A Greek Tradition

Growing up in a Greek household, what I remember most is the cooking. Especially during the holidays, my grandma would always fill the house with the wonderful smells of her homemade Greek recipes. What I remember most fondly is the taste of my favorite butter cookies, called “Kourambiethes”. We continue this holiday tradition by baking my grandma’s “Kourambiethes” every Christmas. By using a decorative plate and some clear wrap or a holiday tin box to place them in, the cookies also make for a great do-it-yourself gift to share with friends and family.

Here is a fairly easy recipe:

  • 1 1/2 c. sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 stick (or two small sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. brandy
  • 1 cup confectioners’ powdered sugar, divided


Cream butter and 1/4 cup sugar in large mixer bowl until very light and fluffy, at least 5 to 10 minutes. (Do not beat less.) Beat in egg yolks, salt and vanilla. Continue to beat until very light. Stir in flour and baking powder mixture until smooth.


You can shape the dough, with cookie cutters, into crescents, circles, stars and hearts. Place 1″ apart on ungreased baking sheet or foil.



Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until pale golden (do not let them brown). Cookies will be fragile.

While cookies are still on the cookie sheet, sift generously with powdered sugar. Let stand until completely cooled.


Carefully transfer each cookie into a baking cup and onto a decorative plate.  You can then use some clear gift basket wrap (which can be found at any craft store) to “wrap’ your cookie tray and add a decorative bow to tie the wrapping.






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