Kourambiedes are a Greek shortbread that are very popular around Christmas time. Traditionally, they’re made with ground almonds but, I decided to spice things up with pistachios, cardamom, and aromatic rose water. The result was a melt in your mouth and a deliciously spiced cookie that’s perfect with a hot cup of tea.
What is cardamom?
Green cardamom is used for this recipe and most sweet dishes. It is very aromatic and just a little bit is needed to add tons of flavor. This spice originally came from India and is now commonly used throughout the world in both savory and sweet recipes.
I like to buy the pods whole and grind the seeds myself using a coffee grinder. Cardamom is sold in Middle Eastern grocery markets and online.
The flavor of cardamom is very unique. It has citrus undertones, with hints of mint. It is a very good substitute for chewing gum because it has a very refreshing quality.
Altogether pistachios, cardamom, and rose come together to create a perfectly sweet cookie that is perfect with coffee or tea and makes for a delicious holiday gift.
Pistachio & Cardamom Kourambiedes: Greek Holiday Shortbread Cookies
Kourambiedes are a Greek shortbread that is very popular around Christmas time. Traditionally, they're made with ground almonds but, I decided to spice things up with pistachios, cardamom, and aromatic rose water. The result was a melt in your mouth cookie that's perfect with a hot cup of tea.
- ½ pound unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon rose water
- The dry ingredients:
- • 2 cups all-purpose flour
- • ½ teaspoon baking powder
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
- • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
- • 1 cup ground roasted (unsalted) pistachios
- 1-2 cups confectioner’s sugar for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
Combine the butter, sugars, vanilla, and rose water extract in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until combined. Increase the sped to high and beat until fluffy.
Add the egg yolks to the mixture and beat at high speed until combined.
Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk together.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and beat on low speed until a dough is formed.
Transfer the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and roll out to almost ½ inch thick.
Cut out your favorite shapes using a cookie cutter and place them on baking trays lined with parchment paper.
You can also make the traditional kourambiedes shape by rolling pieces of dough in your palms to form walnut-sized balls. Press the center slightly with your index finger to form an indentation and to flatten the cookies a little bit.
Chill the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer until firm. Do this if you’ve cut the cookies out into shapes.
Bake the cookies on the center rack for 20-25 minutes or until golden all around.
Set aside to cool.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with tea or coffee. These are also great to give as gifts!
Make-Ahead Tips: Roll out the cookies and cut them into your favorite shapes. Set in the freezer until chilled and very firm. Store the frozen cookies in freezer bags until ready to bake. The cookies will stay fresh for a month. Bake in a preheated 350 °F oven until golden.
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