Do you like shortbread? I love it! Buttery, crumbly cookies that melt in your mouth. Now imagine these Shortbread cookies, filled with toasted almonds, infused with brandy and coated with icing sugar… That’s what these Greek Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe are. They also come under the name of “Kourabiethes” which is their Greek name.
They could also be described as snowballs, or almond cookies (since they are packed with them). The combination of brandy along with the butter and nutty almond flavor is utterly DIVINE! They are in every Greek home during Christmas time, along with the “Melomakarona” (Greek honey cookies). They are also part of an endless Greek debate fighting over which one of these two Christmas cookies is the best. The “Kourabiethes” or the “Melomakarona”? One thing is for sure though, they both have fanatic fans.
As for me, I truly enjoy both. But oh, that brandy-butter-almond flavor… From the moment you start making the dough to the moment they come out of the oven… It’s completely seductive. It makes you wonder can there be anything more tantalizing in the whole world?
CAUTION: Do not make these if you have a calorie plan for Christmas that you wanna stick to.
There Are Two Ways To Make Them
There are two ways in which you can make the Greek shortbread cookies. The first is by following the original way of making shortbread cookies, in which you simply cream the butter without the use of an electric mixer using either a wooden spoon or doing it by hand. Now do not freak out here… It’s easier than you think.
The Original Way…
Thing is when we make cookies in order for them to be very crumbly we shouldn’t over-cream the butter. Because of the more fluffy and soft the butter, the more flour it absorbs. Therefore the stiffer the cookies. Something that is important especially when making shortbread cookies.That have that distinctive, buttery melt-in-your-mouth texture.
And The Modern Way…
And the second way is, by using an electric mixer (as you may have already guessed) but make sure that you cream the butter slightly for only a few minutes on low speed.
Perfect Almonds = Perfect Cookies
As for the almonds, they do require some preparation. Other than the roasting it is always best to use whole raw almonds and blanch them yourself. The only time I used storebought blanched almonds in these cookies was last Christmas. Now I don’t remember what lead me to do this since I always skin them myself but I did regret it. Their flavor was so bland that really ruined my cookies. I don’t know if that was because of the certain label I used or if all storebought blanched almonds taste like this but it’s definitely not in plants of figuring out.