Kourambiedes – Toasted Almond Cookies

Traditionally prepared for Christmas, kourambiedes are supposed to be delicate melt-in-the-mouth treats. You find similar cookies in various Middle Eastern countries, often sprinkled with rose water or citrus flower water just before they are rolled in confectioner’s sugar. 


Kourabie S

Kourabie zaxari S

The old island recipes called for lard, as butter was not a common ingredient, while the special lard from the belly of the freshly slaughtered pork was used for these, and other festive winter sweets .

In most recipes from the mainland and the north kourambiedes are made with the strongly-flavored sheep’s milk butter, while there are also also somre Lenten versions made with olive oil.

Today most homes and bakeries prepare the cookies exclusively with butter, or a combination of butter, often with some sheep’s milk butter. I do love this old, Cycladic version which you can try if you can get good lard.


Makes about 30 large or 40 small cookies. (more…)


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Kean Amygdalota (Flourless Almond Cookies)

The flourless almond cookies of Kea are traditional festive treats prepared for weddings and christenings and for other joyous family occasions. They are the perfect kosher-for-Passover sweet, as a participant in our classes pointed out, watching my neighbor Zenovia prepare amygdalota.



Most people now use blanched almonds, but I find that, although less attractive, cookies made with whole, un-skinned nuts are equally delicious, not to mention a bit less labor-intensive — if you’re starting from the harvest-field. (more…)


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Amygdalota: Lemon-scented, Stovetop Flourless Almond Cookies

Traditionally these fragrant cookies are scented with orange flower water, but I prefer to use the very aromatic zest of my lemons. They can also be made with tangerines, when in season. I use lemons from my garden or organic lemons in my recipes. If you cannot find organic lemons, wash your lemons thoroughly.

See also the Flourless Kean Almond Cookies




Makes About 50 Cookies (more…)


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