These deliciously soft and nutty butter cookies are a festive staple come Christmas time in Greece. Kourabiedes are basically Greek almond cookies. Of course, people always try alternatives, like replacing the almond with pistachio - but I have to say I prefer an authentic Kourampiedes recipe.
As well as Kourabiedes, we make Melomakarona at Christmas - a honey-soaked orange and spice cookie. Together, these two make up a crucial Greek foodie Christmas tradition, so we always make plenty! They’re also the traditional gift of choice when you’re invited around to somebody’s house for a Christmas get-together or house party - instead (or as well as!) a bottle of wine, we will bake up a plate piled high with Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. The rose water is optional, but I love the slight floral note it adds. Make sure not to add too much, though, as if you’re heavy-handed it can add a medicinal flavour. Rose goes perfectly with the almond and vanilla flavours, though, so don’t miss it out unless you dislike it! This Kourabiedes recipe might be different from your traditional British or American Christmas sweet treats, as it doesn’t contain orange, spices or dried fruit. But I can guarantee you will love this; this is one Greek festive food tradition you simply have to try!
If you prefer almonds without the skin, boil them for 2-3 minutes and then you can easily peel off their skin by pinching them.
You will need about 1 hour 20 minutes to make 50 pieces of this recipe, which has approximately 120 calories each. Make sure you have all the ingredients and follow these 10 simple steps. If you have any questions, send me an email and I’d be more than happy to help!
Spread the almonds on a baking tray and roast them in a preheated oven at 180º C (350º F) for 14 minutes or until they’re golden brown and set them aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Place the roasted almonds in a blender and pulse them lightly. We want them to still be chunky but not completely crushed.
Using a stand mixer, mix the butter and icing sugar at medium speed for 20 minutes until the butter gets fluffy and creamy (optionally at this point you may add the brandy and mix for 5 more minutes).
Add the sifted flour and baking powder to the stand mixer’s bowl and continue mixing until they’re well combined.
Take a small piece of the dough, shape it into a ball and gently press it with your palms to make a round cookie.
Place the cookies in a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 180º C (350º F) for about 22 minutes or until they’re lightly golden.
Watch it step-by-step!
This Kourabiedes recipe is central to our household’s foodie festivities come Christmas. That mixture of butter and almond makes for an authentic Kourampiedes recipe, and they’re just one of the best Greek Christmas cookies I can think of (though I do love Melomakarona too!).