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 These shortbread-type almond cakes are a tradition at Christmas.
  • 4 cups of butter.
  • 2 cups of confectioner's sugar.
  • 2 egg yolks.
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • 3 tablespoons of brandy.
  • 1 cup of coarsely chopped roasted almonds
  • 12 cups of all-purpose flour.
  • Confectioner's sugar (for dusting).
  • Rose water (optional).

  • Start with all ingredients at room temperature.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until white.
  • Dissolve the baking powder in the brandy and slowly add to mixture, along with egg yolks, vanilla, and almonds.
  • Add flour gradually.
  • Knead the dough by hand until malleable.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Shape the cakes by hand into dome-shaped circles about two inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick, and place on a lightly buttered cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until they barely start to brown.
  • While they are baking, sift the confectioner's sugar onto a large tray or cookie sheet.
  • As soon as the cakes are done, sprinkle with rose water (optional) and roll in the sugar.
  • When they have all been coated once, repeat (without rose water) and cool.
  • When cooled, place in layers on a serving platter that has been dusted with sugar.
  • Sift a liberal amount of sugar on each layer. (Makes about 60.)
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