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+ servings

Kourabiedes: Greek Christmas Butter Cookies

The Ultimate Christmas Cookie: White as snow-Greek Butter Cookies-Kourabiedes, a delicious shortbread type cookie that melts in your mouth!
Course Dessert, holiday
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword Kourabiedes, Greek Butter Cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Author OliveTomato.com


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks room temperature)
  • 4 cups + ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon cognac or brandy or ouzo
  • 3 cups cake flour (regular flour will work too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup chopped or ground toasted almonds
  • Rosewater (look for it in middle eastern stores or make this substitute (see below)


  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F (180 Celsius)
  • In a large bowl whip the butter until white and fluffy. Add the ½ cup powdered sugar gradually. Continue mixing and add the egg yolk and the cognac or ouzo. In another bowl sift flour and mix well with the baking powder, add the chopped almonds. Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix. Knead for a few minutes and if needed add a bit more flour. This dough will be a bit sticky. Put the dough in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Remove from the refrigerator and make small round shapes about the size of a walnut and flatten a bit with your fingers. Another common shape is the crescent. My 3-year-old son also made some in the shape of a star using a cookie cutter.
  • Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Be careful not to over bake otherwise these cookies will be hard instead of having a melt-in-your-mouth quality.
  • Once you remove them from the oven sprinkle with some rose water or substitute.
  • Fill shallow bowl with the rest of the powdered sugar (4 cups), dip each kourabie in the sugar mixture making sure they are well covered with sugar, place on a large platter. Once you have 1 layer of kourabiedes on the platter, sift powdered sugar over the kourabiedes, continue the same process with the next layer, layering until you have small pyramid.


*Tip: Brush off some of the powdered sugar and save some calories.
*Make your own flower water substitute
Add to a small pot 1 ½ cup water, orange peel from 1 orange and some whole cloves. Bring the water to a boil, strain, and the flower water substitute is ready to use.