Kourabiedes (κουραμπιέδες) are traditionally baked in Greece for Christmas, or occasionally for other family events like christenings.
In some parts of the country they are flavoured with Maticha (a liquor from Chios) or decorated with a clove, which symbolises the gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus on his birth.
Kourabiedes appeared in Greece during Ottoman rule (mid 15th century – 1821).
Back then, they were shaped into crescents to demonstrate deference to colonizers. Although, some people say it wasn’t the Ottoman crescent from which the Greeks shaped their festive biscuits, but the lack of cutting equipment and molds. They used to cut their cookies using the edge of a cup, giving Kourabiedes a natural curve.
With the following recipe, you’ll be able to make up to 100 biscuits!
Feel free to half the quantities… Although they usually go very fast.
– Butter: 600g
– Flour: 1kg
– Baking powder: 1 tea spoon
– Icing sugar: 1kg
– Vanilla extract
– Egg yolks: 2
– Crushed almonds: 250g
– Cognac or Brandy: 2 tablespoons
- Mix the butter with 1 cup of icing sugar. It’s easier if you use a mixer set on medium speed.
- Add the egg yolks and the vanilla extract.
- Sift 1kg of flour and the baking powder, and slowly add into the mix.
- Add the Cognac and then, the crushed almonds.
- Shape your Kourabiedes into circles or crescents.
- Put them on a tray with baking paper, leave them to rest for 20mn.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven at 160 degres Celsius.
- Put the Kourabiedes in the oven for 12 mn. Then turn the oven off but leave the biscuits inside until they become golden (about 5mn)
- Pour the rest of the icing sugar in a big bowl. Drop your biscuits in, two by two, for few seconds, until they are nice coated.
- For the finishing touch, display them on a nice tray or in a box, and sprinkle some more sugar on top so they look evenly white.
Thanks to Helen Amygdalaki Mylonadis for the perfect Kourabiedes recipe!