Kourabiedes (Greek Shortbread Cookies) Recipe
Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:33

Kourabiedes are one of the tastiest Greek shortbread cookie desserts you will ever come across. Sometimes made with brandy, vanilla, or mastika for flavouring, these butter cookies are the talk of the town during Christmas especially. The main difference between Kourabiedes and your regular shortbread cookies is that these delectable desserts usually contain almonds, and are heavily covered in icing sugar. These cookies can be messy to eat but are a delicious experience of traditional Greek cookies.

KOURABIEDES RECIPE (By Akis Petretzikis Greek Celebrity Chef)


  • 4 1/4 cups (1 kilo) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (500 gr) butter
  • 2/3 cup (160 gr) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (2 packets vanilla powder)
  • 1 cup (200 gr) blanched slivered almonds, toasted (toast for 5-10 minutes at 200* C (390*F)
  • caster sugar for dusting
  • rosewater

No mixer

  • 1/2 cup (125 gr) butter (goat milk butter, if available)
  • 1/2 cup (125 gr) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 gr) raw almonds, ground in a food processor
  • 2/4 cup (75 gr) caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. rosewater
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (2 packets vanilla powder)
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) almond slivers, toasted and cooled

For sprinkling and dusting:

  • rosewater
  • powdered sugar


  • Remove the butter from the refrigerator about 2-3 hours before using, so that it can soften at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 180* C (350*F) Fan.
  • In the mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the butter for 5-6 minutes on high speed until it turns white. Add the caster sugar and vanilla. Continue beating for another 5-7 minutes. As soon as the sugar is added, the volume of the butter may lessen but it will rise again. It will be ready when it looks like whipped cream.
  • Remove the mixing bowl and add the flour in batches. Gently fold in with a spatula and add then add the almonds.
  • The mixture should be soft but not that soft that it will stick to your hands.
  • Mold into balls the size of walnuts (25 g). Place them in rows, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make a small indentation on top of every little ball of dough with your finger. This way it will it can hold on to more caster sugar.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until they turn light golden.
  • Remove from oven. Carefully move them from the baking sheet and place them on to a wire rack to cool. They are very soft and crumbly when hot.
  • When cool, spray them with some rose water.
  • Put some caster sugar in a sieve and dust.

No mixer

  • Preheat oven to 200* C (390* F) Fan.
  • Place the almond slivers in a small baking pan. Put them in the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden. BE VERY CAREFUL because they can burn very easily, so you have to really watch them. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely. If they are added while hot, the whole recipe will ruin.
  • Leave the oven on at the same temperature.
  • Add all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix by your hands, until combined.
  • Add the ingredients for the 3rd mixture (the toasted almonds) , and mix by hand.
  • Mold into cookie shapes (20-25 g each). Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. It’s very important for the cookies to be as alike in shape and size as possible, so that they bake evenly.
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 180* C (350* F).  Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with rosewater and dust with caster sugar as heavily as you like!

Here’s a video of celebrity Greek chef Akis Petretzikis recipe on how to make Kourabiedes at home: