Have a snowy Merry Christmas with these festive sweet butter cookies! If you haven’t tried Greek kourabiedes /kourambiethes (Christmas Greek butter cookies) before, then you are certainly missing out! Deliciously buttery with a crunchy bite and rich almond (or pistachio if you are feeling adventurous) and butter flavour. This super easy kourabiedes recipe (kourambiethes) will certainly set you on a festive mood!
Easiest homemade kourabiedes recipe / Greek Butter cookies
Kourabiedes (kourambiethes) are these delicious traditional Greek butter cookies, packed with the aromas of roasted almonds and fresh butter and garnished with luscious layers of icing sugar. The ultimate Christmas cookie! Once put in the oven, the aromas permeate the house and bring back childhood memories!
But, if you ever tried making your own homemade kourabiedes before, you must know that it takes some time and effort to succeed. Not any more! This kourabiedes recipe changes everything. By using a food processor the time and effort required to mix the ingredients together is cut in half without compromising on their delicious texture and taste. Don’t have a food processor? Don’t worry, you can still follow the same recipe but use a hand mixer to blend the ingredients together.
The result? This recipe is ready to bake in less than 15 minutes and ready to eat in less than 35 minutes! And best of all? No one will ever know you cheated!
How to make the perfect Kourabiedes?
Over the years I have tried many Kourabiedes recipes. There are a few tips and tricks to make them to perfection that most recipes won’t tell you. So lets get started!
Firstly, make sure you use good quality, unsalted, cows milk butter. Kourabiedes are, in effect, an almond shortbread where butter is one of the key ingredients and provides their foundation flavour.
What gives Kourabiedes their unique flavour and aroma is rose water. But rose water is not always as easy to find. Your best bet would be a Greek deli or just buy it online. You can find rose water for cooking on Amazon. If you live in the UK, you can find it here, in the US take a look here, in Canada take a look here and for Australia here. Make sure you get the version for cooking. My personal favourite is Cortas rose water!
How to prevent Kourabiedes from flattening when baking?
One of the difficulties with making shortbread type cookies is that they tend to spread when baking. This happens because the butter softens before the flour is baked to give it structure. So what can you do to avoid your kourabiedes looking like pancakes?
Firstly make sure your butter warms up as little as possible. Use it cold, straight out of the fridge, and handle it as little as possible and most importantly of all, when you have your kourabiedes shaped on the baking tray, stick them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before baking.
Secondly, give your kourabiedes the right shape. Portion them in 30-35 grams / 1-1.2oz balls. Shape them into a small ball using the palm of your hands and then squash them into an equally tall and wide cylinder. Place them on the baking tray and push the top in with your finger to make a little dimple in the middle.
Finally make sure you have spaced them apart about a couple of fingers width from each other. They will spread a little so you don’t want them to stick to each other when baking!
So go ahead, give them a try and let me know what you think! If you love ouzo, take a look at my kourabiedes recipe with ouzo. Looking for more Christmas inspiration? Take a look at my delicious Christmas recipes collection featuring my very best Melomakarona, Vasilopita (New Years cake), Diples and Christopsomo (greek christmas bread with walnuts) recipes!Print
If you think that making homemade kourabiedes / kourambiethes (Christmas Greek butter cookies with almonds) takes lots of time and effort, try this super easy recipe!
- 250g butter made from cows milk, cold (9 ounces, 1.1 cups) (Lurpak unsalted)
- 150g almonds, roughly chopped or almond slivers, roasted (6 ounces, 1 1/4 cups)
- 50g almonds (whole) or almond slivers, raw (1.8 ounces, 1/4 cups)
- 75g icing sugar (2.7 ounces, 1/2 cups)
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 400g all-purpose (plain) flour (14.2 ounces, 3 1/5 cups)
- lots of icing sugar for powdering
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 390F. To prepare this kourabiedes (kourambiethes) recipe start by roasting the almonds. Place the roughly chopped almonds (150g/ 6 ounces) or almond silvers on a baking tray and sprinkle with some water. Bake them for 7-8 minutes, until roasted, being careful not to burn them. Set aside or put in the fridge to cool.
- In a blender, add the raw almonds (50g/ 1.8 ounces) or the pistachios and blend, until powdered. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the cold butter and sugar; mix for about 10 seconds, until the butter ‘breaks’ and is completely dissolved. Add the powdered almonds, a pinch of salt, the rosewater and the vanilla extract; mix for 10-20 seconds, until combined. At the end, add the baking powder and flour and mix again for 10-15 seconds.
- Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the roasted almonds; blend lightly with your hands. For the kourabiedes to remain fluffy, it is important that the butter doesn’t warm up and melt. So wait for a while for the roasted almonds to cool, before adding them to the butter mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 170C / 340F. Layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and form the kourabiedes.
- Roll 1 tbsp (about 30g) of the dough into a ball, place on the baking tray and push with your finger in the middle, to form a little dimple. Continue with the rest of the dough. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes until you prepare your next tray.
- Place the baking trays with the kourabiedes in second and fourth rack of the oven. Bake for approx. 15-20 minutes, until they have a very faint golden tint and are cooked through. Be careful not to overbake them.
- Leave the kourabiedes aside to cool down for a while. If you try to lift them, while still warm, they will break!
- Spray the kourabiedes with rosewater and sift with icing sugar. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 196kcal
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 95.5mg
- Fat: 12.2g
- Saturated Fat: 5.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 19.6g
- Fiber: 1.4g
- Protein: 3.1g
- Cholesterol: 21.5mg
Keywords: kourabiedes, kourambiethes, Rosewater cookies, Greek christmas butter cookies, Greek almond cookies