Kourabies (pl. kourabiedes), as most of you, who follow my blog, must know by now, are the Greek shortbread cookiesu00c2u00a0 made during Christmas.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 In the older times, before the use of the mixer, these cookies needed elaborate preparation and that was done by hand, so these were made for special occasions such as weddings, christenings and other celebrations.

Traditionally they were flavoured with rose water or blossom water. u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 Local butter, usually ewe’s and/or ewe’s and goat butter is used and roasted almonds are sometimes added.u00c2u00a0 They are then formed into round or crescent cookies which, after baking, are then coated with confectioners” sugar. u00c2u00a0 Through the centuries, other flavorings have been added in lieu of, or in combination with,u00c2u00a0 rose or blossom water, such asu00c2u00a0 lemon zest, orange zest, vanilla, etc.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 Liquor such as Metaxa brandy, Greek mastika, or ouzo are sometimes added to kourabiedes. u00c2u00a0 u00c2u00a0 After the cookies are removed from the oven and slightly cooled, rose water may be sprinkled on the cookies before dusting with sugar to help the coating to stick, although this method seems not be used any more.u00c2u00a0 We continue to do this in Cyprus for Loukoumia tou Gamou, our Wedding cookies.

Modern versions of kourabiedes now include other non traditional ingredients as well.

I have been making kourabiedes for many years and a very significant factor to have tasty kourabiedes lies mainly in the quality of butter used.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 This year I made them with a butter I never used before and quite frankly I was really afraid what the outcome would be.u00c2u00a0 I asked my husband to bring sheep’s butter and instead he brought a Cretan butter called Stakovoutyro, made of sheep’s and goat milk.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 Staka is the fresh cream skimmed off the top of milk andu00c2u00a0 Stakovoutyro is the buttercream (like clotted cream) made by cooking staka.u00c2u00a0 I know that all Cretan products are delicious but I didn’t know if I could use this butter to make kourabiedes.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 On the back of the jar it said suitable for cooking and for desserts, so I risked making them and the result was fabulous.

If you cannot find ewe’s or goat milk butter these can also be made with regular butter, although they will lack the characteristic taste, they will still be delicious.

This year I flavoured them with…. u00c2u00a0 and …u00c2u00a0 which gave them a wonderful flavour.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 They were perfect in taste and each bite they melted in your mouth, making you want to eat more and more.

This recipe also goes to Rosa, of Rosa’s Yummy Yums, for her even Pastries For Peace.

This recipe also goes to Susan of Food Blogga for her event Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 3

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to you all!!

This recipe goes to Cinzia of Cindystar, for her event Baking under the Christmas Tree.

Other relevant recipes:

Amygdalota with White Chocolate

Kourabiedes with Pistachios

Kourabiedes filled with Dates & Almonds, Cypriot recipe

Christopsomo (Christmas Bread)

Christopsomo with a twist

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26 u00cfu0083u00cfu0087u00cfu008cu00ceu00bbu00ceu00b9u00ceu00b1 on Melt in your mouth Kourabiedes

  1. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Reeni u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    These are so pretty Ivy! And I bet they are just heavenly tasting!

  2. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 pixen u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow..first time I made Kourabiedes was 5 years ago??? My family loves them so much as they never ate Greek version. In my country, the Malays will made something similar called Kuih Makmur with pounded peanuts & sugar inside, then moulded into any shapes you want but most of the time, it's rounded or oval shaped. :-) You can compared the recipe with Kourabiedes ..it's quite similar! :-)

  3. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Lisa Henderson u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow, your kourabiedes look phenomenal. I am definitely making these. Great idea of making them with a cookie cutter.

  4. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Zoe u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I have silently been reading your beautiful blog for a while and would like to thank you for all these lovely recipes you are sharing with us! I love Greek food and have made several of your recipes which were fantastic. I am definitely making these.

  5. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 cheryl u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I love these and the addition of the mastic liquor sounds lovely.
    Just in case you haven't heard, your photos are enticing!! Have a great day Ivy :)

  6. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 heni u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    O your tree looks lovely Ivy … makes me miss Christmas back home … not the same at all here! The cookies look great … I am sure taste great too! I think I will do this one with my daughter tis the season for cookies of course! Merry Christmas!

  7. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 BenHerrera u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I love the first picture, so Christmasy! I love the twist you gave these cookies this time. I need to start baking my cookies soon.

  8. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Happy Cook u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Love the idea it is fully covered with icing suagr which gives a real christmas feeling to it.
    They are so beautiful.
    I have never know you could have butter mixed with sheeps milk and goats milk.

  9. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Ivy

    Thanks everybody for the lovely comments. I've been very busy these days (like everybody else) and have only some hours in evening to post and hope to be visiting all of you soon.

  10. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 angiesrecipes u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Cool….I made some star cookies last year….maybe I should make some for this x'mas too! And you have a very beautiful x'mas tree.

  11. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Simona u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Isn't it nice when a product we've never tried before manages to please us beyond expectation? The cookies are lovely, in their star shape.

  12. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 elly u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I love kourambiedes! I decided not to make them myself this year (there will be plenty when I visit family of course) but i agree the quality of butter makes a big difference. Glad your results were great, and I love your stars!

  13. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 History of Greek Food u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Stakovoutyro is a wonderful butter! Women in Creatan villages make their kourambiedes with a combination of stakovoutyro and olive oil making the dough crunchy.

  14. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 tasteofbeirut u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    These remind me of our ghraybeh (even the name sounds similar) which are shortbread cookies. I like the addition of mastic liqueur especially. Here we use the mastic pebbles ground with a pinch of sugar, I had no idea you could get this liqueur!

  15. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 mary u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    with the exception of the mastic liqueur, these are exactly the way my yiayia taught my father to make kourabeides so that he could teach my mother and me. I have tried variations over the years, but this simple recipe is always always the best. And I love the star shape! Cookie cutters — what a great idea!


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