Cypriot Holiday Shortbread Cookies
These are Greek & Cypriot traditional holiday cookies and every Greek kitchen has their own variation. My family recipe is flavoured with Greek Brandy with a hint of Orange Blossom. I must warn you, these cookies are incredibly addicting as they are so deliciously buttery, they melt in your mouth. I look forward to making these every year. I always double the batch as they store really well in an air tight container kept in a cool place for up to a month, if they last that long! 😁
1/2 lb Tenderflake or Crisco shortening
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk + 1 large egg
Juice of half an orange
1 tbsp. brandy (Metaxa Greek Brandy)
1 tbsp. orange blossom
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl of a mixer, add tenderflake, butter and sugar. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy about 10 mins. This is very important step that the mixture is beaten that long for a fluffy cookie result.
Beat in the egg yolks and the egg one at a time until incorporated.
In a bowl, stir orange juice with baking powder and stir in brandy and orange blossom.
Pour into mixture and beat for a few minutes until incorporated.
Gradually add the flour a bit at a time until mixture does not stick to the bowl or your hands. You want to ensure the dough texture is soft and just rolls off your hands. You might not need to use all the flour as you do not want to over flour the dough as it will ruin the cookie when baked.
Roll into 2 inch balls or shape them with your desired cookie cutter. Place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 mins until lightly golden. Repeat until all cookies are baked.
In the meantime, place a large piece of parchment paper on a board or counter top and lightly dust it with icing sugar.
When cookies are done, place them on the parchment paper. Let cool for 5 mins and then dust them with a generous amount of icing sugar until well coated.
Repeat with remaining cookies.
SERVINGS 35-40 cookies | PREP & COOK TIME 1.5 hr