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Greek Christmas Cookies: Kourambiedes

Good luck pronouncing the name of these Christmas cookies...



Kourambiedes are another traditional, Greek cookie that is typically prepared during festive occasions, especially around Christmas and the holidays, but also during other celebrations. These cookies are often served at weddings, baptisms, and various other festivities, but they are particularly popular during the holiday season.

Kourambiedes are small, crescent or ball-shaped butter-based cookies made from a dough that includes ingredients such as flour, butter, sugar, almonds or occasionally other nuts, and sometimes a hint of brandy or rosewater for flavoring. After baking to a light golden color, they are generously dusted with powdered sugar while still warm, giving them their characteristic "snowy" appearance and causing those that are unfamiliar with how to consume them to sneeze. You can always tell when it's someone's first time partaking in kourambiedes based on the amount of powdered sugar on their face and clothing after they first bite into the cookie!

These cookies are rich, buttery, and crumbly, with a delicate texture that melts in your mouth. The almonds or nuts inside provide a slight crunch, complementing the sweetness of the cookie. As with other Christmas cookies, recipes differ across regions and families. I've seen people make them without any almonds so as to cater to those with nut allergies, and I've seen other people who swear that using toasted almonds versus sliced almonds makes all the difference. It all comes down to personal preference, but I'm proud to say that I am definitely team #kourambiedes. There is nothing better than biting into a tower of powdered sugar and into a cookie that melts in your mouth!

Similar to melomakarona, kourambiedes are a significant part of Greek culinary traditions, and are often shared among friends and family as a gesture of goodwill and are a beloved sweet treat during celebratory moments, particularly during the holiday season. You're bound to see these powdered-sugar covered treats on the table in any Greek table around the holiday season.


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