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Friday, March 21, 2014

Greek Easter Clove Cookies Kourabiethes

With Easter approaching, this is a good cookie to post!  I first had these cookies at my friend Roseanna's. And oh my UMM! Seriously delicious.  The most tender butter cookie with a delicate clove scent and taste, yet not overpowering.  Especially if you pull the clove out before eating.  However, being so good.. I did forget to pull one out before it got shoved into my mouth.  And let's just say.. elevated the whole clove experience quite a bit!  
The ouzo is a Greek aperitif which is reminiscent of licorice, anise.. Similar to Pastis, which is french and Sambucca, which is Italian.  You could substitute either just fine.  The aperitif does not overpower or overtake the cookies.. it just makes this amazing flavor in the end result.  If you don't want to use, you can easily just omit.  You will still have an amazingly delicious cookie.   
I am not greek.. but this will be an Easter cookie tradition I am starting from now on. 


1lb unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
1/2 c organic confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
2 T. ouzo (or sub. french Pastis or Italian Sambucca)
1/2 t. vanilla powder or 2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c almonds, toasted, cooled and chopped very finely ( I use a coffee mill)
1lb cake flour (about 3 1/2 - 4 cups)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda

Whole cloves for decoration

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar. Mix well. Add the ouzo, vanilla, and the toasted chopped almonds.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. With the mixer on low, add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated. You don’t want to over mix the dough because that will toughen the cookies.

Chilling the dough for about half an hour makes it easier to handle and roll.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To shape:  take a piece of dough about the size of a walnut. Roll it into a log and then curl the ends in and pinch slightly to make a half-moon or crescent shape.

Stud each cookie in the center with a whole clove and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

When the cookies are still very warm, dredge in confectioner’s sugar.  The sugar layer will almost melt and coat the cookies.  After the cookies cool a bit, add another dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

You can remove the clove before serving or just warn guest not to consume.  Unless they like that sort of thing!

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