Kourambicdes

Rich crumbly biscuits , Kouram-biedes (koo-ramm-bed-eez) are well flavoured with brandy. Traditionally they are served on festive occasions in Greece.

8 oz. plus

1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened

2 oz. icing sugar

8 oz. flour

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons brandy

30 cloves

In a large mixing bowl, cream 8 ounces of the butter with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy.

Sift the icing sugar and the flour into a medium-sized bowl. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, to the butter, beating constantly until the ingredients are well blended. Add the egg yolk and brandy to the mixture and beat briskly until the mixture forms a stiff dough. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4,180°C). With the remaining teaspoon of butter, lightly grease a large baking sheet. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Using a teaspoon, scoop out spoon-fuls of the dough and place them on the baking sheet. Push one clove into the centre of each piece of dough and shape the dough around each clove so that it is completely enclosed.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the biscuits for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Remove the sheet from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely.

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