Preparation / Directions:
Beat the butter with the sugar until it becomes fluffy. Add the egg yolks one by one, beating continuously. Add the brandy and vanilla.
Blend in the almonds and the flour, a cup at a time. Use enough flour to get a firm dough (it may take a bit more or less than the amount mentioned in the ingredients list). Use your hands to do the mixing, as an electric mixer will be useless after the first two or three cups of flour have been added. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Shape the dough into balls, about one inch in diameter, flatten them and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Roll each cookie (while it is still hot) in the powdered sugar and put it back on the cookie sheet. Repeat this step once more, so that you get a thicker coating.
Place the coated cookies on a platter, liberally sprinkling each layer and the bottom of the platter with powdered sugar. When you are done, there shouldn't be any sugar left. Let them cool and they are ready to eat! NOTES:
* Traditional Greek Christmas cookies coated with powdered sugar -- This is one of the two kinds of confection that are traditionally consumed in large quantities in Greece during the holiday season (the other is melomacarona). As a quick lesson in Greek, "kourabiedes" (pronounced "kou-ra-bi-ETH-es", is the plural of the word "kourabies" (kou-ra-bi-ES). Now all you need to enjoy them is the recipe. I got this one from a Greek cookbook and translated it into English.
* The cookbook suggests the following variations: using ouzo or scotch instead of brandy, and almond extract instead of vanilla extract, but I have not tried any of them. Also, putting granulated instead of powdered sugar in the dough didn't seem to affect the recipe, there's so much sugar in it, that you couldn't tell the difference anyway.
* The cookbook also suggested using twice the amount of sugar for coating. This is obviously too much, but it should make you realize that you must really be liberal with the sugar! : Difficulty: Easy to moderate. : Time: 30 minutes preparation, one hour refrigeration, 20 minutes baking. : Precision: approximate measurement