Kourabiedes (Greek almond cookies)

Kourabiedes (Greek Almond Shortbread Cookies)

1 lb. butter (salted or unsalted)

2 egg yolks

¼ cup white sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup crushed or sliced almonds*

¼ cup warm water

2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract, ouzo or amaretto

4-6 cups flour

Cream butter with fork or hand.  Add two egg yolks and mix well with a mixer.  Add sugar, baking powder and mix well.  Add vanilla extract (or other), water and almonds.  Add flour and work with hand into a paste stiff enough to roll out.

Roll out ¼ inch thick on floured board and cut into moon-shaped crescents with the rim of a thin glass (or use cookie cutter shapes).  Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350-400 º F for approximately 20 minutes (until browned on underside).

Let cool and dust with icing sugar (use flour sifter or sieve).

These cookies are traditionally made at Orthodox Easter time.

* Remove skins from almonds before slicing by dipping them in boiling water and then popping the skins off.  Once sliced, you may brown the almonds in a pan with butter before adding them to dough.