Have you been looking for an Armenian Christmas cookie recipe?
These cookies are kind of an easier version of Gurabia, or the classic Armenian Christmas cookie. The traditional ones are far trickier to make properly. These, however, have the same indescribable, taste of butter and sugar, with a slightly salty finish of the pistachio nut. You might also want to substitute an almond or a small piece of dried cherry or apricot to make a colorful plate.
The traditional ones have the same ingredients as these and both share the same shortbread taste. But the dough in the hands of grandmas from the “Old Country” takes on a different quality. Theirs come out with a consistency that makes the cookie seem to flake off just as it enters your mouth.
It’s basically in the way they take the extra time to start with regular salted butter, melt it, skim the salt and milk solids off the top and then let it cool down, in order to then separate the water from the remaining butter. What is left is, basically, a kind of ghee (much used in Northern Indian cooking). The other trick is the way the old-timers actually handle the soft dough.
Most Armenian-Americans (at least their grand daughters) discovered years ago that just buying unsalted butter produced the same taste – if not exactly the same consistency. This version is wonderful and a good adaptation for those who cannot spend hours in a kitchen.
Although they are traditionally served at Christmas, these small short breads actually make wonderful tea cookies any time of year. They keep for at least two weeks in a tightly covered tin. They also freeze well (well-wrapped) for longer periods.
Armenian Christmas Cookie Recipe
Ingredients for Armenian Christmas Cookie Recipe
* 1 Pound unsalted butter
* 2 Cups Confectioners’ Sugar
* 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
* Shelled Pistachio Nuts for Decorating
Method for Armenian Christmas Cookie Recipe
1. Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Soften the butter and cream well with the confectioners’ sugar.
3. Gradually add the flour and knead/mix until all the ingredients are well-incorporated and the dough is soft and pliable.
4. Take about a walnut-sized piece of the dough and roll into a cigar shape (about ½ inch in diameter).
5. GENTLY curve the “cigar” around, to form a circle and place on the cookie sheet.
6. As the cookies tend to expand during baking, place about an inch apart on the sheet.
7. At the place where the two ends of the roll meet, impress a pistachio nut.
8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cookies are showing some color around the edges – but have NOT yet browned.
Makes about 4 dozen
You might also enjoy my recipe for vegan mince pies!