Chocolate Kourambiedes (Greek Christmas cookies)
  • Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Servings: Approx. 30 medium-sized
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
  • ½ lb voutiro galaktos or unsalted butter, softened but not melted
  • ¾ espresso cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ espresso cup cognac
  • ¼ espresso cup orange blossom water + more to brush
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup whole almonds (with the skins), coarsely chopped and toasted in a little voutiro galaktos or unsalted butter
  • ½ lb flour
  • 3.5 oz melted bitter chocolate (Lindt 70% cocoa solids is the best) or 1.7 oz melted bitter chocolate + 1 tsp sifted cocoa powder (we used unsweetened cocoa powder but you may want to experiment with whatever type of cocoa powder you prefer)
  • Icing sugar and cocoa powder to roll the kourambiedes in
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (180°C/355°F if you have a fan-assisted oven)
  2. In a Magimix, mix the butter and icing sugar for 10 minutes until fluffy (if using voutiro galaktos, it should become foamy)
  3. Add the egg yolk and beat well
  4. Slowly add the cognac and orange blossom water, and beat for another 20 minutes
  5. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda
  6. Add the toasted almonds, butter mixture and chocolate (or chocolate + cocoa powder mix) and mix by hand until well combined and the dough no longer sticks to the bowl
  7. Shape the dough into medium-sized balls and place on a non-stick cookie sheet, or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
  9. Allow to cool slightly
  10. While they're still warm, brush them with a little orange blossom water (just one touch or tow), then roll them in a mix of sifted icing sugar and cocoa powder (ratio is approx. 1 tbsp sugar for 1 tbsp cocoa powder) before placing them on a serving plate
Last year, we tried chocolate kourambiedes for the first time and they were quite good, so this year we decided to try them. Although my Mom has a recipe for chocolate kourambiedes, we decided to use her basic recipe. Just a couple of notes on the recipe: Kourambiedes are normally made with a butter made from a mix of goat's and sheep's milk, called "voutiro galaktos" (I think it's called "butter oil" in English), but you can use regular unsalted butter. The original recipe calls for some ingredients being measured in a "small teacup" which is the ones Greeks drink their Greek coffee in - you can use an espresso cup.