My Journey to the Perfect Khourabia Recipe

I have been testing various Khourabia recipes 

Although I have tested various Khourabia recipes over the last 30 years, I began seriously searching for the perfect combination of ingredients and methods more recently. I have tried and tested it all! With egg, without egg, egg white, egg yolk. Unsalted butter, clarified butter. Sifted flour, and flour right out of the canister. Varying amounts of flour. Powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar), granulated sugar, and baker’s sugar (fine granulated sugar). Baking powder to no baking powder, in varying amounts. 275 degrees, vs 300 degrees, vs 325 degrees.

When I began the journey to find perfection of the melt in your mouth sweet white Armenian biscuit, I recalled a recipe I had jotted down on a small piece of white paper about 40+ years ago, which was dictated to me by my grandfather’s cousin-and I have it to this day.  Although (neither) of my grandmas made khourabia, “Auntie” Connie did, and as I recall it was perfection, always served from a shiny white SeesⓇ candy box lined with waxed paper. Funny, I had avoided this recipe, because it mentioned clarifying butter with bulgur. Connie wasn’t specific about how I should do that. And I was likely intimidated by her culinary abilities, as well as the fact that when I asked her how you do that she said “just melt the butter with bulgur”. Ok.. I’ll get right on that! See the previous blog post with the full explanation!

Whichever Khourabia recipe 

of the plethora out there you should decide to use, in Armenian cookbooks, on the internet, or passed down, the most valuable secret I found is that whipping the butter and adding the sugar gradually (30 minutes) will alleviate graininess in the cookie. The sugar and butter mixture will look like marshmallow fluff and taste like heaven (if you are ah ingredient tester at each step like me).

Thank goodness for my Kitchen AidⓇ Stand Mixer!

You can walk away from the whipping the sugar and clarified butter step for close to 30 minutes and prep another recipe or tend to another task calling you nearby.

The recipe which I finalized while working on a few batches for a family wedding reception, uses baker’s sugar, clarified butter, baking powder and egg white.  Oh and yes I did add the optional whiskey. The hint of the whiskey flavor gives it the hint of (hmm what is that flavor- I really like it)!

I did find that a batch I made without baking powder and egg was delicious, melt in your mouth, flavor perfection, but the “skin” came off on my fingers as I was plating it and when my “testers” picked it up. (See the first pic).

Party Perfect Khourabia

2 cup clarified butter

1 cup baker’s sugar

1 egg white

3 cups flour sifted

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 T Crisco

1 shot of whiskey, or 1 tsp almond extract (optional)

Sliced Almonds

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whip (beat) clarified butter and CriscoⓇ, adding sugar gradually for the first 2-3 minutes, and continue beating for 25 minutes. Add egg white and whiskey to the sugar butter mixture and beat an additional 5 minutes. 

Sift flour and baking powder. Add gradually to butter sugar mixture and combine.

Turn out onto a work surface and cover with a towel. Break off pieces and gently roll between hands or on work surface into 6”x 1/2” logs.

Cut into 1.5-2” lengths. Shape into a slight s and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place an almond slice on each one. 

I used a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes and decorated with a www.williamssonoma sugar pearl.

(This dough is very delicate and should not be overworked.)

Bake  for 20 minutes. Do not brown. 

Traditional Khourabia shapes

Traditional shapes of s curves and circles with almonds.

Wedding Khourabia

Use a cookie cutter to make shapes, taking care not to overwork the dough. Sugar pearls and almonds are festive additions

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