Kourabiedes or Greek cookies with powdered sugar are buttery, crumbly and not too sweet. These almond shortbread cookies are also known as wedding cookies, Christmas cookies or Easter cookies because they are usually served at these occasions.
This is the perfect cookie, that not only tastes and looks good, and is simple to make. It’s great as a holiday treat for gift giving or sharing any time.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- They are very simple to make.
- Can be prepared in advance.
- They can be an inexpensive and delicious food gift idea for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s day, Christenings and other special occasions.
- These easy butter cookies can be made as homemade wedding cookie favours.
- These can be made with or without the use of a mixer.
🍳 Step By Step Instructions
Preparing the butter
The butter needs to be very soft and this can be achieved in two ways and either of these will work for this recipe.
- Use and electric mixer to beat room temperature butter until it is soft and smooth. I use this method when the temperature is cool, and the butter hasn’t quite softened enough. Or,
- Use very soft butter that is easy to mix with a spatula. This is butter that has been left out at room temperature on very hot days 30°C and above. You could also soften the butter in the microwave, being careful not to melt it.
You basically want the butter to be very soft, lump free and smooth before making the cookie dough.
Toast the almonds
Place the nuts into a dry frying pan, and cook over a medium/low heat, stirring until light golden brown. As soon as the nuts are a light golden color turn off the heat, transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
If you leave the nuts in the hot pan, even after the heat has been turned off, they will continue to go darker because, of the heat retained in the pan.
Chop the almonds
Place the cooled nuts onto a large chopping board and use a large knife to cut into small pieces.
How To Shape Kouradiedes
There are several methods of shaping these Greek cookies with powdered sugar. You could choose to stay with one shape or mix it up for variety.
Tip: If you are making this on a very hot day or, the dough is too soft to work with, refrigerate for about 30 – 60 minutes, before shaping the cookies.
Shape by hand
To make crescents
Take spoonfuls (20 grams) of the mixture and roll on the bench to form small logs about 9 cm long, then curve the dough into a “C” shape.
To make balls or thumbprint cookies
Take spoonfuls (20 grams) of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands. These can be left as balls or press the centre with you thumb for thumbprint cookies.
Cookie Cutter Cookies
Make sure the dough is chilled and slightly firm when making cut out cookies.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough lightly to form a ball. Then lightly dust the bench before shaping the dough into a square or rectangular shape that’s about 1 cm thick.
Cut shapes using cookie cutters that are about 4 cm in size. Then combine the dough scraps and press out again into a 1 cm thick square and cut out more shapes, repeat until all the dough is used. Use a spatula to lift and transfer the cut cookie shapes to baking trays.
📝 Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, these cookies and be frozen cooked (but not dipped into powdered sugar) for up to three months, when required allow the cookies to thaw and roll in powdered sugar before serving.
Alternatively, uncooked and shaped cookie dough and be frozen for up to three months. When required place the frozen cookie dough onto baking tray and bake from frozen, add about 5 more minutes to the cooking time.
This recipe makes 33, 20-gram cookies with about 73 calories and 3 grams of fat each.
These can be left out for about 5 – 7 days in an airtight container. For longer storage consider placing them in the fridge or freezing.
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📋 Recipe Card
Greek Cookies With Powdered Sugar
- Electric mixer (optional)
- Metric scales, measuring spoons
- Lage mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Rolling pin (optional)
- 4 cm (1.57 inches) cookie cutter (optional)
- baking trays
- Baking paper
- 120 grams (4.23 ounces) slivered almonds
- 180 grams (6.34 ounces) butter softened
- 90 grams (3.17 ounces) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 250 grams (8.81 ounces) plain flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder sift this into the flour
- 30 grams (1 ounce) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon ouzo (water, milk or orange/lemon/lime juice can also be used)
- 1 cup icing sugar for dusting
Toasting the nuts
- Place the nuts into a dry frying pan and cook over medium heat while stirring. Cook the nuts until they turn a light brown colour, transfer to a plate and allow to cool, then roughly chop the nuts.Note: once the nuts have light browned remove from the pan. If left to cool in the pan they will continue to cook from the heat left in the pan.
Prepare the butter
- Allow the butter to come to room temperature several hours before you start making the recipe.
- If you are using a mixer:
Place the butter into a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer and beat on medium/high speed until light and fluffy – about 5- 10 minutes.
- If you don’t have a mixer:
You will need to make sure that the butter is very soft. It needs to be so soft that it can be mixed easily with a spatula. It should be lump free and smooth, almost like a whipped cream consistency.
Depending on the temperature of the day, you may need to soften the butter a little more with heat, be careful not to melt the butter into a liquid.
However, if you do melt it slightly don’t worry you can still use it, just put it in the fridge for 5 - 10 minutes, to cool down and firm up a little.
Then place the softened butter into a large mixing bowl and give it a quick stir with a spatula.
Making the cookie dough
- Sift the icing sugar into the bowl with the butter, mix well with a wooden spoon.Add the egg yolk, vanilla, ouzo (or water) and mix until it just combined. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add the almond meal and chopped nuts. Stir well until just combined.
Shaping the cookies
- If you are making this on a very hot day or, the dough is too soft to work with, refrigerate for about 30 – 60 minutes, before shaping the cookies.
- Option 1: Crescent shapes
Take spoonfuls (20 grams) of the mixture and roll on the bench to form small logs about 9 cm long, then curve the dough into a “C” shape. Place the shapes, spaced well apart onto baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Option 2: Make balls
Take spoonfuls (20 grams) of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands. These can be left as balls or press the centre with you thumb for thumbprint cookies. Place the shaped cookie dough spaced will apart onto baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Option 3: Make cut out cookies Make sure the dough is chilled and slightly firm when making cut out cookies. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough lightly to form a ball. Then lightly dust the bench before shaping the dough into a square or rectangular shape that’s about 1 cm thick. Cut shapes using cookie cutters that are about 4 cm in size. Then combine the dough scraps and press out again into a 1 cm thick square and cut out more shapes, repeat until all the dough is used. Use a spatula to lift and transfer the cut cookie shapes to baking trays lined with baking paper, spacing them well apart.
Chill the dough before baking
- Place the trays with dough shapes into the fridge for about 1 hour before baking.
Note: At this stage you could also freeze the cookie dough shapes to bake later.
To freeze: Fit as many cookie shapes onto the tray as you can, but make sure that they don’t touch each other. Put into the freezer for several hours or overnight. Then transfer to sealed containers, separating each layer with baking paper, return to the freezer until needed. These can be baked from frozen, add about 5 minutes more to the baking time.
To bake the cookies
- Bake in preheated oven 170°C (340°F )for 20 – 25 minutes or just until lightly colored.Remove from the oven, leave to cool on trays for 10 minutes, then roll in icing sugar while still warm and allow to cool completely.Then roll the cookies again in more icing sugar. Then store in an airtight container.