Packed with crunchy toasted almonds, these traditional Greek Almond Cookies (Kourambiedes) are deliciously buttery and crumbly. To get that Christmassy ‘snowed on’ look, the cookies are given a light spray of rosewater and a generous dusting of icing sugar.
I’ve been doing the rounds of cafes lately, specifically to try out as many versions of Greek Almond Cookies (Kourambiedes) as possible to see if my own recipe could be improved.
l ate far too many; but it was done in the name of research, of course!
Here’s what l found: some were too crumbly; others were so pasty that most of the cookie stuck to the roof of my mouth; others had so much rosewater infused that it felt like l was eating a bouquet of flowers.
Having trialled all those cookies, l’m happy with my own recipe just the way it is!!
TOP TIPS FOR A REALLY GOOD GREEK ALMOND COOKIE
- This is a buttery cookie, so if you can, use good quality butter.
- Make sure you beat the butter until it’s white (see photo).
- Toast the slivered almonds until just golden. This will take just a few minutes, so keep your eyes on them.
- Gently fold the flour and the chopped almonds through the butter mixture. You don’t want the mixture to become dense.
- Work the mixture until it comes together, is soft and you can easily form the desired shape.
- To avoid the cookies from colouring too quickly, place the baking tray on the lowest rack.
- Allow the cookies to cool before adding icing sugar. If you move them while warm, they will break.
Crescent shape or round, the choice is yours. As you can see, l favour the crescent shape. Go to instruction 11 on how to mould the round shapes and note 3 on how to make the crescents.
What do Greek Almond Cookies go well with? A good strong cup of Greek coffee, of course!! ☕️
Preparation Time: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes Makes: 30-35 cookies
- 250 g/9 oz unsalted butter (note 1)
- 300 g/10.5 oz plain/all purpose flour
- 100 g/3.5 oz almond meal
- 100 g/10.5 oz slivered almond toasted at 180 C for 5 minutes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp baking powder not bicarbonate of soda
For spraying and dusting
- 250 g/9 oz icing sugar
- 100 ml/3 fl oz rosewater
- Remove the butter from the fridge 2 hours ahead of time. The butter needs to be soft but still hold its shape when sliced with a knife.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.
- Chop the toasted slivered almonds (see photo). Set aside.
- Roughly chop butter.
- Using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed for 7 – 8 minutes until it turns very pale (see photo). Half way through, turn mixer off and scrape down the sides. Resume beating. If you use a hand held mixer, it may take a little longer.
- Place mixer on medium speed. Add the egg yolk, then the icing sugar. Once incorporated, beat on high speed for another 7 – 8 minutes. Half way through, turn mixer off and scrape down the sides. Resume beating.
- Mix the flour and baking powder.
- Remove bowl from the mixer. Add the flour and baking soda in batches. Mix gently with a spatula or use your hands to combine the ingredients.
- Add the chopped almonds. Combine until the mixture becomes soft and easy to mould into shapes (note 2).
- Pinch off 25 g/0.8 oz portions of the mixture. For round shapes, mould a portion into a ball, making an indentation in the centre of each ball. For crescent shapes refer to note 3.
- Transfer cookies onto a large baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper.
- Place tray onto the lowest rack of your oven. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. If you move them while still warm, they will break apart.
- Once cooled, place roughly 6 cookies on a wire rack at a time. Lightly spray with rosewater. Toss them into a bowl with icing sugar. Shake of excess icing sugar. Place cookies on a platter.
- Use a sieve to dust icing sugar over the cookies. This will give a lovely ‘snowed on’ effect.
- Enjoy with a cup of Greek coffee!!
- It’s worth buying a more expensive brand butter for this recipe.
- If the dough feels a little too sticky, you could do one of two things. 1. Add a little more almond meal (no more than 50 g/ 2 oz) or 2. Place the bowl in the fridge for 5 minute intervals until it firms up a little.
- To make the crescent shapes, roll 25 g/0.8 oz of the mixture into a ball. Roll the ball between the palm of your hands until your have a sausage shape measuring between 7 – 8 cm/3 – 3.5 “. Bend the shape to form a crescent.