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Kourabiedes are traditional Greek cookies made for Christmas. A type of buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread dotted with almonds and absolutely smothered in icing sugar. You can’t not like them.

You may or may not have heard of these biscuits (cookies). Either way, you should try them. They aren’t difficult to make, but there are a couple of things you need to make sure of, in order for them to be perfect. One of these is to not wear black and have lots of tissues when eating them. They are very messy. But that is part of their charm!

Merry Christmas everyone!


300 gr butter

110 gr icing sugar

125 gr almonds, blanched

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

600 gr all purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

25 ml bourbon

icing sugar to dust the cookies, lots of it (approx. 170-200 gr)

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The traditional way to make these is with brandy, and the recipe I used called for dark rum. I thought bourbon might make a nice change. To be honest you can’t really taste it.

Step 1

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar till very fluffy. This is the first secret to a good kourabie. We’re talking at least 20 minutes of beating. Beat it senseless. That’s why you need a stand mixer.

Step 2

In the meantime heat the oven to 150C fan (160C conventional). Spread the almonds on a baking paper lined oven tray and roast them till fragrant and only just beginning to turn golden. About 8-10 minutes. Cool the almonds, then chop them into medium sized chunks.

Step 3

After at least 20 minutes gradually add the vanilla, flour and baking powder to the butter mixture while beating on low speed. It will look like breadcrumbs. Add the almonds and bourbon and continue beating (on low) for about 10 minutes or until your mixer starts to complain. I thought smoke might come out of mine so I stopped it a little short of time. The mixture was a nice dough that came away from the sides of the bowl and didn’t stick to my fingers. Yet it held nicely when shaped into balls. Turn the oven up to 160C fan (170C conventional).

Step 4

You have a few options here. Either shape the dough into balls (whatever size you like, just make sure they are more or less the same – adjust baking time accordingly), or roll it out (thickly) and use a cookie cutter to get the shape you want, or roll the dough into a log and cut slices of the same width. Pat the slices so the sides come back if they have crumbled a bit. Place cookies on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for approx. 18-20 minutes (time is for a 36 cookie yield). They will have only just started to turn blond around the edges and on the bottom. Let them cool completely.

Step 5

After the cookies are cold (I left mine overnight), smother them in icing sugar. I found it easiest to roll them in a bowl of sugar just like when coating truffles or chicken nuggets (er, the nuggets would be in breadcrumbs not sugar. Unless you know something I don’t). Press them into the sugar so it sticks. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle yet more icing sugar on top. I’m talking lots of it. You aren’t supposed to see the cookie under its snowy coat.

Tips: Beat butter and sugar very very well. Bake on low temperature and don’t overcook (they should still be white). Let cookies cool completely before coating in sugar. The smaller you make them, the easier it is to eat them without making a huge mess. If you are worried about things like that. Recipe is from the Greek Lurpak website.

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  • Reply

    my aunt’s in-laws were greek and every once in a while she would bring some of these home from some occasion. they are truly heaven covered with powdered sugar!
    merry christmas!

    • Reply

      Hi Donna! Happy New Year! I don’t know why we don’t make these all year round they are so good! Thanks for dropping by..