Currently crushing on sweet biscuits with a puff of snow white icing sugar smattered on. Fact. I could eat about 50 of these. Fiction. But I do love how tiny they are. The bite sized nature allows them to be popped in a for a quick sugar hit. I found this recipe for Greek Almond Crescents in Anneka Manning's Mastering The Art Of Baking over Christmas.
The little biscuits are very similar to Vanillekipferl, the darling of Europe's Christmas time baking. The famous Greek version known as Kourabiedes is different in the addition of egg, citrus and spice. With an nut base (usually almond), Kourabiedes have many variations with spices used ranging from cloves to cinnamon. Although I love vanillekipferl, these delicate aromatic crescents transcend me to another level.
They are easy to bake and once you get the hang of shaping them into crescents which can be a tad tricky in the beginning, you will have a biscuit jar full of about 40 of these little delights. Two little crescents in a ziplock bag stashed away in my bag make feel like the girl scout I never was. Prepared!
KOURABIEDES - GREEK ALMOND CRESCENT COOKIES
- 200 g butter, softened
- 125 g 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 375 g 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 155 g 1 cup toasted almonds, finely chopped (I used coarse almond meal)
- Preheat oven to 160C (315F). Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and orange zest in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add egg, egg yolk, brandy and cinnamon. Beat until well combined.
- Add sifted flour, almond meal and baking powder. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. Shape tablespoons of mixture into crescents and place on trays leaving 5cm gaps between them to allow for spreading.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden, swapping trays back to front after about 10 minutes to enable even cooking. Remove from oven at the end of the cooking time. Cool on trays for 5 minutes before gently transferring them to a wire rack. While still warm, dust heavily with icing sugar. When cooled completely, store in an air tight container. Will keep well for a week or longer in the fridge.