OK, so the fennel sugar is my idea, but it came to me after I paid about a million dollars for a bottle of Sambuca and couldn't taste it in the finished cookie. I thought I was being clever to have that slight anise hint, but it was as though someone had whispered the word Sambuca in the next room when I was making the mixture. Non existent. My opinion is that if you don't want to spring for the booze anyway, just use iced water and the fennel sugar will do the trick.
Kourabiedes are the Greek equivalent of a nutty, buttery shortbread and in fact the Mexican cuisine has something very similar but with actual pieces of nut (usually pecans) throughout which they call Wedding cakes. I made 100's of them for my oldest sons wedding. Mexican wedding cakes are also known as Russian Tea cakes. And then there are the Armenian Sugar Cookies, that closely resemble the recipe as well. Go figure. So whatever country you are feeling the vibe from, make these and go with it!
Basically, it is a universal cookie recipe that will suit any occasion. Including weddings it seems!
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- 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
- 400 - 500 Grams icing sugar for dusting
- 100 Grams almonds, blanched
- 330 Grams unsalted butter BUY
- 60 Grams icing sugar
- 25 Grams Sambuca (optional, replace with iced water if not using)
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 Grams cornstarch/cornflour
- 500 Grams plain flour
Preheat fan forced oven to 180ºC. Line 2 large baking trays with paper and set aside.
Place the fennel seeds and about 100g of the dusting icing sugar into the Thermomix bowl and mill *10 sec/speed 10. Stir this through the remaining dusting sugar and set aside.
Without washing, place almonds into Thermomix bowl and mill 10 sec/speed 9. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place butter, icing sugar, Sambuca and egg yolk into Thermomix bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 7.
Add almonds and cornstarch and approximately half the flour. Mix 15 sec/speed 7.
Add remaining flour and knead 30 sec/Interval or until dough comes together. Use spatula if necessary to assist in bringing the dough together. It should hold its shape when you squeeze it in the palm of your hand. Do not over mix.
Roll into half moon shapes and space evenly on the prepared trays.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Whilst still warm dredge with icing sugar. Cool, and repeat with another coating of icing sugar.
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