Kourambiedes (A Greek Christmas Cookie)

Recipe by evelynathens
READY IN: 30mins
SERVES: 30-40




  • Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer for 15 minutes, until it begins to turn white. Mix in the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Add the egg yolks, the brandy, vanilla extract, and gradually add the flour, until you have a dough that is neither too soft nor too firm (you may need to add slightly more than the amount I've written); stir in the almonds.
  • Let the dough stand for an hour at room temperature, covered with a clean dish towel.
  • Next, with small amounts (about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough), shape small rounds by gently rolling the dough around between the palms of your hands.
  • Arrange the round cookies on a buttered pan and flatten ever so slightly on top with your hand.
  • Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.
  • Immediately upon removing the kourambiedes from the oven, sprinkle them with rose water (or orange water or ouzo. I do this by putting a small amount of the liquid in a bowl, wetting my fingertips, and shaking the droplets over the hot cookies a few times. The scented water or ouzo gives the cookies a very delicate fragrance).
  • Roll the hot cookies in icing sugar to cover and let cool.
  • When cool, arrange on a pretty holiday platter, sieving more icing sugar between the cookie layers to give a snowdrift effect.


“Basically a Greek butterball cookie recipe. These, with Melomakarona, are found in every Greek home during the Christmas Holidays. I go through phases. One year, or for a couple of years, these are my favourites, then Melomakarona are, and I keep switching back and forth. They're both wonderful! These keep wonderfully, long after Christmas is over, if any are left.”