Greek Almond Crescents

(Kourambiedes)

Preparation info

  • Makes about

    56

    crescents
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

By Richard Sax

Published 1986

  • About

Slightly tricky to make, but the melt-in-your-mouth texture makes it worth it. Most classic Greek recipes call for blanched almonds; I prefer to use unblanched whole almonds (either is fine). With thanks to Barbara Livadas Fript.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup whole unblanched almonds (about ounces)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 3-inch strips orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, preferably squeezed fresh
  • teaspoon almond extract
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

    Method

    1. Grind the almonds with the confectioners’ sugar and orange zest in a food processor until powdery. (You can also grind the nuts with a Mouli grater, then mix the dough in an electric mixer, or by hand.)
    2. Add the butter, egg yolk, brandy, orange juice, almond extract, all-purpose flour, cake flour, and baking powder. Pulse the processor on and off just until the dough comes together, no longer.
    3. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap; dust lightly with flour. Chill until firm enough to handle, at least 1 hour.
    4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. lightly grease two baking sheets. Using a scant tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, form the dough into 3-inch-long ropes with tapered ends. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, curving the ropes around gently to form horseshoe shapes.
    5. Bake the cookies until the edges are light brown. 14 or 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack placed over a sheet of wax paper. Dust the cookies generously with confectioners’ sugar while they are still warm. Cool completely; then store. If necessary, sprinkle the cookies with a little more confectioners’ sugar once they’ve cooled. Store airtight.