Monday, 8 July 2013

Greek Almond Shortbreads.... Or Kourabiedes

Kourabiedes are one of my favourite Greek treats. That's quite an accomplishment considering all the delicious, syrupy pastries that Greek food is famous for. Almonds are so delicious right now (I have never had a mouthwatering almond until this season) that I knew it would be the perfect time to make kourabiedes. I thought it would be quite tricky to make these at home, but it was actually a simple process. The most time consuming part was drying the blanched almonds in the oven. To be honest, mine were still a little damp when they were chopped up as I am impatient, however it only affected the texture of some of the nut chunks, which were a little chewy rather than crunchy. Expect buttery shortbread with bursts of almond and lemon, perfect for morning or afternoon tea.


Almond crescent shortbreads (adapted from Donna Hay Magazine Aug/Sept 2011)
300g butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
150g blanched almonds (I have included how to blanch almonds in the recipe)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp lemon zest
Icing sugar
  1. To blanch and skin the almonds, soak the almonds in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Take an almond between thumb and forefinger and squeeze. The nut should slip out. If too difficult, soak the nuts in boiling water for another minute, but be careful not to let them go too soggy. Skin all almonds.
  2. Dry the nuts in the oven on a low heat until very lightly golden or until there is no moisture in them. This may take 5-60 minutes, or on average about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease two baking trays.
  4. Process the nuts in a food processor until roughly chopped.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add the almonds and beat for 2 minutes. Fold through the flour and lemon zest and mix until well combined.
  6. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into logs and bed to form a crescent shape. Place on baking trays. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack and roll in icing sugar.

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