Monday, July 20, 2015


Kourambiethes (pronounced koo-rum-BYEH-dthess)
This will be a short blog post--just long enough to give these cookies the praise they deserve.  We had no electricity for two days, so I couldn't make them until late yesterday.  Sounds heard at the Wolf household during the 48 hours of no power:  "Don't open the refrigerator door!"  "How am I going to grind the coffee beans?"  "Why doesn't the garage door opener work?  Oh, never mind."  And better, "Let's go out for dinner."  But it turned out that the clarified butter stayed solid in our refrigerator for two days, and I'd already toasted and chopped the almonds, so when I finally had a working oven again, these came together in no time.

Even after two days in a nonfunctioning refrigerator, the clarified butter remained solid.

Whipping the butter and sugar together until the mixture turns white and fluffy appears to be on of the keys to this recipe.

The obligatory photo of powdered sugar falling like snow.

You have to squeeze the slightly crumbly dough a bit so that it coheres, but this is not a problem.  You can see that I didn't use blanched almonds, but I prefer almonds with their skins still on.

I weighed the cookies and got exactly four dozen!

JJ is a little dubious.  I thought he'd like anything with powdered sugar, but he prefers chocolate.  The Milano cookie wins out over homemade again!  He also likes Chips Ahoy.   Let's hope his palate is still developing.

I served these with a blueberry mousse, which turned out not to be as good as I had hoped.  I think next week's pie will be better.

I used brandy this time; last time I made them, I used orange juice.  Somewhat to my surprise, I liked the orange juice better.  Maybe some vanilla would be a good addition too, but I think it's in the nature of this cookie to have a short list of ingredients--just one more of its many virtues.

It just so happened that this recipe came up on rotation when Greece has been in the news, being forced to be fiscally responsible, or being beaten into submission by Angela Merkel, depending on your point of view.  This blog is (more or less) politically neutral, so I'll just say that, whether they're using euros or drachmas, the Greeks sure make good cookies!


  1. Glad you got your electricity back on and it wasn't during a heat wave without A/C. Interesting that you preferred the orange juice to the rum. I almost used Grand Marnier but restrained myself until next time. Loved these cookies. Have to say, JJ has pretty good taste in store bought cookies

  2. LOL that's the best shot of JJ looking "cookie dubious" :) Happy you got your power back and your clarified butter was no worse off for it all. Your cookies look wonderful ! I think I'll use skin on almonds next time after seeing yours. ---- Jeniffer

  3. Hey, MIlanos are CCC are hard to turn down. Such a cute picture of JJ.

  4. I recognize that purple bowl! (I dug mine out for this recipe, too, though mine has little white speckles all over it as if it were chocolate that bloomed.) Interesting about preferring the orange juice version--I enjoyed mine with the vanilla brandy flavor, but orange might blend better with other dishes.

  5. Ya, i used brandy and it had a bitter I added more sugar. Next time I will use orange juice also and also follow Vicki and add orange oil. My son too loves Chips Ahoy..and refused to eat my home-made cookies.. took a while to convince him and now he eats my homemade choc chip cookies. I think the store bought choc chips cookies has an artificial candy smell to it that kids like? JJ is that pic of him holding the cookie!

    1. Yes, exactly. A bitter aftertaste that I could only attribute to the brandy, which is odd, because brandy doesn't taste bitter when you drink it.

    2. Brandy is bitter to me. I also find Beer bitter too. I forgot to add that your blueberry mousse looks good - hard to tell that it didn't taste as good. Have you tried the tofu mousse before? It's very good and healthy.. only just silken tofu & chocolate.. voila! :)

    3. correction: chocolate tofu mousse...

  6. Looking really good - they must be if I can feel that way after consuming the ridiculous amount of them I have. I found myself counting how many John ate lol ... I didn't get a bitter taste from the brandy - I used Courvoisier, but don't see that should matter.There are all sorts of fun possibilities with these I think. Anyhow all my friends loved them. That bowl is still great.

  7. I used brandy but couldnt notice any particular flavour. I did have to top it up slightly with water so maybe that made a difference. These were great biscuits anyway. I love JJ's expression but i thought it was mischevious rather than dubious at first.