These Greek Easter cookies, Kourabiedes, are also known as Greek wedding cookies, remind me of Christmas cookies as they are packed with the warming taste of cloves. The texture is similar to a soft shortbread with almond, vanilla and clove notes. This is a `’grown-up’ cookie that goes perfectly with a small glass of your favourite liqueur. If you want to take a break from Easter chocolates and hot cross buns, follow this very easy recipe that shouldn’t take you longer than 30 minutes to prepare and bake.
As they keep for two weeks in an airtight container, these cookies are excellent to give out as Easter gifts. If you plan to serve or gift the cookies to children, I advise leaving out the whole cloves.
Gluten-Free Greek Easter Cookies (Kourabiedes)
- 125g butter, softened at room temperature
- 35g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon brandy or ouzo (optional)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80g almond meal
- 60g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 to 4 tablespoons icing sugar, sieved (for decoration only)
- 24 cloves, whole (for decoration only – optional)
1. Mix all the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and ground cloves together in a medium bowl.
2. Cream the butter with the sugar, until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg yolk, brandy or ouzo and vanilla extract.
4. Fold the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture gradually until the mixture comes together. Add more flour if it feels too sticky.
5. Roll half the mixture into small balls approximately 3cm in diameter. Place a whole clove in the centre of the ball and place them on a lined baking paper tray.
6. Roll the remaining dough into small logs no longer than 9cm. Shape them into crescents and place them on the baking tray. Insert a whole clove in the middle of each crescent.
7. Chill the cookies for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 170 C/325 F.
9. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes on the middle shelf, one tray at a time. They should appear a very pale brown. Be careful not to over-bake the cookies as they will become too crumbly and dry.
10. Dredge the cookies with sieved icing sugar and allow them to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before moving the cookies to wire mesh to cool down completely. Store in an airtight container.
It is important to coat the cookies with the icing sugar while they are still warm so that they absorb the sugar and further sweeten the cookies.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
Keeps for two weeks in an airtight container at room temperature
How to eat them:
These Greek Easter cookies are ideally served with a hot beverage or/and a shot of liqueur, brandy or ouzo. Remember to remove the whole clove from the cookie before eating them!