Kourabiethes - Greek Shortbread Cookies with Confectioner's Sugar and Almonds

Kourabiethes - Greek Shortbread Cookies with Powdered Sugar and Almonds. Photo © Lynn Livanos Athan
  • Total: 70 mins
  • Prep: 50 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 40 cookies (up to 40 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
171 Calories
12g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40 cookies (up to 40 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 194mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 2g
Calcium 36mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Greek family celebration wouldn’t be complete without the delightful buttery goodness of Kourabiethes (koo-rah-BYEH-thes).

These are very rich cookies (as are most shortbread cookies) yet somehow lighter and melt-in- your-mouth good. Be sure to make extra because these will go fast!


  • 1 lb. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. ouzo
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder (substitute two tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped very finely
  • 1 lb. cake flour (about 3 1/2 - 4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Whole cloves for decoration (optional)

Steps to Make It

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add egg yolks and confectioner’s sugar. Mix well. Add the ouzo, vanilla, and the toasted chopped almonds.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. With the mixer on low, add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. You don’t want to over mix the dough because that will toughen the cookies.

Chilling the dough for about half an hour makes it easier to handle and roll.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Growing up, we shaped these as crescents but they can also be made round. To make a crescent, take a piece of dough about the size of a walnut. Roll it into a log and then curl the ends in and pinch slightly to make a half-moon or crescent shape.

Stud each cookie in the center with a whole clove and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until just beginning to brown.

When the cookies are still very warm, dredge in confectioner’s sugar. (Handle them with care!) The sugar layer will almost melt and coat the cookies. After the cookies cool a bit, add another dusting of confectioner’s sugar.

(Remove the clove before consuming unless you like to chew on whole cloves!)