Greek Butter Cookies (Kourabiéthes)

Some of you are probably wondering: “Hmmm, did Willyummsbakery decide to call it quits from the world of blogging?”  The answer: a big fat NOPE! But I am truly sorry if it seems that I have completely forgotten about my millions of followers…Hahaha! One can dream right?

Actually I’ve already had something planned to write about 2 weeks ago, but that 4-letter word got in the way of me actually posting it…WORK!  😛

Anyway, I am glad to say that I finally got a chance to have a minute to myself and compose this blog.

I would like to give our 8 yr. old boy credit for this project because it was actually his idea to make these yummy cookies!  He came home one afternoon and said: “Mom, I took (I’m hoping he meant borrowed :p) a book from our library  and it’s about foods from around the world.  We should pick something and make it!”

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Awww isn’t he cute?!?! He could’ve picked a comic book or some other fictional book to entertain him but instead he picked something that he can do with Mommy 🙂 so, here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose floor
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 1 c (2 sticks) of butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (we used less because Sister Bear hates anything with nuts and we were hoping we could mask it, without going too far off from the original recipe)
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 oF.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  4. Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well blended but do not over stir.
  7. Using your hands (which was probably the funnest part, if you ask Little Bear), form the dough into balls.  Traditionally they are shaped into crescents or S-shapes but we were not very good at shaping (the dough was a little crumbly) so we decided the balls would be just fine :p

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  8. Place the dough 2 in. apart on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 15-18 mins until the edges a slightly browned.
  9. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool in a wire rack for 5 mins.
  10. Once cooled, use a sifter (or in our case a mini strainer) to sprinkle with powdered sugar.

          Powdered sugar.jpg

According to the book, these cookies are eaten year round but are most popular around Christmas time.

I think that this recipe was a perfect, simple project with my Little Bear and the result was yummy!!! It is similar to a sugar cookie which most of us in the US are familiar with but not as sweet, which is just the way we like it. He was pretty happy with himself for baking these cookies and I was a proud Mama Bear.  It was definitely baked with LOVE ♥

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Anyway,til next adventure…and thanks to everyone who has followed my blog (through thick and thin :P), and have been very gracious with all the likes and comments…You are awesome 🙂

~CW

Related literature:

Baruth, P. E. (1988). Holiday cooking around the world. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Co.

 

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Liebster Award

 

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Hi guys!

I am so pleased (and quite shocked! to be honest…) that I was nominated for the Liebster Award.  I looooove food…and so far, I looooove blogging as well.  However, being that I’m such a newbie and have very few posts and followers, it was really quite a surprise when Taylor told me that she had nominated me for the award.  What an honor! especially from such a gifted writer…If you guys haven’t checked her out, please visit her page at https://peasromainecalm.com…I know you would love her posts and my favorite characters Samson and Mona 🙂

So for those who are not familiar with the Liebster Award (like myself until up about last week :P) it is a way of connecting bloggers, new and old, so that we can help build and discover each others page…what a cool idea 🙂

Here are The Rules :

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge to your post.
  3. Nominate 10 new bloggers.
  4. Answer the 10 questions the person who nominated you asked you.
  5. Create 10 new questions to ask the bloggers you nominate.
  6. Notify the bloggers you have nominated by leaving them a comment on their blog.

My Nominees:

  1. Greencookingblog
  2. Foodbycamilla
  3. Dosirakbento
  4. Cooking without Limits
  5. Twin Days
  6. GrowTasteCreate
  7. Mrs. Twinkle
  8. Lazymomcooking
  9. Mercer Creative
  10. IceCreamMagazine

OHHHH so many, many more talented bloggers, and food photographers out there…wish I can nominate more…

My Questions for the nominees:

  • What made you decide to blog?
  • What do you think is your most important blogging tool (except for the internet ;p)?
  • Who is the most influential person in your life?
  • If you were only to rely on one thing, do you enjoy food that looks good or smells good?
  • When making decisions, do you go with your gut or do you like to research every detail?
  • What is your favorite past-time, other than blogging? (I’m borrowing this from Taylor :))
  • What was your first project?
  • Was it a success or a failure? Either way, what did you learn from it?
  • What was the most important decision you’ve made so far?
  • What was your most favorite project?

Peas Romaine Calm’s Questions:

Why did you start this blog?

~I wanted to have a place where I can chronicle my baking projects.  Initially it was just something that I wanted to be able to share with my family, especially my kids when they got older, but I was lucky to find other bloggers out there who have visited and appreciated my musings.

What is a great memory from your past?

~ Oh, there’s really way too much that I can’t even begin to decide which one to write about.  I have selective memory :p I remember tons of happy events and forget about everything else

If the sky’s the limit, what would you like to do next?

~ I would like to be able to open my own bakery business someday…but at this time, I think I’m spread out too thin to be able to focus on such a big project…

Are you a planner? Or are you spontaneous?

~ I am both actually…is that possible?  I like to plan for important things or things where other people will be affected by my actions…For myself, I like being spontaneous and I guess “flexible” is a better way to describe it.

What makes you smile?

~ Nice people make me smile.  Seeing that there’s goodness in a lot of things, in a lot of people, out there makes me happy.

What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from that?

~ Hmmm, I can’t say it was a failure…but not taking the time when I was younger to really think about what I am passionate about, and to go for it.  I learned that sometimes, a bit of a risk might be necessary to get what you want in life.

What do you do in your spare time? (besides blogging😛 )

~ I love reading…and spending all day watching movies with my Hubby…working on some projects with our monkeys (a.k.a kiddos)…and of course baking 🙂

Favorite place you’ve visited?

~There’s lots of places that I’ve visited that I liked a lot…probably Japan being on the top at the moment.

What are your favorite sweets?

~Anything  with dark chocolate and ice cream 🙂

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have 3 items what would they be?

~ Just 3??? a picture of my family (I’m assuming, I’m alone in the island?), something to make fire with, and my cellphone (hope there’s WiFi hahaha j/k)…although quite frankly, I don’t think I’ll survive too long on a desert island :P…if it’s a DESSERT island then count me in 🙂

Thanks again for the nomination…and hopefully you guys can visit all the other bloggers that’s been mentioned here.

Til next adventure

~CW

 

Old fashioned Apple Pie

There is nothing better than a warm apple pie on a weekend…and the best thing about it, is that it is one pie that is super easy to make 🙂 Whether you feel like making your own crust or just want to use a store-bought, ready-to-use pie crust, the gooey goodness of sweet, cinnamon apples will definitely make your mouth water 🙂

If you are up to the “challenge” of making your own dough (it isn’t really much of a challenge, because it is really very easy :P), here’s a recipe for a pie dough which I found from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook:

  • 2 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks (1 c) of unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup of ice cold water, or more as needed

Combine the flour and the salt in a food processor (or hand mix) by pulsing for a few seconds.  Add the butter and pulse for another 10 seconds until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the water in slowly while your blender is running but make sure not to add to much or too quickly so that the crust does not get too sticky.  Do not mix for more than 30 seconds. Ball the dough and cut in half and wrap each piece with plastic wrap.  You can refrigerate the dough overnight or freeze for as long as 1 month. If frozen, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to use. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into 2 circular discs: one disc to be used as the bottom crust and the other disc will be used as the top crust.  Make sure to have about 1 1/2 inch allowance in circumference compared to the size pie plate. Place the rolled dough on top of the plate and allow to “drop in”. Working from the center of the plate towards the sides, fit the dough into the plate and cut off any excess dough.

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I like to use a fork to press down on the edges of the crust against the pie plate to secure them in place.

To make the filling, you would need:

  • 5-7 apples (you can use a mixture of different kinds of apples: McIntosh, Fuji, Honey crisp, etc. however I later learned that some apples are better than others for baking, if you wish to keep them sturdy :P).
  • juice from 1/2-1 lemon
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 brown sugar

Peel off skin and cut your apples into even slices.  Add the lemon juice and stir.  Add the cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir until evenly incorporated.

Filling ingredients.jpg

Arrange the slices onto your pie plate (Note to self: overfill and use more apples as they tend to get smaller as they cook).

apple slices

Cover the pie with the second disc as prepared earlier. Crimp the edges by pinching and use a fork to decorate. Also, cut some slits to help steam to escape as the pie cooks.

top crust.jpg

Oh! I forgot to tell you…but as an experienced baker, you should already know that you need to preheat your oven to 400oF  while preping your pie 😛

Ok one last step while your oven is preheating, this is not necessary as you can get the desired flavor without this step but it makes it look prettier when it cooks, brush the top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding or granulated sugar.

Place in the oven, at the 3rd lower rack and bake for 20 mins then lower the oven temperature to 350oF and bake for another 40-45 mins. I set the timer and wait….usually though my nose brings me back to the kitchen before my timer goes off as the smell of butter, sugar and cinnamon wafts through the house.  This is literally how I look like…:)

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Image from: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FollowYourNose

Anyway, hope you guys try this recipe and hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

finished product.jpg

Til next adventure…

~CW

Related resources:

Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. 2005. Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FollowYourNose