This is the Greek version of the Mexican Wedding Cake or the Russian Teacake, one of my favorite cookies, incidentally. In this version, the nut is almond, and instead of getting finely ground the slivered, toasted nuts are chopped to medium-fine pieces. Also, the butter goes the extra mile of being clarified before getting whipped up. This heightens the melt-in-your-mouth quality and makes you feel fancy.
A bit of brandy or orange juice is called for, but I had neither. I settled for Tuaca with a few drops of orange oil. Next time, I will add more oil plus some orange zest. I really liked the bit of orange that came through.
Mark loved them from the get-go, and declared them one of the best things I've baked from The Baking Bible so far.
Eliot thought they were okay, but he didn't like the chunks of nut. You could see his little tongue working something out of his mouth and then a little later a bit of gooey almond would be stuck to his chin. After about half a cookie, he was over it. But he did keep asking about those molasses cakes.
As with the Mexican Wedding Cookie, I didn't find them all that special until about the third day. Then all of a sudden, the orange flavor woke up and the nuts and butter became friends. Then it was all I could do to keep from eating the rest of the cookies in one sitting. I would prefer the almonds finely ground, and may try it next time.
Here's Marie's round-up of the Alpha Baker's Kourambiethes exploits.