Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Christmas Cookies) Recipe

December 03, 2016

Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Christmas Cookies) Recipe

These Greek Christmas cookies are super buttery and tender-they melt in your mouth! The 2 most popular shapes are rounds and half-moons, I like to do some of each. Sometimes a single clove is stuck into each cookie before baking. This is done to commemorate the spices which were among the gifts the Biblical Magi presented to baby Jesus.


  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: About three dozen cookies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon brandy, whiskey or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup very finely chopped toasted almonds, walnuts or pistachios (use food processor)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar for coating


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. You’ll need parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  2. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer 10 minutes or until very pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in egg yolk, brandy and vanilla. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and salt until blended.
  4. Stir in flour and nuts with a spatula just until blended.
  5. Roll rounded tablespoonfuls dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheets. (For crescent shape, roll into a log shape, place on baking sheet, then form into crescent shape.)
  6. Bake 1 sheet at a time on center rack, 16 to 18 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden on the bottoms.
  7. Remove pan to cooling rack and let stand 2 minutes. Meanwhile put 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl.
  8. One at a time, place hot cookies into bowl and turn to coat with sugar. Place on cooling rack to cool completely.

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