Greek Almond Cookies Kourabiedes


The moment you take a bite of a Kourabiede, you’ll experience flavours that dance on your palate. These almond-based shortbread cookies are renowned for their delicate and crumbly texture, offering a satisfying melt-in-your-mouth experience. The key ingredient that gives Kourabiedes their distinct flavour is the use of roasted almonds, which provide a nutty and subtly sweet taste that lingers long after each bite.

While many cookies are enjoyable, Kourabiedes possess a unique selling point that sets them apart from the rest. These cookies offer a harmonious combination of simplicity and decadence. With just a handful of ingredients, Kourabiedes capture the essence of Greek hospitality and the celebration of life’s special moments.

Ingredients For Kourabiedes Recipe 

To prepare a batch of delicious Kourabiedes, you will need the following major ingredients:

  • Butter: 2 cups unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • Powdered Sugar: 1 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • Almonds: 1 cup, blanched and roasted
  • All-Purpose Flour: 4 cups
  • Brandy or Orange Juice: 1/2 cup brandy or orange juice (optional)
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Baking Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Pinch of Salt

Optional ingredients for variations or additional flavours:

  • Lemon or orange zest: 1 teaspoon, finely grated
  • Ground cinnamon: Β½ teaspoon
  • Ground cloves: ΒΌ teaspoon

Note: It is important to ensure that all the ingredients are at room temperature, except for the almonds which should be roasted and cooled.

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Step-by-Step Guide For Kourabiedes Recipe Cooking Direction

A step-by-step guide to help you create delicious Kourabiedes from scratch:

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

  • Preheat your oven to 350Β°F (175Β°C) to ensure it’s properly heated by the time you’re ready to bake the Kourabiedes.

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

  • Gather all the necessary ingredients and measure them according to the quantities mentioned in the recipe. Finely chop the roasted almonds, if they’re not already chopped.

Step 3: Cream the Butter and Sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer or whisk until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This process helps incorporate air into the mixture and ensures a tender texture for the Kourabiedes.

Step 4: Add the vanilla extract and brandy/orange juice (optional)

  • Add the vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture, followed by the brandy or orange juice if you’re opting for this additional flavour. Mix well to combine. The vanilla extract adds a delightful aroma, while the brandy or orange juice provides a subtle tang.

Step 5: Incorporate the Almonds and Dry Ingredients

  • Gradually add the finely chopped roasted almonds to the mixture, stirring well to distribute them evenly. In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture gradually, stirring continuously until the dough comes together.

Step 6: Shape the Cookies

  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball, roughly the size of a walnut. Repeat this process until all the dough is used. You can adjust the size according to your preference, keeping in mind that Kourabiedes are typically bite-sized.

Step 7: Bake the Kourabiedes

  • Place the shaped dough balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a little space between each cookie to allow for slight spreading during baking. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the Kourabiedes turn a light golden colour.

Step 8: Dust with Powdered Sugar

  • Once the Kourabiedes are baked and while they’re still warm, generously dust them with powdered sugar. Place a good amount of powdered sugar in a sieve or a small fine-mesh strainer and gently shake it over the cookies, coating them entirely.

Step 9: Cool and Store

  • Allow the Kourabiedes to cool completely on a wire rack before transferring them to an airtight container for storage. The cookies will become firmer as they cool down.

Equipment For Preparing Kourabiedes 

To prepare Kourabiedes, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Mixing Bowls: Have a few mixing bowls of different sizes on hand. They’ll be used for various steps, such as creaming the butter and sugar, combining dry ingredients, and shaping the dough.
  • Electric Mixer or Whisk: An electric mixer or a handheld whisk will make the process of creaming the butter and sugar easier and quicker. It will help achieve a light and fluffy texture for the Kourabiedes.
  • Baking Sheet: You’ll need a baking sheet to place the shaped Kourabiedes on for baking. Opt for a sheet with a non-stick surface or line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  • Parchment Paper: If your baking sheet isn’t non-stick, parchment paper will ensure that the Kourabiedes don’t stick to the sheet while baking. It also helps with easy cleanup afterwards.
  • Wire Rack: After baking, you’ll need a wire rack to cool the Kourabiedes completely. This allows air to circulate the cookies, preventing them from becoming soggy.
  • Sieve or Fine-Mesh Strainer: A sieve or a fine-mesh strainer is essential for dusting the powdered sugar over the baked Kourabiedes. It helps evenly distribute the sugar and gives the cookies their signature sweet coating.
  • Airtight Container: Once the Kourabiedes have cooled, store them in an airtight container to maintain their freshness. This will help preserve their delicate texture and prevent them from absorbing any unwanted flavours or odours.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial for baking. Have a set of measuring cups and spoons to ensure you add the right quantities of ingredients, maintaining the perfect balance of flavours in your Kourabiedes.

Greek Almond Cookies Kourabiedes

Kourabiedes are traditional Greek Christmas cookies known for their delicate texture, fragrant aroma, and delightful taste. These buttery almond-based treats, coated in powdered sugar, are a perfect addition to your holiday celebrations or any special occasion.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Servings 30 Cookies
Calories 120 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brandy or orange juice (optional)
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, finely chopped
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350Β°F (175Β°C).
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the vanilla extract and brandy/orange juice (if using) to the mixture and mix well.
  • Stir in the finely chopped roasted almonds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined.
  • Shape the dough into small balls, roughly the size of a walnut, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the Kourabiedes in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until they turn a light golden colour.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.
  • Generously dust the cooled Kourabiedes with powdered sugar using a sieve or fine-mesh strainer.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Video

Keyword Almond flour, Kourabiedes, softened butter, vanilla extract

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Kourabiedes 

These expert tips and tricks will help you to prepare delicious Kourabiedes:

Softened Butter

Ensure that the butter is properly softened before creaming it with the sugar. Softened butter easily incorporates air, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. 

Take the butter out of the refrigerator in advance and allow it to soften at room temperature for about 1-2 hours.

Creaming Technique

When creaming the butter and sugar, aim for a pale and fluffy mixture. Use an electric mixer or a whisk at medium speed to incorporate air into the mixture. This step is essential for creating a tender texture in the final cookies.

Roasted Almonds

For optimal flavour, use roasted almonds and finely chop them. Roasting enhances the nuttiness of the almonds and adds a lovely depth of flavour to the Kourabiedes. You can roast the almonds yourself by spreading them on a baking sheet and baking them in a preheated oven at 350Β°F (175Β°C) for about 10-15 minutes until they become fragrant and slightly golden. Let them cool before chopping.

Incorporating Dry Ingredients

When adding the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) to the butter mixture, do so gradually. This ensures even distribution and prevents clumps in the dough. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix, as it can result in a tougher texture.

Shaping the Cookies

When shaping the dough into balls, aim for uniformity in size to ensure even baking. A common size is roughly that of a walnut, but you can adjust it according to your preference. 

Roll the dough gently between your palms to form smooth balls, applying light pressure. Avoid over-handling the dough, as it can affect the texture of the final cookies.

Proper Spacing on the Baking Sheet

Leave enough space between the shaped Kourabiedes on the baking sheet. They will spread slightly during baking, and adequate spacing prevents them from sticking together. This also allows for even browning and ensures that each cookie has enough room to develop its characteristic shape.

Dusting with Powdered Sugar

The final touch of powdered sugar adds visual appeal and a touch of sweetness. Generously dust the cooled Kourabiedes with powdered sugar using a sieve or fine-mesh strainer. The sugar should coat the cookies entirely, forming a beautiful white layer. If desired, you can repeat the dusting after the first layer settles.

Cooling and Storage

Allow the baked Kourabiedes to cool completely on a wire rack before transferring them to an airtight container for storage. Cooling ensures that the cookies firm up properly and retain their delicate texture. Store them in a cool, dry place, and they will stay fresh for several days.

What To Take With Almond Cookies Kourabiedes

Here are what you should consider taking with your almond cookies, Kourabiedes:

A Cup of Coffee or Tea

Kourabiedes pair exceptionally well with a cup of coffee or tea. The slightly bitter and aromatic flavours of coffee or the calming essence of tea complement the sweetness and nuttiness of the cookies. 

The hot beverage helps balance the richness of the cookies and enhances the overall experience.

A Dusting of Powdered Sugar

Kourabiedes are generously coated with powdered sugar, giving them a sweet and delicate exterior. Consider bringing some extra powdered sugar to sprinkle over the cookies just before serving. This not only adds an extra layer of sweetness but also enhances their look.

Fresh Citrus Zest

The citrus zest provides a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of the cookies. You can serve the cookies with a side of citrus zest for those who enjoy a citrusy twist.

A Glass of Brandy or Dessert Wine

Consider serving these cookies with a small glass of brandy or a sweet dessert wine, like a Moscato or Vin Santo. The combination of the cookies and the beverage can create a delightful pairing, especially when enjoyed after a meal.

Nuts and Dried Fruits

To create a Mediterranean-inspired platter, you can include some extra almonds, walnuts, or other nuts along with dried fruits like figs or dates.Β 

Can I Make Kourabiedes Without Alcohol?

While traditional Kourabiedes recipes often call for a small amount of brandy or other spirits for flavour, it’s entirely possible to create delicious non-alcoholic versions. To replace the alcohol, consider using vanilla extract, almond extract, or even a bit of orange blossom water for a lovely aromatic twist.

These flavourings can give your Kourabiedes the same depth and complexity that alcohol would provide. Alternatively, you can omit the alcohol entirely and focus on the other essential ingredients like finely ground almonds, butter, and powdered sugar to maintain the classic texture and sweetness of these Greek almond cookies.

How Long Do Kourabiedes Stay Fresh?

Kourabiedes typically stay fresh for an extended period due to their composition. These almond cookies have a high-fat content from butter and a low moisture content, which helps preserve their freshness. When stored in an airtight container at room temperature, Kourabiedes can remain good for up to 2-3 weeks.

To maintain their texture and flavour, it’s essential to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and strong odours that can affect their taste. Additionally, some people prefer to place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper between layers of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.

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