My Pear Almond Cookies are based on the traditional recipe of Turkish elmali kurabiye (or apple cookies). Only I modified the filling by using pears and almonds instead of apples and walnuts. The result are delicious, juicy cookies.
I haven’t been to Turkey since January 2018, but I can still remember the taste of all my favorite dishes there. And by dishes I also mean all the tasty desserts and pastries. I miss the small neighborhood bakeries that I passed several times a day. By displaying their baked goods in big windows, they made it extra tempting to just walk in and buy several pastries. In the mornings I would rather reach for savory pastries like poğaça filled with olives or cheese. Except for on the weekend. On the weekend I always chose sweet kürt böreği. On a weekday by noon my sweet tooth has grown, too. So back then I would choose something sweet after lunch and what is better than a pastry or cookie with sweet filling?!
My favorites of these are crescent buns that are filled with chocolate cake and walnuts and the afore-mentioned apple cookies. Recently, we had more pears at home though (that was obviously before we went apple picking). So I decided to make pear almond cookies, using the same dough as the traditional elmali kurabiye. For the filling I felt that pears and ground almonds need some spice for a little tang. That is why I added cinnamon and ginger.
You won’t need much time to make these pear almond cookies. The recipe is simple and I only had to concentrate when folding the dough properly together. Because the cookies are rather big, you can serve them as an alternative to cake. To me one at a time was enough. You could also make much smaller ones: just divide the dough and filling in 24 parts instead of 12.
The other plus is that they look impressive, esp. considering that they are called cookies and not pastries (at least in the literal translation). They even last a few days when you keep them in the fridge. I mean if they make it into the fridge at all and are not eaten up before.
Other tasty cookies you might want to try this season:
Yields 12 cookies
30 minPrep Time
25 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 4 medium pears
- 50 g (or 1/4 cup) sugar
- 70 g (or 1/2 cup) ground almonds
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 380 g(or 3 cups) flour
- 250 g (or 1 cup + 2 tbsp.) soft butter
- 1 tbsp. sour cream
- 35 g (or 1/3 cup) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- some powdered sugar to sprinkle on the cookies when they are done
- Make the filling first: Core the pears and cut them into small dice.
- Put all ingredients for the filling (the pear dice, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and ground ginger) in a small pot. Heat up and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
- Set aside.
- Next make the dough in a bowl. Mix the flour with the soft butter and sour cream.
- Add the powdered sugar as well as the vanilla extract and the baking powder.
- Knead until you have a smooth dough.
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (or 360 °F).
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces, each about the size of a golf ball.
- Dust your worktop with flour.
- Roll a piece of dough until you have a little circle. Put about 1/12 of the filling in the middle. Fold together and make sure you crimp the edges properly. Put on a baking sheet.
- Continue with the other 11 dough balls.
- Put the cookies in the oven for ca. 25 minutes until they are light brown.
- Leave to cool before you sprinkle them with powdered sugar.