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 + more to roll the kourambiedes in
  • 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
  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 and butter mixture 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 sifted icing sugar before placing them on a serving plate
This is the recipe my Mom has been making for years and which she passed on to me. 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.