I’d been wanting to make these cookies for a while. In many ways, they’re quite similar to the Snowballs, that confectioners sugar-coated ball of pecan goodness. Both cookies are based on nuts and flour, and both have a minimal amount of sugar in the dough; the sweetness comes from layers of confectioners sugar sifted over the cookies as soon as they are out of the oven. As soon as I began to read up on kourabiedes, I found this similarity wasn’t that remarkable. There are numerous variations of this cookie, from many different cultures and related to all kinds of holidays and celebrations.
But kourabiedes, in particular, are meant for New Year’s. With the spiciness of cloves and the soft citrus-y hint of cognac, these cookies crumble as you eat them in a way that, for whatever reason, must bode well for the year to come. I took my first stab at making them this week, and though I think I’ll experiment with them in the months to come, I was excited about my attempt.
In other news, Phoebe and I have an extra BGSK calendar
we’re dying to give away to a reader before we get any further into 2010. It features 12 pictures of baked goods, most of which have been featured on the blog. Not to give too much away, but we made this cake
the mouthwatering cover. For a chance to win the calendar, leave a comment about your most traumatizing cooking disaster.
We’ll choose randomly from those who participate and announce the lucky winner next week. Good luck!
From my kitchen, wishing you a sweet new year, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Makes about 60 cookies
1 cup shortening
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon brandy or cognac
1/2 cup walnuts
2 1/2 cups flour
about 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar for sifting over
Preheat the oven to 300°F
Grind the walnuts: combine the nuts and 2 tablespoons of flour in a food processer. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground, not pasty. Set aside.
Beat butter and confectioners sugar for 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the egg yolk, brandy, and clove. Beat in remaining flour and walnuts just until mixed–don’t overmix.
Shape a scant tablespoon of dough in a ball. Flatten it out and elongate the ends slightly. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes, until the cookies firm but colored only on the bottom. Remove the tray and set it on a rack.
Sift a coat of confectioners sugar all over the hot cookies. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then add a second coat of sugar. Let cool completely. Keep in an airtight container.