Un kurabiyesi are a type of Turkish kurabiye (cookies) that have a spot in every bakery, and rightfully so! Un kurabiyesi are crumbly butter cookies made with powdered sugar and deliciously flavored with vanilla. These melt-in-your-mouth cookies taste absolutely divine despite their simplicity. Plus kurabiye cookies are incredibly easy to make and you will only need a handful of ingredients.
They are the perfect accompaniment to morning cuppas or afternoon teas, and it’s impossible to eat just one kurabiye so be prepared for crumbs and powdered sugar falling everywhere!
Un kurabiyesi means flour cookies in Turkish. Most cookies are made with flour so it’s not the most descriptive name ever. It basically means that these are plain cookies. Plain is not the most flattering term either. ‘Most addictive’ probably suit them better! It’s very common to buy an assortment of kurabiye from a bakery to bring it over when you are invited for tea somewhere. Every kurabiye I ate while living in Turkey were shop-bought but I always had an inkling that homemade ones would be better. And I was right! Fresh kurabiye are crumblier, less stale and the vanilla flavor was more pronounced.
Sunflower oil or margarine is also frequently used to make kurabiye, because butter is pretty expensive in Turkey. Oil or margarine are cheaper alternatives, especially if you’re making a bunch of cookies. Plus you don’t have to wait for anything to soften at the beginning of the kurabiye recipe. However, if you use them instead of butter, the cookies will spread out more in the oven and thus will be crispier. I now live in France where you can get 2 sticks of quality butter for 2€ instead of 40₺ so there is no way I’m gonna compromise on taste and texture!
Vanilla sugar isn’t a common ingredient if you don’t live in Europe so don’t hesitate to replace it with an equal amount of vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla pod. You could also use another extract (almond, coconut,…) to make kurabiye or add the finely grated zest of an orange or a lemon. Since un kurabiyesi are simple “regular” cookies, you can personalize them however you want.
HOW TO MAKE THE DOUGH
Nothing could be easier than making kurabiye as long as your butter is really soft. Cream it with the vanilla, then gradually beat in the dry ingredients at the lowest speed. First the cornstarch & powdered sugar and then the flour. If the flour flies off everywhere, ditch the hand mixer and go in with your hands. If needed add just enough cold water to help the coarse crumbs combine and gather the dough gently together. The key with this kurabiye recipe is not to overwork the dough, be gentle and don’t knead the dough. The less you manipulate it the better, otherwise the cookies might end up tough.
HOW TO SHAPE THE COOKIES
If you’ve made gnocchi before, you’ll find the process to be very similar. Tear off a small handful of kurabiye dough and roll it into a rope on a clean working surface. Use a knife to cut out 3cm (1 ¼ in) square pieces. Place the cookies on a baking tray, spacing them 4cm (1 ½ in) apart, and repeat the same process with the rest of the dough. Gently press down the prongs of a fork into the middle of each kurabiye to create lines. Before baking the cookies you’ll have to place them on the tray in the freezer for 30 min or in the fridge for 2h. Don’t skip that step as it’s very important for the kurabiye to be really firm before baking to prevent them from spreading in the oven.
Are you looking for other cookie recipes? Here are some of my favorites:
- Red velvet crinkle cookies
- Leckerli (Hard spiced cookies)
- Orange almond biscotti
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 23 minutes
- Total Time: 53 minutes
- Yield: 23 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Turkish
Kurabiye are crumbly butter cookies made with powdered sugar, deliciously flavored with vanilla. These traditional Turkish cookies are incredibly easy to make and only require a handful of ingredients!
For the dough:
- 230g butter (2 sticks)
- ½ tbsp vanilla sugar (or use vanilla extract)
- 65g cornstarch (½ cup)
- 55g powdered sugar (⅓ cup)
- 315g all-purpose flour (2 ¼ cups)
For the topping:
- 15g powdered sugar (1 ½ tbsp)
- Soften the butter. Cut the butter into cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and leave at room temperature until completely soft. It might take up to 3h if your kitchen is cold. There should be no resistance if you press a finger into a cube.
- Make the dough. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar (or pour the vanilla extract) over the butter. Beat the butter with a hand mixer until creamy, about 30 seconds to 1 min. Sieve the cornstarch and powdered sugar over the bowl. Beat at the lowest speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sieve half of the flour over the bowl and beat at the lowest speed until incorporated. If flour flies everywhere even at the lowest speed, use a wooden spatula or mix by hand. Sieve the rest of the flour over the bowl and mix by hand until coarse crumbs form. Continue mixing delicately until most of the crumbs stick together. Press the dough into a rough ball with your hands. Be gentle, don’t over-knead the dough or the cookies will end up tough. If the dough is too dry and doesn’t come together work in just enough cold water, 1 tbsp at a time, to bring the dough together. Depending on the absorbency of the flour I sometimes have to add up to 2 tbsp of water and sometimes I don’t need to add water at all.
- Shape the cookies. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Tear off a small handful of dough and roll it into a rope about 3cm (1 ¼ in) thick and 3cm (1 ¼ in) wide on a clean work surface. Use a knife to cut out 3 cm (1 ¼ in) square pieces, about 3 to 4 pieces per rope. Place the cookies on the baking tray, spacing them 4cm (1 ½ in) apart, and repeat the same process with the rest of the dough. You should get about 23 cookies. Gently press down the prongs of a fork into the middle of each cookie to create firm lines. Don’t press a lot (especially not all the way to the bottom), you don’t want the squares to spread out too much. Place the baking tray with the cookies uncovered in the freezer for 30 min (or in the fridge for 2h).
- Bake. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Bake until the bottom and the edges of the cookies start to turn golden, about 22 to 24 min. The top of the cookies should remain pale. Set the tray aside and wait for the cookies to cool down completely. Put the remaining powdered sugar in a fine-mesh strainer and dust the top of the cookies.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. They will get soften slightly over time.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 145
Keywords: turkish desserts, quick cookies
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