Soldiers Cookies (Kurabiye)

Easy ancient Bulgarian cookies, called Soldiers Cookies (”Kurabii” in Bulgarian or kurabiye in Turkish cuisine). Durable, sweet cookies from ancient times, enjoyed to this day.

Soldiers Cookies are typical Bulgarian cookies from ancient times, that can be cooked in a variety of ways. What is common for all recipes is that they use simple pantry ingredients that most Bulgarians have on hand.

FUN FACTS: Legend has it these cookies were given by mothers to their son soldiers during (in the past) mandatory army service. Since they are very durable, soldiers didn’t have to worry about them going bad. In fact, some argue these cookies could be well preserved for a couple of months during winter in soldier’s backpack. Personally, I haven’t kept them that long, they just disappear quicker in my household.

These cookies are often called “Kurabii” in Bulgarian. They are a close relative of the Turkish “kurabiye”. Some even argue they originate from times when Bulgaria was part of the ancient Ottoman Empire.

What I like about the soldiers cookies is that they are very easy to make, yet versatile. I often add nuts, orange peel, cacao or whatever else I may fancy at the time and they always turn delicious.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  1. Egg -binds all together
  2. Flour – I bleached all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
  3. Sugar for cookie dough and coating
  4. Vegetable oil – like olive oil or most use sunflower oil. Orange juice can be used too
  5. Greek yogurt – plain
  6. Baking powder or some use baking soda instead
  7. Optional: chopped nuts (like walnuts), vanilla, cinnamon, orange or lemon peel (best if fresh), chocolate chips, etc.

How to make Soldiers Cookies?

1st: Combine all ingredients and knead a soft dough.

2nd: Shape and roll into sugar, then bake and enjoy when cooled down.

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Soldiers Cookies (Kurabiye) recipe

Soldiers Cookies (Kurabiye)

The European Dish
Easy ancient Bulgarian cookies, called Soldiers Cookies (''Kurabii'' in Bulgarian or kurabiye in Turkish cuisine). Durable, sweet cookies from ancient times, enjoyed to this day.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Bulgarian,, European, Turkish
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g (2 cups) flour, all purpose
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg, medium size
  • 60 g (1/2 Cup) sugar, brown
  • 50 ml (4 tbsp.) olive oil
  • 50 g (1/4 Cup) plain Greek Yogurt
  • 6 tbsp. walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. lemon peel, optional
  • 1-2 drops lemon oil, optional
  • brown sugar for rolling cookies in

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Knead a soft, non-stick dough by hand (or with kitchen robot/bread machine).
  • With slightly wet/oily hands divide the dough into small pieces. Shape into small balls. Roll into sugar on all sides.
  • Place onto baking paper with space in between cookies, bake on 360F/180C for about 10-15 minutes until cookies start to change color. Watch closely as they burn quickly.

Notes

  • Substitutions: orange juice can be used instead of olive oil. Any other type of oil should work, even melted lard. Use orange peel instead of lemon. Add cinnamon or even cacao powder. Baking powder can be subst. for baking soda. 
  • Measures in cups are indicative and based on standard conversion data. 
Keyword easy cookies, Mediterranean diet, sugar cookies, vegetarian
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