Greek Christmas Shortbread Cookies / Kourambiedes

This Greek recipe for the classic Christmas cookies, kourabiedes, is my sister Koko's, passed down to her by her mother-in-law Yiorgia Touris, who was an amazing cook and baker. It's gone through several transformations and, truth be told, requires a little experience to perfect. My sister measures out her flour in cereal bowls, for example, because that's how Yiorgia did it! Greek Christmas always includes these delicious cookies. This recipe makes between 60 and 75, depending on how large you make the.

25 min
15 min


  • 12 oz. slivered almonds
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pound / 450 g whipped sweet butter at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp. Confectioner’s sugar, plus 2 - 3 cups sifted for dusting the cookies
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Cognac, Brandy or Scotch
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Lightly toast almonds then ground to the consistency of coarse bulgur wheat.

  2. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a whisk attachment. Whip the butter, egg yolks, 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar and the b. powder at medium speed until very creamy and smooth, about 8-9 minutes. As you whip the mixture, add the toasted, ground almonds in increments until you've added them all. Then, add and whip in the alcohol.

  3. Change the attachment on the mixer to the paddle. Mix at slow to medium speed and add the flour in increments of one cup at at a time. The mixture should not be sticky but neither should it be dry or too firm. The dough should be smooth and silky.

  4. Shape into traditional kourambie shapes, either little buttons about 1 to 1 1/4-inches in diameter, or small crescents. Bake on ungreased sheets for about 15 - 20 minutes at 375F / 170 C. These cookies should not brown. They should bake to a pale beige-golden color. Remove and cool slightly.

  5. Sift remaining confectioner’s sugar into a deep bowl and dip the cookies a few at a time into the confectioner's sugar. Place in cookie wrappers if desired and store in a cool, dry place.

Share it if you like it!