Everyone’s got a “thing” they do around the holidays, right? Whether it’s making fudge, toffee, cookies, or candies to give to friends and family, generally everyone has something special they do around this time of year for loved ones. Our family tradition is to give out an assortment of homemade cookies to our family and friends. Keep in mind that when I say my family, I mean my Mom and I make all of the cookies, and my Dad, brother, and fiancé try to share. It doesn’t always go that way, given that we usually end up having to make a second round because someone has had too many hands in the cookie jar before we can get them out.
This cookie making routine has been a tradition of ours since before I can even remember; my Mom did it with her Mom, then when I was little my brother and I joined in – of course since then, my brother has dropped out and solely become a consumer. Why can’t I have that job?
When I first stated making holiday cookies, we only made two different kinds and today’s cookie is one of them. I’ve mentioned before that I’m partially Greek, so these Kourabiedes cookies are a family Greek recipe we’ve been making for years. Similar to a Mexican wedding cookie, these are made with lots-o butter, almond flavorings, and just a pinch of sugar. I love them for their velvety buttery taste and tendency to crumble and melt away when you take a bite, making them by far my favorite of all of our holiday cookies.
It’s mucho important to start with room temperature butter, otherwise your butter will not cream as it needs to.
Ok, I know this sounds crazy, but you need to cream the butter for 20 minutes. I know, I know, you’re thinking 20 minutes?! Is that really necessary? I’m sorry, but yes, it’s necessary. I’ll show you why…
Look at how beautifully fluffy and white this butter is? Makes me happy.
Next, add egg and almond extract. Mix until combined.
Sift powdered sugar and baking soda together. With the mixer on a low speed, slowly add mixture. Beat another 10 minutes.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl.
Turn the mixer down to low and add flour a little bit at a time until completely incorporated. If the dough is too sticky with 5 cups of flour, add another ½ cup of flour.
At this point, you want to mix as little as possible, so once everything is incorporated turn the mixer off.
Now, I want to make a point that it’s especially important to sift all of the dry ingredients before adding, this ensures the cookie will be light and smooth.
The dough should look like this.
Time for assembly. Roll a heaping tablespoon or about 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and then form into a crescent shape. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silt pad and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and they have a very faint golden tint. Do not overcook!
- 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 2 ½ teaspoons pure almond extract
- 8 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 5 to 5 ½ cups flour
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter in the bottom of a stand mixer on a medium high speed for 20 minutes. Add egg and almond extract, mix until combined. Sift powdered sugar and baking soda together in a small bowl. Add to butter and egg. Beat another 10 minutes on a medium high speed. Sift five cups of flour and salt together in a large bowl. With the speed on low, add flour a little bit at a time until completely incorporated. If the dough is too sticky, add ½ cup more of flour.
- To Form: Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into crescents and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silt pad. There is no need to place cookies very far apart, as they do not spread much. Bake for 15-20 minutes until very pale brown and cooked through.
- Makes about 5 dozen.