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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