This delicious, crumbly shortbread cookies, un kurabiyesi, is a national favouite; my mother would make them for her afternoon tea gatherings, bayrams and special occasions when I was a child. You will find them in our pastanes, patisseries in plain, with almond or sometimes with dried fruits in Turkey. They are delicious, enjoyed with Turkish coffee, Turk kahvesi and tea, cay.
I added coarsely ground (or very finely chopped) pistachios to mine – it is nice to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios, so take care not to ground them too finely. Turkish pistachios, as referred as green emeralds are packed with flavour and we use nuts liberally in our desserts and sweet treats. They add a delicious, fragrant nutty taste. You can use ground almonds or hazelnuts instead of pistachio too. These fistikli un kurabiyesi is a great hit with my family and friends; I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
- 300g/10 ¼ oz plain all-purpose flour, sifted
- 110g/4oz icing sugar, sifted
- 90g/3 ¼ oz shelled pistachios, coarsely ground or very finely chopped
- 250g/9oz unsalted butter
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 5ml/1tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Extra icing sugar for dusting
- Sprinkle of extra coarsely ground pistachio for serving
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Coarsely ground the pistachios, with a few pulses in a food processor; take care not to ground too finely, as it’s lovely to feel the texture and enjoy the taste of pistachios.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl and set aside. Sift the icing sugar in a separate bowl too.
- Put the butter in a large mixing bowl and coarsely slice. Beat using a mixer for 2 – 3 minutes, until smooth and light. Stir in the icing sugar and beat for another 2 minutes, until well combined.
- Add the sifted flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes, making sure all combined well.
- Stir in the coarsely ground pistachio to the mix, beat another minute or two, until all combined and turned into a crumbly dough.
- Using your hands, gently combine and turn the mixture into a dough ball. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge for 10 minutes. This helps shaping and forming the shortbread cookie balls.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and pull off walnut sized pieces of dough and gently shape into balls, rolling the dough into round shape with your hands. Each dough ball will be about 3cm / 1.2in in diameter. Place the dough balls on the baking tray, with about 5cm/2in between each dough ball. You will make about 18 dough balls.
- Bake the Turkish shortbread cookies, un kurabiyes, in the preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes, they will be pale golden; try not to overbake, so that they can retain their crumbly texture.
- Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool completely. Once cool, sift icing sugar over them and sprinkle a little ground pistachio over when serving. They are delicious aside tea and Turkish coffee. They can be stored in a container with a lid for a good 5-6 days.
- Afiyet Olsun.
We are delighted to share that we now have significantly reduced shipping rates to the USA (approximately 14 USD), for the hardback copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table, you can order via GB Publishing, at this link.
Signed copies of Ozlem’s Turkish Table and the apron also available at this link.
Our best wishes and Afiyet Olsun,