Monday, December 8, 2008

The 12 Days of Cookies - A Gourmet cookie extravaganza

This event is the brain child of Andrea of Andreas Recipes. How I got asked to be involved with this incredible group is beyond me but all the thanks goes to Kelly of Sass & Veracity. There are 7 of us that have decided to do The 12 Days of Cookies - A Gourmet cookie extravaganza. We will be choosing, baking, tasting, blogging and sharing with you a cookie a day for the next 12 days of December.

These cookies are coming from Gourmet's Favorite Cookie Recipes: 1941-2008.
They’ve published a lot of cookie recipes in their 68-year history, many of them around the winter holidays. This season they decided to choose the very best from each year.

These are my partners in crime. We will all be choosing different cookies and surprising each other. How fun is that???? Be sure to check out their selections for the day!

Jerry - the seat of my Pants
Sandy - At the Baker's Bench
Courtney - Coco Cooks
Kelly - Sass & Veracity
Claire - The Barefoot Kitchen
Andrea - Andreas Recipes

Day 8 of my 12 Days of Cookies features Kourambiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

Utterly simple, these buttery bites have a flavor all their own, thanks to the inclusion of orange liqueur and ground almonds in the dough; the crowning touch is a single clove on top of each cookie. The original recipe calls for you to cream butter with sugar for an hour, but thankfully today’s mixers will do the job in about 8 minutes. The result is a cookie that almost sings Noël when you take a bite. - Gourmet

Kourambiedes (Greek Butter Cookies) - April 1974 (link to the recipe as it was originally printed)


4 sticks (2 cups) of butter (unsalted)
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg yolk (yes more egg whites in the fridge)
1 Tbsp orange flavored liqueur or brandy
4-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
powdered sugar for dredging


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer cream butter, softened, at low speed for 1 hour, or until it is almost white.
  • Add confectioners’ sugar, sifted, 1 tablespoon at a time, egg yolk, and orange-flavored liqueur or brandy and blend in flour and finely ground blanched almonds, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough. (If the dough seems sticky, chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 1 hour.)
  • Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and stud each ball with 1 clove. Put the balls on baking sheets and bake them in a preheated moderate oven (350° F.) for 15 minutes, or until they are pale golden.
  • Transfer the cookies to a rack, let them cool for 2 minutes, and dredge them in sifted confectioners’ sugar.
  • Makes 48 cookies.
This is what happened to them if you held them normally. I crushed a bunch trying to dredge them in sugar!!!

I hated this recipe. I almost quit baking cookies with this one. I swear I have never had a recipe for cookies (sugar people!!!!) turn out this bad. If not for the fact that I am incredibly stubborn and determined I would be hanging up my hat and baking no more of Gourmet's top pick of cookie recipes in the history of their magazine! WTH Gourmet- do you need recipe testers??? I'm pretty good at it by now!

Anyway, these turned out dry and incredibly flavorless. I am going to save then and try and make a tart crust with them or something. I took them with me and I met one of my girlfriend's and asked her to taste it. I thought she was going to gag. It was almost to dry to swallow!

Would I make these again? No way in Hell would I ever do this again! Felling pretty strongly about this one. There are no redeeming qualities to these cookies. Please don't make them!!!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



JoAnn said...

Awww man! These are my favorite cookies but I too, would never attempt to make them! My Greek Aunt makes them every year. Maybe you have to be Greek? I buy them at Publix! Don't tell my aunt! Keep on bakin!

Andrea Meyers said...

LOL We both made these and posted on the same day! The recipe definitely needs something more, maybe more liqueur? Orange liqueur makes everything taste better, right? ;-)

Peter M said...

Yay for more Kourabiedes! I'm glad you enjoyed them, Judy. From looking at the insides, you got the texture right.

They should have more icing sugar on them and you really don't have to stud them with cloves.

I'll be making some with the mum this're invited for a sampling.

Sweet Treats by Dani said...

dont give up based on these!! everyone is entitled to mishaps... and besides, we learn from our mistakes (or bad recipes, in this case), don't we? :)

RecipeGirl said...

Whoa! I think those magazines just pick recipe faves sometimes without actually making them. It doesn't really look like there's a whole lot of flavor in that recipe anyways. Oh well, maybe tomorrow's will be better!

glamah16 said...

Dont give up. They are dryer,but I understand your frisutration. It was similar with my viennese cresents. Grweat idea to use them as a tart base. Dont waste it., just store in the freezer for later.

Elle said...

They do look a *bit* on the dry side, lol. Don't give up! There's a soft chewy cookie waiting around the bend somewhere.

Sandy Smith said...

Well, it's pretty frustrating to sacrifice all that butter! I did a little research on these, and not one of the recipes I found had this ratio of wet to dry ingredients. That is, almost all had either less flour or more egg. So, maybe that's part of the dryness problem. Either way, good idea to use as a tart crust. (Maybe there's a cheesecake in your future! :)

Anonymous said...

You totally scared me away from these after you mentioned the dryness. Hilarious, too (well, not your trouble...) because I'd printed the recipe and didn't notice the ONE HOUR mixing time. HUH? Maybe we should call Alton Brown for the science behind that. Bummer -- your cookies are seriously cute. Maybe there's a better recipe out there?

Blu486 said...

Sorry you did not like these! My best friend's Greek mom used to make these when we were in high school and shared her recipe with me. Actually, they are not "dredged" in powdered sugar - they get buried in it right out of the oven. The butter seeps out of cookie and forms a sort of icing on them. While they are still hot, you wrap them in plastic wrap and the butter further seeps out. You need lots of powdered sugar! But once cool in the plastic cocoon, when you bite into them, they burst in your mouth, full of almonds and sweetness!

You should definitely try these again!