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Kourabiedes aka Greek Powered Sugar Cookies


“Cooreadies? Koobeddies, whatever anything I can’t pronounce isn’t a gyro.”

You don’t have to be able to pronounce these cookies in order to make them. Everyone, even non-Greeks, have a recipe for kourabiedes, the powdered sugar cookie. Mine was taught from my grandmother, Yaya, over one long afternoon and is more butter than flour, making it a melt in your mouth cookie. Many of the ingredients below can be changed out for other things. You’ll see other recipes with a shot of Metaxa, a Greek brandy, toasted walnuts or almonds, or million other variations. Both of these additions I’ve enjoyed, but what follows in my favorite and most liked recipe. (Leave the nuts for the nutters, says my sister.) It’s a careful, don’t drop it, and don’t inhale it, falls apart in your mouth delicious sweet tooth cookie, so I’ll often start my batch with some Soft Silk Cake flour as well to keep the cookie from getting heavy.

I’m already looking forward to Easter, the spinach phyllo triangles, meatballs (keftedies), blood red eggs, and of course the lamb. With Greek Easter (April 15th) just a month away, I can almost taste the powdered sugar too! This is also a Greek sized recipe, making about 40-50 cookies, more than enough for the whole family, friends, and well, yourself too.


1 lb unsalted, soften butter
2 egg yolks
1 tbs vanilla
1 tbs orange blossom water
4 cups flour (plus some)
1 cup powdered sugar (not including sugar for powdering)
Muffin cups
Sifter or mesh for powdering cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Add softened butter to stand mixer and beat at high spead until soft and light.

(Yaya will beat that butter for about an hour, leaving the room even.)

Turn down to low speed and mix in the egg yolks until white.

Next, mix in your vanilla and orange blossom water, and then the powdered sugar. (Add a second cup if you’re feeling extra sweet!)

Now, slowly add in the flour until it becomes thick. It should reach a light dough thickness, thick enough to resemble dough but not as heavy as a sugar cookie dough.

Uncomfortable with the thickness? Add more flour, but know the more you add, the thicker the cookie will get. One way to test the dough is to roll it out into a crescent. It it holds a shape, you’re set to bake!

Refrigerate the dough, covered for 30-45 minutes until firm and moldable. Then shape your dough into crescents, or roll it out and cut out into thick cookies.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. The bottoms will be light, golden brown.

Remove, cool on racks, and powder generously. I love a well sugared cookie, and will powder once when first removed to make the sugar stick, then again when putting the cookies in muffin cups. It’s my personal ‘old wives tale.’

Piece of advice? Don’t inhale when about to take a bite. Everyone warns to not risk breathing in the powdered sugar and looking like a Greek cookie noob, but I’ve coughed up a powdered sugar cloud once or twice. The taste is totally worth the risk.

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