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Kourambiedes: a Greek Christmas treat


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Kourambiedes, a crescent-shaped shortbread covered in loose icing sugar, are a treat served in most Greek homes – especially at this time of the year.

The recipe below comes from Adelaide resident Eugenia Pantahos’s new book, Greek Life, which celebrates and shares Greek culture with stories and traditional recipes that accompany major celebrations.

Pantahos says the blanched almonds in the Kourambiedes provide a wonderful texture, while the Ouzo, Cognac or Masticha (the choice of liqueur is yours) creates a delightful and delicious aroma.

“Kourambiedes keep very well in a tin lined with baking paper; that is if you can resist the temptation to have more than one at a time!”

Kourambiedes  – Almond Crescent Shortbread


250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½  cup blanched slivered almonds, slightly toasted
3 cups self-raising flour
3 tablespoons Ouzo (substitute with Cognac or Masticha)


Greek-Life-coverPreheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Place the butter, icing sugar and caster sugar into a large bowl, and beat together until the butter becomes pale and creamy.  Add the egg yolk and liqueur and mix well.

Sift into the mixture the flour and the baking powder, and add the toasted almonds. Use a wooden spoon to mix until well combined.  Knead to bind the mixture together.

Take approximately 2 teaspoons of the mixture and form a ball and then slightly roll between the palms of your hands to form a small log shape. Place on the baking tray, slightly turn the ends to form a crescent and pinch each end to form a small dent. Alternatively, use a drinking glass to form more uniform crescent shapes.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Remove from the oven and immediately allow the biscuits to cool on baking trays.

Place the biscuits onto a sheet of baking paper that has been dusted with icing sugar. Dust liberally with more icing sugar so that the biscuits appear to be covered in white snow.

Arrange on a serving plate, or store in a glass, airtight dish.

A hardback edition of Greek Life will be available online from mid-January at


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