27 September 2010

Celebrating my little win with Kourabiethes

Yes I’ve made it to the second round of Project Food Blog! And it’s all thanks to you, yes you who voted for me. No words can described how happy (and surprised) I was when I saw the tiny trophy on my profile, especially when I woke up at 3.30 in the morning to use the toilet and as always a habit to check for any new updates on my laptop, to see that I’m still in the run to be the next Food Blog Star! It took all my willpower not to go wooooottttt since both of my darlings were still in slumber land. So once again thank you so so much for voting for me! Also special thanks to the judges who actually took their time to read my post! Golly imagine having Dana Cowin ( Editor-in-Chief of FOOD & WINE Magazine ) Nancy Silverton (Founder La Brea Bakery, Co-owner Mozza ) and Pim Techamuanvivit  (Author of ChezPim.com and The Foodie Handbook) reading your blog!

Then after all the excitement starts to die a bit I started to feel nervous because, 1) I was going back to my parents place which is 2 hours drive from my house for the weekend and 2) I’m supposed to prepare for the second challenge: The Classics , to pick an ethnic classic that is outside my comfort zone or are not as familiar with and submit over the weekend! Somehow I had the impression we would only need to work on the next challenge when the week starts and not over the weekend. I did think of a few dishes for this challenge but it would need me to be at my own workplace with my own cooking equipments, so with a few hours to spare I started to look around for an exotic dish I can do at my parents place and also using ingredients that are readily accessible as well because Malacca is pretty limited when it comes to exotic ingredients. So in the end I settled for a dessert, a Greek dessert to be precise called Kourabiethes (sugared almond shortbread cookies). Why Greek you ask? Well I think it’s a sign because for the past few weeks we (read Ashley) have been watching Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief non-stop everyday and also I’ve always been fascinated by the Greek mythology and of course the all famous blue domes against white background. Having never been to the country or eaten any Greek cuisine before I have no idea how this dessert taste like but from what I’ve read and seen on the internet is enough to convince myself to try making it.
So after looking at the recipes, I packed the ingredients I have here to bring back to my parent’s place and during the journey I kept thinking how I should go about on this challenge, should I go all documentary or should I just go with the flow while injecting myself in the post. Especially when we are required to write a compelling post on how we came about to choosing the dish we are making. Well continue reading and see which I’ve decided on yea (evil I know tempting you to read on).

From what I read, Kourabiethes pronounced koo-rah-bee-YEH-thess are usually found during celebrations in Greek and of course it fits right, me advancing to the next round is indeed a celebration and I always feel extra good whenever we go back to my parents place and with all my uncles being back as well it’s definitely a call for celebrations! As I read further, I find interesting enough it’s one of the few desserts usually served during The Great Lent, like how dates are associated with Puasa. How they come about to creating this dish, I’m not sure but to me it looks like snow-peaked mountains, don’t you think? So anyway I was just having loads of fun catching up with my family that I only started making this on the day we were to drive back! How typical of me, leaving things to the last minute (I’m actually writing this with less than 4 hours left!). But I didn’t feel panicky at all, to my great surprise because I’m always over the edge whenever time is running short, instead I had fun making this with my mom, sis and of course my lil sous chef.
Although I did feel slightly out of place because I almost never cook whenever I’m back at their place, my mom would always make our favourite dishes so I supposed it’s fulfils the criteria of  are not as familiar with and the fact that I’m a baking goddess in baking, yeap till today I’m still trying to figure out why my cake is always dense at the bottom or the fact that this is my first cookie-making in years!
My daddy and granny giving their approvals (my granny is pretty fussy when it comes to food!)

Anyway, lets go back to the recipe (THE recipe that will determine if I could be one of the lucky 200 bloggers left to stand a chance in being the next Food Blog Star ), ladies and gentlemen, I present you the recipe for this wonderful melt-in-your-mouth cookies which is now one of my favourite things to make.

(Yields about 3 dozen)
You Need
(Adapted from About.com)

1 cup (2 sticks butter/250g) unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted, ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I substituted  the brandy usually called for in most recipes)
Confectioners' sugar

How To
1. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light (pale yellow in color)  and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix the flour and ground almond together.
2. Add flour mixture a little at a time, and then work well wit your hands.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
4. Shape the cookies into small rounded balls and flatten lightly or you can also roll out pieces of dough to the thickness you want and use a cookie cutter

5. Bake on ungreased lined with parchment paper trays at 350°F (175°C) for 20-30 minutes but do check at the 20 minute because the cookies is cooked when the bottoms turn light golden.

6. Remove from oven, while still hot, and sift confectioner's sugar over them. Don’t skimp on the sugar, it’s meant to cover the cookies in glorious mounds of powdered sugar.

By the way, I’m holding each and everyone of you hostage if you wish to check out the pictorial tutorials until you vote for me. No I’m serious, like dead serious grin_smiley . Oh just watch out for the next post.

Voting opens 6AM Pacific Time September 27th through 6PM Pacific Time September 30th.


  1. This post is really great, I must remember to vote for you tomorrow! I esp like the photos of rolling the dough for the cookies, so cute. :)

  2. Beautiful cookies...I can almost taste them through the screen.

  3. gasp i'm a hostage, i guess. the cookies are pretty, really :) congrats on round 2 and i hope we all make it to the third. all the best!

  4. Vote from me :) My entry is the Indian dessert Gulab Jamun!

  5. my friend made them before and they are delicious and they look exactly the ones u made :)
    sending a vote your way

    i made chawanmushi for my entry ;)

  6. one of my favorite cookies ever! these look delicious! good luck - you've got my vote!

  7. Yum, love the family photos.

    Voted for you and good luck with PFB :)

    I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway

    Here is my entry for PFB http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/1039

  8. Charming! I love that you got your granny's approval for your entry :)

  9. Food, cookies, even better = family fun at its best. Plus, can't deny the power of powdered sugar - got my vote!
    Lick My Spoon

  10. What a delicious looking cookie.


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