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BUTTER AND ALMOND SHORTBREADS

(Kourabiethes)


Makes 20-22


INGREDIENTS:


METHOD:

  1. Cream the butter, beat in the caster sugar gradually, until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then the vanilla.
  3.  Mix the soda with the brandy and stir into the mixture.
  4. Add the flour and salt and mix to a firm dough. Knead lightly, add the almonds and knead again.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180° C - 350° F - Gas 4.
  6. Cover half the dough with clear film (plastic wrap) and set aside.
  7. Roll out the remaining dough until about 2.5cm  thick.
  8. Press out star or half-moon shapes, using pastry cutters.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  10. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pale golden. Do not let them brown.
  11. Meanwhile, sift a quarter of the icing sugar on to a platter.
  12. As soon as the kourabiethes come out of the oven, dust them generously with icing sugar.
  13. Let them cool for a few minutes, then place them on the sugar-coated platter
  14. Sift the remaining icing sugar over them. The aim is to give them a generous coating, so they are pure white.
  15. Dazzling white kourabiethes are traditionally made at Christmas and Easter, but are also an important feature of many other Greek celebrations.

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