I've written here before that I am a self-professed foodie.
My husband is a fabulous a cook, and we enjoy having dinner parties
with wonderful dishes, simple if I'm cooking, more complex if my dear
husband is at the helm. Cooking together with friends is another
favorite, and of course the holidays gives us plenty of opportunity to
cook, eat and drink for many happy hours. I have met many wonderful fellow bloggers who are committed to great food and they inspire always.
Cookies are part of Christmas, and simply put, I don't bake. It's takes a lot of work and love, ingredients have to measured, it's chemistry really, and one needs patience to form, shape and finish. With the best of intentions, I do not have what it takes. But my mom sure does!
The plate below is a beautiful composition of what arrived at our door this week, shipped with care across the country, in little boxes and tins. And yes... they taste as good as they look. Each cookie is nearly perfect, same size, beautifully crafted. I always joke with my mom, that "when" I make cookies, they start out small and get bigger and bigger and bigger as I just want to be done! That's not the proper attitude for cookie baking.
I'm including her recipe for a traditional Greek cookie, Kourambiethes (Κουραμπιεδες). If there was an award (maybe there is...) for the best Kourambietha, she should win. So if any of you are inclined to bake this holiday, this recipe would be worth trying. Doing a bit of Kourambietha investigative work, I think her secret ingredients are the use of Cake Flour (sifted 27 more times finer than all-purpose flour) and Orange Juice. Just a hunch, but I'm not the baker.
Kourambiethes Red + Green
Kalliope's Favorites Koulourakia
And the winner is...
- 1 lb. whipped sweet butter
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 shot whiskey
- 1/4 t. baking powder
- Cake flour (Swan's Down) about 1 3/4 lb or three-quarters of a box
- Juice from 1 med. orange (strained)
- Powdered sugar for top
Roll into 8" logs, flatten down and slice at a diagonal, about 1/2" wide. Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet about 3/4" apart and bake at 400o F for 15 minutes. Generously sift powdered sugar over cookies immediately after removing from oven.
Tip from Kalliope: Refresh with fresh sifted powdered sugar if necessary, after shipping, or if you want your friends to think you made them yourself. Eat them slowly, because they go down fast.