Greek Christmas Cookies recipes

It's Christmas, it's Christmas, it's Christmas. In my family (like all Greek families across the world) that means it's time for traditional Greek Christmas cookies. Yep, we have two great recipe's to share with you today, and believe me, these will not disappoint!

First off is Kourambiethes, otherwise to be described at shortbread almond biscuits covered in icing sugar.
This recipe is by Sarah Hobbs, and this great photo was taken by Steve Brown. Admittedly the picture looks more Scandinavian than Greek, but I liked is so much either way. The second recipe is for Melomakarona - Greek Honey and walnut cookies. This recipe was found on Food52 by CypriotWatch out folks, these are very bit as fattening as they sound.


Kourambiethes (Greek almond shortbread crescents)

Makes about 25
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

What you will need

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 cup (150g) pure icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp anise seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • 11/4 cups (190g) plain fl our
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (55g) almond meal
  • 1 cup (150g) pure icing sugar, extra, to dust


1. Beat butter and sugar

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until pale and creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg yolk, anise seeds and rosewater and beat until just combined.

2. Make dough

Add the flour, baking powder and almond meal and use a wooden spoon to stir to combine. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth.

3. Bake

Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into a 7cm log. Place on the tray, turning the ends down to form a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven, swapping tray halfway through cooking, for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

4. Coat with sugar and cool

Place the extra icing sugar on a plate. Dip each biscuit, one at a time, while warm, into the icing sugar and turn to coat. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Via Aphrodite's Kitchen

Melomakarona (Greek honey and walnut cookies)

Level of Difficulty: 3/5
Preparation Time: 4hrs (3 hrs cooling time)
Cooking Time: about 20-25 minutes
Makes about 80 cookies

What you will needFor the cookies:

  • 3 cups peanut oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ground lightly roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup ground lightly roasted hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup grounded lightly roasted walnuts
  • 6 cups flour (you may need more)
  • coarsley ground walnuts for sprinkling on top

For the syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 whole orange peel


    1. Preheat the oven to 175C.
    2. Mix all the ingredients except the flour together with a hand whisk, then slowly mix in the flour until
    the mixture becomes thick.
    3. Use your hand to finish mixing the dough.
    4. Form the melomakarona into oval shapes and put them in the cookie sheets and bake them for 
    20 to 25 minutes.
    5. Let the “melomakarona” cool – at least a couple hours.
    6. Once the “melomakarona” are cool, prepare your syrup. Put all the syrup ingredients except the 
    honey into a pot on the stove. Bring the syrup to a boil. Add the honey and bring to a boil again, then 
    lower the temperature to a simmer (i.e. the syrup is still boiling, but just on “simmer’ level!). Dip the 
    cookies in a few at a time for a few seconds (maximum 10-15 seconds).
    7. Remove the “melomakarona” and place on wax paper. Sprinkle with coarsely ground walnuts. And 
    that’s it – enjoy your amazing cookies, which also make for fabulous Christmas gifts!


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