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Kourambiethes: Easy Greek Christmas Cookies

Kourambiethes (or kourabiedes) is one of my favorite Greek Christmas cookies. Greeks offer these delicious cookies year-round at holidays and special occasions. My mother, however, likes to make them every Christmas. As you can understand, I follow the same family tradition. Easy to prepare, kourambiethes are buttery and coated in powdered sugar which gives them a lovely festive appearance and makes them ideal for Christmas!

There is a lovely tradition behind kourambiethes. Their white color symbolizes wishes for happiness and good fortune. So if you want to wish your family and friends to have a wonderful year, offering kourambiethes is a marvelous and delicious way!

I took this kourambiethes Greek cookie recipe from my mother. And as my mother says, delicious kourambiethes are little crispy at first bite and tender in your mouth. The secret for this is to use whipped dairy butter.

This kourambiethes recipe gives around 60 cookies.


Kourambiethes Recipe – Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted (400 g)
  • 2 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted until lightly golden (240 g)
  • 2 cups of dairy butter at room temperature (300 g)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (135 g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar for dusting (around 540 g)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (10 g)
  • Cognac (50 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder (5 g)
  • Some rose water (optional)

Kourambiethes Recipe – Instructions

  • Start making kourambiethes by processing the almonds in a food processor or high-performance blender, pulsing until they are coarsely ground. They should retain a slight texture, not become a very fine meal. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter for around 10-15 minutes until it becomes white.
  • Add egg yolks and 3/4 cup of sugar on medium-high speed for 5-6 minutes until mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the almonds, vanilla extract, baking powder, and cognac.
  • Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture becomes smooth.
  • Reduce speed to low again and add the flour, a little at a time, until the dough comes together and is soft and not sticky.
  • Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for 1 or 2 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated.
  • Take a baking pan and add 2 large, ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Take a tablespoon as a measure, scoop out small, equal-sized pieces of dough, shape them into half-moons or rounds and place them 1 inch apart in the baking pan
  • If the dough becomes too warm and difficult to work with, place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are pale yellow gold. You should not brown them.
  • Remove from oven and pour some rose water over them.
  • Allow them to cool slightly on the baking sheets, about 5 minutes.
  • Take a platter and sift some confectioners’ sugar. Use a small spatula and transfer the warm cookies to the platter.
  • Sift the remaining confectioners’ sugar over the top and sides of the cookies so that they are bright white and completely covered with sugar.

The Greek world for kourambiedes is κουραμπιέδες. I hope you like this traditional kourambiethes recipe. Stay tuned for more Greek dessert recipes. From the bottom of my heart, may all of us have a merry and peaceful Christmas.

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