This year, like every Christmas, I have made some of the traditional Greek desserts I make every year.
These melt in your mouth kourabiedes, which are buttery, shortbread cookies, are based on the recipe contained in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste! The basic ingredients are the same but this year they were filled with roasted almonds and scented with rosewater.
Melomakarona are honey cookies. This year again the recipe is based on the recipe in my cookbook but, as always, I love creating new flavours. This year they are flavoured with mandarin zest and juice and they are filled with walnuts and mandarins.
The only change I made to my Christmas Cake is the selection of fruit preserves and the marmalade I used. This year the prevailing flavour is citrus: I have used orange, bergamot, mandarin, bitter orange and kumquat fruit preserves, mandarin marmalade , mandarin zest and of course grand marnier liqueur and homemade mandarin liqueur to feed it before adding the almond paste.
Finally, here is something new which I have never posted. I have posted Chocolate truffles many times but these were made with leftover ingredients I had after making the above desserts plus using a few other ingredients I had in my closet. They are totally different from the ones I made last year. They may not look as fancy as last year’s but they are delicious and they deserve a separate post.
Today’s recipe is one I made some months ago but peanut butter cookies are welcome any time of the year. These American cookies are my all time favourite cookies and my children also love them. They melt in your mouth and the amazing taste of peanut butter and the combination of sweet and salty makes them irresistible.
These cookies have a crisscross pattern which make them instantly recognizable.
Peanut Butter Cookies, adapted from a previous recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 10 minutes
Makes: about 30 cookies
- 1/2 cup crystal sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and mix in salt.
- Beat the butter with both sugars, on high speed, until creamy, for 5 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter and egg and beat until incorporated.
- Change your mixer paddle to K or dough hook.
- Add the flour mixture and mix in low speed, to form a soft dough.
- Wrap dough in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 180o C 350°F.
- Line your baking tins with parchment paper.
- Roll out the dough between parchment paper or cling film until it reaches about 1 cm thick. Use a cookie cutter and cut small round cookies around 4 cm or cut them rectangular (I used an ice cube mold) or shape dough into small balls.
- Place them on the prepared cookie tin spaced about 6 cm apart, as they will expand. Make crisscross patterns using a fork.
- Bake until light brown, 9 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Cool on baking tins for a minute and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
- Store in air tight containers.
You can decorate them on top with writing icing, if you like.
Here are some my daughter made for me on Mother’s Day. In half of the dough she added some cocoa powder.
Note: If you like the cookies to be crunchy, you can bake them for 2 – 3 more minutes.
Wishing all the readers of my blog A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!
Other similar recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,