Yield: Roughly 4 dozen
This is one of Greece's traditional Christmas cookies, but now it's also available all year. Every Christmas the women in my village would compete to see who made the best recipe. I was too young to compete then, but I'm the champion now at Westside.
INGREDIENTS: 3 pounds Breakstone's unsalted whipped butter
2 cups blanched sliced almonds
14 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 egg yolks
1 tsp baking powder
2.5 pounds all purpose flour, sifted
2 cups confectioner's sugar, divided in half
1/2 cup rosewater
1) Let the butter stand at room temperature for about three hours.
2) Place almonds on parchment lined baking sheet and toast in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5-10 minutes or until the almonds begin to turn a light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet and let cool.
3) In an electric mixer bowl combine the butter and the sugar on medium speed until the sugar is completely incorporated, for about 2-3 minutes.
4) Add the eggs to the mixer and continue mixing for 2-3 minutes until well combined.
5) Add the baking powder and continue to mix about 2 minutes.
6) Add the toasted almonds and continue to mix about 2 minutes.
7) Continue mixing while slowly adding the sifted flour 1/2 cup at a time.
8) When the dough starts to become dry enough to form balls, or clumps, and is not sticking to your hands, stop adding flour and cease mixing.
9) Periodically stop the mixer to check the consistency after adding 1.5 cups of flour.
10) Remove the dough fro mixer and place in a mixing bowl that has been greased or sprayed with non-stick spray.
11) Cover and chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
12) Lightly shape the dough into balls by rolling gently between the palm of your hands into the size of a walnut or one ounce.
13) Take care not to compress or work the dough too hard.
14) On a parchment lined baking sheet or tray, lightly press the balls of dough onto the tray.
15) Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.
16) Remove from the oven and lightly sprinkle the cookies with rosewater.
17) Using a circle sieve or flour sifter thoroughly dust the cookies with confectioner's sugar.
18) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.
19) Using a bowl filled with confectioner's sugar, gently roll the cookies again in confectioners' sugar to thoroughly coat the cookies all over, then serve!