Easiest Homemade Kourabiedes recipe (Greek Christmas Butter Cookies)

Easiest Homemade Kourabiedes recipe (Greek Christmas Butter Cookies)

Posted in ***Most liked recipes***, 40 minutes or less, Baked, Beginner, Desserts, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Tea and Coffee nibbles, Traditional Greek Christmas Recipes Originally published on Last updated on By

Have a snowy Merry Christmas with these amazing festive sweet butter cookies! If you haven’t tried kourabiedes (Greek Christmas butter cookies) before, then you are certainly missing out! Soft, fluffy with a crunchy bite and rich almond (or pistachio if you are feeling adventurous) and butter flavour.. This super easy kourabiedes recipe will certainly set you on a festive mood!

Easiest homemade kourabiedes recipe

Kourabiedes is a delicious traditional Greek treat, packed with the aromas of  fresh butter and roasted almonds and garnished with luscious layers of  icing sugar.. The ultimate Christmas cookie! Once put in the oven, the aromas permeate the house and brings back childhood memories.. But, if you ever tried making your own homemade kourabiedes before, you must know that it surely takes some time and effort to succeed. Not any more! This kourabiedes recipe changes everything.. Ready to bake in less than 15 minutes, if you start now, you can be munching on these amazing festive snowy cookies in less than 35 minutes, and noone will ever know you cheated! (For the traditional Greek kourabiedes recipe click here>>)


  • 250g butter made from cows milk, cold (9 ounces) (Lurpak unsalted)
  • 150g almonds, roughly chopped or almond slivers, roasted (6 ounces)
  • 50g almonds (whole) or almond slivers, raw (1.8 ounces). Alternatively you can also give pistachios a try
  • 75g icing sugar (2.7 ounces)
  • 1 tbsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300g all-purpose flour (10.6 ounces)
  • lots of icing sugar for powdering


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. To prepare this kourabiedes (kourabiethes) 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.
  2. In a blender, add the raw almonds (50g/ 1.8 ounces) or the pistachios and blend, until powdered. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 and wear plastic gloves, when blending with your hands, so that the temperature of your hands doesn’t warm up the butter.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C; layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and form the kourabiedes. Roll 1 tbsp 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.
  6. Place the baking trays with the kourabiedes in second and fourth rack of the oven and turn the heat down to 180C. Bake for approx. 18-20 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.)
  7. Spray the kourabiedes with rosewater and sift with icing sugar. Enjoy!

Preparation gallery:


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  1. Rena Hemmert says:

    On the list of ingredients, it mentions 9 ounces of cows milk, but nowhere in the recipe does it state to add any milk. Can you please let me know if I missed something. Thank you!!! Rena

  2. Bear in mind if you use a mixer to mix ingredients, you run the risk of the kourabiedes becoming too hard (biscuity) as the gluten develops. Best way is to mix by hand as if you were making crumble and chill in between.

  3. hi! My cookies came out a little too large and a little flat. Any idea what I did wrong? Thanks

    • Hi Eleni,

      Probably used too much dough in each cookie and it spread out from the weight. Also the results depend on the flour used (too soft a flour might make them go a little flat)- try to cool the cookies in the fridge for a few minutes before cooking next time and they will hold shape a bit better…

    • Eleni, you probably used too much butter vs flour. Did you chill the dough before baking?

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  5. The recipe states to use a food processor but the pictures show a glass bowl, do you mean an electric beater for the butter? Thanks.

  6. Sandra Miceli says:

    My Greek neighbour makes these and I amuck she loves to share. It’s time to go say hello again, she must have a fresh batch by now. Her house always smells amazing from baking. I will be trying this recipe myself. Thank you for sharing.

  7. 18-20 minutes? I did turn it down to 180 degrees straight away but half the batch was burned after thirteen minutes.

  8. olivia stamoulis says:

    Does all purpose flour mean, plain or self raising flour

  9. Could you please confirm if all the times mentioned in step 3 (copied below) are correct? In other words, you really mean all of them in Seconds? and not minutes? Kind Regards

    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

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  11. Please convert the Celcius temperatures to Farenheight for American ovens.

  12. These sound perfect for our Mamma Mia/Greek party in December! How many biscuits should this recipe make so that I can increase the amounts for our 60 guests? Thanks!

    • Ive just made these, using I tablespoon of mixture to make the balls I have 14 ! You could make them smaller as they are like cookie size rather than bites. Cut the time in the oven though !

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  17. Fariya Kazi says:

    Hello, is there any substitute for all purpose flour for people on gluten free diet? If so, will that change the taste?

    • You can use corn flour but any other flour would alter the taste. Be warned that using corn flour will make them very fragile. I recommend using finely ground almonds and corn flour to achieve best consistency. Let us know how it goes!

      • Yeah Im not sure how nice it will be with Corn flour. Its harder in texture, will be more crumbly I would think. If you do try it, let me know how it goes!

  18. Can I use pecans instead of almonds?

  19. I was just about to make these but I don’t have almonds. Do u think I can make them with pecan? My friend use to make these and added ammonia. Do u know how much I would use. Thank u in advance .
    Merry Xmas and a healthy happy New Year. Nina

  20. Nut allergies in this family, too. Grandma made them with sesame seeds.

  21. Giasas
    I love these cookies. Thanks for this recipe as well as for all the other spot on recipes!!!! Great site.
    The thing is the kourabiethes from our local bakery here (in Greece, where I just spent xmas and new years again) are good, but not good enough… Too much oil instead of butter and no rosewater, etc… close but no banana…

    …so I decided to go for a mission and try better myself this year with the help of your website. I went looking for the best almonds around (not the supermarkt ones), got local handmade butter (which really is the 2nd most important if not the most important ingredient) and rosewater… Bingo! I totally burnt the first load of course but after that I was full on target (I like em a bit crispier anyway)…

    Only tiny adjustments to your recipe were mendatory… Sorry! Real vanilla! And a dash of Metaxa (Brandy)!!

    Here in Greece there are numerous recipes of course. Some ask for goat milk or an egg even. In the old days before baking powder I was told soured milk (the mentioned goats milk) and alcohol were doing the raising job! This I find highly interessting and I may try variations without baking powder next time though I am very happy with the result this time. Thanks again (I am not up for any other nuts than almonds for this particular cookie though – but I dont have an allergy either…).

    Oh, and put 2 good pinches of salt! It just doubles the flavours, adds a whole new dimension and really lifts it to perfection.

    Cheers, and
    HAPPY NEW YEAR! ευτυχισμένο νέο έτος,

    • Maria-Olga says:

      Spot on, Tony! Salt does enhance the flavour and buttermilk will create a fluffier kourabie. There is no need for baking powder and brandy does give it a lovely flavour (brandy in dough, rosewater after they bake). Only one observation on your comments: kourabiedes cannot be crispy. Even if you overbake them, they will naturally soak up humidity from the air and turn soft. If you eat crispy kourabiedes, you are not eating kourabiedes but biscuits. The joy of kourabiedes is for them to melt in your mouth 🙂 Xronia polla.

  22. These turned out great! I put the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours to avoid spreading. But otherwise followed all directions and they came out perfect. And for those who do not know conversions, please remember you are on the internet. All you have to do is google Celsius to Fahrenheit to get the conversion.

  23. these are the best, thanks for the recipe!

  24. Hi there’s no eggs in this recipe?

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