
- Cool cookies on cooling rack slightly. While they're still warm, roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar until entire cookie is covered