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Kourambiedes, the Greek Christmas shortbread cookies

My Family Recipe for Kourambiedes, Greek Christmas Cookies

My sister Koko, short for Konstantina, makes these delicious, traditional Greek Christmas shortbread cookies every year and this is her recipes. Share them with friends and family and give them as gifts. Try a Greek dessert wine, such as the sweet wine of Monemvassia, with all your holiday sweets. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
SERVES 50

Ingredients

  • 8 oz./ 228 g blanched almonds
  • 16 oz. / 500 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 15 oz. / 440 g Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 75 ml Cognac/Brandy
  • 8 – 9 oz./ 225-275 g all-purpose flour sifted

Instructions

  1. Lightly toast almonds then ground to the consistency of coarse bulgur wheat.
  2. Whip the butter, egg yolks, 1 oz./ 28 gr. confectioner’s sugar and b. powder at high speed until very creamy and smooth, about 8-9 minutes. This is the secret to this recipe. Add almonds and brandy and beat another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the sifted flour in increments, starting with 175 gr. / 6 oz. (approx. 1 cup) then adding the remainder in 2 ½ tablespoon (50 g/ 1/7 g) increments, as needed, until the dough is smooth and silky and no longer sticks.
  4. Shape into traditional kourambie shapes. Bake on ungreased sheets for 10-12 minutes at 340F / 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 over the cookies.

Notes

You can shape kourambiedes all sorts of ways: As little buttons, about 1 ½ in. / 4 cm in diameter; small oblong fingers, about 2 in./ 5 cm long; or as hearts, diamonds, or crescents.