Kurabie

Kurabie is a cookie. Cookies are thought to originate in Persia in the 7th century, which is shortly after sugar became widely available. They then spread through out the world. Kurabie is part of a family of cookies called Qurabiya,  which is a shortbread type biscuit. They are believed to have started in Tabriz. The cookie is popular and now various regions have slight variations of the cookie.

I don’t have much of  a sweet tooth, but I am visiting a friend who has 3 kids. So I figure if we bake cookies they will get eaten. The recipe calls for 3 sticks of softened butter. Me and my friend look at each other and say it will be delicious, but we need to be carefully how many we eat. She has a kitchen aid that her mom insisted she get. Now she can’t live without it and wonders how she did in the past. Being totally obsessed how useful these kitchen aids mixers are I named hers “white knight”.

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The recipe says that you may not need all 4 cups of flour and to add slowly. We added 3 cups of flour and then were going to add a 1/4 a cup at a time to get to the 4 cups of flour.  With just the 3 cups the dough looked ready. So we stuffed it in a pastry bag. It was way too thick that the bag broke.  We did use whole wheat pastry flour, which may have changed the consistency.  Curious I start to read other Kurabie recipes to see if they have similar proportions. I find that the ingredients are different in calling for less butter and yogurt.  Then I look more carefully at this recipe we are making and figure out it is an Azerbaijan version, not Albanian. Oh well the dough was already started.

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With the pastry bag broken, we just shape the cookies by hand. We need  to create a divot in the cookies to add Jam. So we use a  back of a teaspoon to press the dough.  The divot was not deep enough. When they cooked the cookie puffed up and the divot disappeared. So next batch we exaggerated the divot by pressing a dimple in the middle of the cookie and then continued to reinforce it.

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In the divot you can put Almonds or Jam. My friend has a stash of Jams that she has made, and we sample a cooked cookie with her strawberry jam and are hooked. The cookie is a butter shortbread. The jam makes it taste like a strawberry shortcake cookie. We did eat a bit too many. I’m glad she kept some of the left overs.

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Having the results of the Azerbaijan version come out so well I was curious to try the Albanian. So when I got back home I made a batch. With the kitchen aid (and to rave about this thing some more) making dough is so easy. I think Kitchen aid should start paying me for this free advertising! Then I don’t have to get a job.

Back to cooking I added 4 1/4 cups of flour and I think it is a bit too much. The texture was a dense cake like cookie similar to a snicker doodle. There was a subtle hint of lemon and it was not very sweet. It is very different than the Azerbaijan version.

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I have to say I like the Azerbaijan version better, but I think it may also be my friends jam.


 Recipes

Kurabie (Azerbaijan)

The original recipe can be found here

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 egg white
  • Strawberry jam for decorating
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Oil baking sheets and sprinkle with flour or line them with parchment paper.
  2. Beat butter and powdered sugar till light and airy and add a lightly whipped egg white. Mix till combined and start adding flour. You may need more or less flour, so add flour slowly until you get  a  soft Play-dough texture. It should be easily shaped, yet it should not feel greasy or limp.
  3. Form cookies either using a pastry bag with a star tip, or by hand. Squeeze out the dough in a circle leaving a small hole in the center.  Or by hand, roll in to a ball and then press a deep thumb print in the middle.
  4. Throw them in the oven for about ten minutes; watch the cookies closely and do not let them color as they burn very easily. A pale, almost white color is traditional for Azeri and Persian kurabie, however you can vary the level of golden hue to your taste.
  5. Once cooled dot the center with a teaspoon of jam.

Kurabie (Albanian)

The original recipe can be found here

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg ( for topping)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • peel of a lemon
  • 3 cups of flour.

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Mix the baking soda in the yogurt, add the above mentioned products one by one and prepare the dough.
  2. With hands covered with melted butter take pieces of the dough and shape into ovals about the size of a walnut, then place them on a butter covered baking pan.
  3. Brush a beaten egg on top and then dust with powder sugar.
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