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Christmas Cheer Almond Shortbread

Shared by: Lila
Recipe origin: Perovo, Macedonian

As always, December is a crazy time of year. Not only have I been busy getting ready for Christmas, but my day job as a designer has also been keeping me madly busy, leaving me little time to spend in the kitchen and post this month.

So here we are, Christmas Eve and the last recipe of the year, and what better way to end the year, than with delicious, melt in your mouth almond shortbread.

This recipe is an old family favourite from my mother-in-laws village Perovo. It calls for only five ingredients, and as it’s relatively easy, it’s a great one for the kids to help out with, especially if you decide to make some last minute Christmas gifts. In fact, a couple of biscuits placed in clean glass jars, dressed up with pretty fabric and twine would make a perfect gift!

P.S. Merry Christmas and thanks for following this year, God bless and see you in 2011! Suzanna xx


Making almond shortbread



Makes about 50

200g almond flakes (or store bought pre-ground almond meal)
375g unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
600g plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Icing sugar, sifted (for dusting)

1) Preheat oven to 150°C and line a large tray with baking paper. Evenly spread out almond flakes and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor until ground (not too fine, otherwise it will turn to almond paste).
Note: If you don’t have a food processor, use tore bought almond meal.

2) Increase oven temperature to 180°C and line 2 large trays with baking paper.

3) In a large bowl add butter and flour. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine until smooth (5 minutes). Add vanilla essence, followed by almond meal. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until well combined and smooth, but not too stiff or dry (3-5 minutes).

4) Take small tablespoons of the mixture and hand roll into crescent shapes and circles (approximately 1cm thick). Place on prepared baking trays, leaving a small gap between each biscuit. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden but not browned (turning and swapping the trays halfway through baking). Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Note: If you prefer use a rolling pin to roll out dough and a circle cutter to make the crescent shapes. I personally prefer hand shaping as the dough is softer and the look is more rustic.

5) Place icing sugar in a bowl and cover the warm biscuits (one at time), with the icing sugar, coat generously. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

6) Store in an air tight container for up to one week.

– Cover excess dough in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To use, simply remove from fridge and bring back to room temperature, then follow steps 2, 4, 5 and 6.
– Give as Christmas gifts, place a couple of shortbread in a glass jar and wrap with brown paper or fabric and twine.

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5 Comments  |   Add a comment

  1. Joanna


    Very nice recipe, looks yummy.

    I’m looking forward to realise those biscuits for the 7th of January and if you agree I’d like to translate the recipe on my french blog. I would link your pages of course.
    So just let me know here or on my blog mail address :

    Best regards and a happy new year.


  2. Atanas

    These cookies are called gurabi and originate from the Lerin region of Macedonia

  3. Akasha

    Just wanted to let you know, something I realised after making a triple batch of these cookies for Christmas – you’ve neglected to mention a very important ingredient… sugar.
    I’m about to start making another lot of cookies, this time with a couple of cups of caster sugar mixed in.

  4. Village Feast

    Hi Akasha,
    Thanks for your feedback.
    The recipe doesn’t actually call for sugar to be included in the biscuit mix as they are coated with icing sugar once baked, however, it certainly can’t het to add a little more sugar in the dough if you prefer them a little sweeter :)
    Happy cooking!
    Suzanna xo

  5. Mayada

    Simple, quick and just Perfect. Thank you

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