When I search around the web can find all these beautiful gingerbread houses, crafted by talented people and they look so nice and festive, that I am tempted to build one. But gingerbread houses are not a tradition to my mediterranean Christmas heritage and I have no childhood memory of them, or any emotional connection. What I see around me when Christmas time arrives is mountains of traditional Greek Holiday cookies like “kourambies” or “melomakarona”, the smell of them as they cook, the small variations in each years recipe that would make my mother furious with the creator of the recipe, the little success of arranging a mountain of kourambiedes and decorating them with icing sugar… a small snowy mountain. Also Greeks only make these cookies during the holidays, you will rarely see anyone eating kourambies any other time o the year (well maybe except if you’re a tourist 😉 ). That makes them even more desirable each holiday season.
But this cookie is a tricky one. It has no special ingredients, it’s the process that gives the unique texture to it. It also depends on the quality of the ingredients you’re using. I’ve eaten (or maybe not eaten at all) many that were just not right. The following recipe doesn’t require special cooking skills but some experience should come in handy. The following recipe is based on a basic recipe by my favorite Greek pastry celebrity chef Stelios Parliaros. My contribution to the recipe is the replacement of almonds for cashews. I tried it last year and I was like: yuuuum, why didn’t anyone thought of it earlier?
So here we go for the ultimate kourambies photo tutorial, where I’ll clear up the confusion surrounding the difficult partsof the process that they don’t usually tell you, like: how much should you beat the butter or exactly what should be the texture of the finished batter? Find the ingredients and more photos and advices on my flickr tutorial.