Irene’s Kourabiedes (Kourabiethes) (Greek Butter Cookies)

Kourabiedes are a traditional Greek cookie made for special occasions like Christmas. They are butter cookies covered with icing sugar and are a favourite among Greeks. This recipe makes a huge amount of cookies (about 8 dozen), so feel free to cut the recipe in half or simply give them away to loved ones as gifts!

2 lbs of unsalted butter
1 lb of Crisko
1 cup of icing sugar
2 cups of sliced and toasted almonds
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of ouzo*
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda
10 cups of flour
½ cup of rose water
About 3-4 cups of icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Using an electric blender, cream the softened butters together. Blend for about 5 minutes as you scrape the sides of the bowl. Slowly add in the icing sugar followed by the toasted almonds (be sure to toast the almonds in the oven for about 6-7 minutes at a low heat before you begin making the cookies). As you continue to blend the mixture, add in the egg yolks. Add the ouzo and vanilla and continue to blend. Add the baking powder and baking soda to the mixture (be sure to mix it with a cup of flour before you slowly add it to the mixture). Slowly add the remaining flour and continue to mix with the electric blender. With your hands, knead the dough for a few minutes. You can tell the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands as you knead it.

To shape the dough you may use a cookie cutter or simply shape the dough into small crescents and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Once the cookies have finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle the cookies with rose water. Allow the cookies to cool slightly and then roll each cookie in a bowl of icing sugar. Set on a decorative plate. Enjoy!

*in this video Irene uses ouzo, but you could use either cognac or brandy (Metaxa is usually used)

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39 Responses to “Irene’s Kourabiedes (Kourabiethes) (Greek Butter Cookies)”

  • Ouzo and rose water? These cookies must smell amazing as they bake!

  • Very nice. The cookies look delicious. Such a beautiful presentation.

  • I had these for Christmas at a cookie exchange. Yum!

  • This is my very favourite cookie except I call them cocaine cookies :). I’m also very fortunate to have a lovely Greek lady living close to me who sent her son over with a box of them.

  • Nice site! So many of the Greek recipes are similar to recipes in Arab culture. “Kourabiedes” even means “white balls” in Arabic :)

  • Hi Mercina! Thanks for stopping by to comment on my blog. I’ve been browsing through yours and I love the concept it’s based on! These cookies look delightful. I will definitely be a frequent visitor. All the best!

  • these are my *all* time favourite Greek biscuits! i normally get my stash from a Greek cake store in Melbourne called Delphi Cakes, but thanks to Irene’s recipes i can now have them all the time :-)

  • We’re so glad we could help!

  • Hi Mercina,

    thanks for the comment. you’ve got a beautiful blog. I’ve already tried a recipe from here ( Kulfi). Your cookies look yummy. I’ve got something for you in my site.

  • Thank you so much for the recipe. But the only problem is that when they cook, no matter how much in the oven, they are always soft and break when you lift them….
    I do not know why….

  • What is rose water?

  • I didn’t have ouzo but made them with rakija (plum brandy) instead. Yes, I know, it’s not Greek (it’s Serbian), but they still tasted great. Very flaky and rich.

  • Wow!! This is AMAZING!!
    I would like to try making it too but is it alright if I dont do it for Christmas? Or is it only right to do it for Christmas? But I love this and I’m going to try and make it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • First of all, more flour is required because it’s too sticky to mold otherwise. I would say we used about 12 cups of flour. Also, don’t use patry flour, use all purpose flour because pastry flour is more flaky and the cookies tend to break more. Also, 300F is too low to bake these cookies…it’s gonna take forever. I find that these cookies need 350F and bake them for 22 minutes. Please be careful when you handle these cookies…because of their very flaky nature, then can break so make sure they cool first and when you make them into a cresent shape, make sure they are a bit thick….they dont get too big in the oven which is good so what you see before the oven is pretty much what you get when they are fully baked…they may get a bit bigger when baking but not by much.

  • Thanks for this amazing recipe. I made it for my husband and his family, he is greek and his family was amazed that i could make this. Without your recipe i wouldnt have been able to make it for them, and they want it for Christmas agian.


  • I have tried many recipes of kourabiedes. I stumbled upon this one as I was looking for a different one this Easter. The cookies came out exactly the way it’s supposed to taste. I will stick with this recipe and adopt it as my own for my family. Thank you Irene.
    PS. By the way you have a beautiful kitchen!!!! And Happy Easter

  • HOLA
    Need to know What is the CRISKO and What is the use in the recipe of the kourabiedes

  • Thanks so much for this amazing-sounding recipe. I think I’ll make them for the New Year to share with my family. I have one question: How much vanilla do you use? In the video you say to use 2 Tablespoons of vanilla but the recipe reads 2 teaspoons. Thanks for clearing that up. And have a wonderful 2012.

  • Hi there to all, since I am in fact eager of reading this web site’s post to be updated
    daily. It contains fastidious material.

  • I just adore these cookies. I have been making these for the past 20 years from an old Greek cook book that I have but now I will try your recipe too. These are the best and just melt in your mouth.. I always makes heaps and I love to distribute them to all my neighbours. Thank you for all the wonderful Greek recipes. Food truly brings people together. Merry Christmas

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