Kourabiethes – Powdered Sugar Greek Butter Cookies: A melt-in-your-mouth, festive and traditional Greek holiday cookie that is simple to prepare.
It is not uncommon to see these bite-sized snow-ball looking treats on the Greek dessert table during the holidays. These delicious and heavily powdered treats are called Kourabiethes and they are melt-in your mouth wonderful!
Like Baklava, Kourabiethes were introduced to the Greeks during the Ottomen Empire and variations were quickly created within villages and families. Kourabiethes are a typical dessert option for any celebration, but specifically at Christmas time some will place a single clove on the top of the cookie. The clove symbolizes the spices that were brought to the newly born baby Jesus as a gift from the Magi.
As a child I remember licking the powdered sugar and tossing the cookie. How was I to know I was tossing the best part?! The cookies are light and buttery. Some villages in Greece use goat butter or buffalo butter as their base, which are said make the cookie extra flakey and melt-in your mouth buttery.
Two Modern Variations: This basic recipe is a family favorite but this Holiday season I’ve added two new modern variations to the mix: Pistachio-Matcha flavored and Cinnamon flavored. My inspiration? I simply wanted to make green, red and white cookies for a festive look on a table, without using artificial food coloring. Turns out, these variations are not only festive looking; they’re pretty tasty too.
WARNING: These sweet cookies are not as innocent as they look. Be careful not to inhale when you take a bite or that powdery sugar will shoot straight down your throat causing the cough attack of your life. Some have nick-named theses sweets “choke cookies.”
- 5 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, milk and vanilla extract and combine until smooth.
- Slowly work in the flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. Shape dough into small balls, about a tablespoon in size.
- Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until very lightly browned.
- Allow cooling for 5 minutes, and then while the cookies are still warm, roll the cookie in confectioner’s sugar and top with more sifted confectioner’s sugar.
- This recipe yields 100 cookies. Simply cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch.
- Don't forget to check out my modern variations: Cinnamon Kourabiethes and Pistachio-Matcha Green Tea Kourabiethes.
©2016 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.
Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC. Please do not reprint this recipe without permission. If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source. Thank you!
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