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Snowball cookies recipe (Greek Kourabiedes) feat

Snowball cookies recipe (Greek Kourabiedes)

Learn all the secrets for the best homemade Greek snowball cookies (kourabiedes) with butter, roasted almonds and vanilla. Ideal for your Christmas baking!

Course Dessert, Snack, Sweet
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword almond, butter, confectioners sugar, cookies, kourabiedes, snowball
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 25
Calories 214 kcal
Author The Hungry Bites


  • 1 cup (250 grams) real butter at room temperature or slightly cold (see notes).
  • 1 cup (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk from a large egg
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) brandy or cognac
  • 3 1/4 cups (390 - 420 grams) sifted pastry flour if you don't have pastry flour, use all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (8-10 grams) baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 grams) freshly roasted almonds, crushed
  • Confectioners’ sugar for coating and dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 340°F (170°C)

  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar until very fluffy (10 – 15 minutes for best results). Add the yolk and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla, the cinnamon, the salt and the brandy and mix until combined.

  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour and the baking powder. Add the almonds and almost all of the flour to the butter mixture (keep 1-2 tablespoons of flour aside). Stir gently with a spatula or by hand until just combined and all of the flour is absorbed. Do not over mix!

  4. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. It should be soft and not sticky. If after the resting time it's a little sticky, add a little more flour until pliable. Form little balls the size of a ping pong ball, flatten them out between your hands and make a shallow indentation in the center with your index finger.

  5. Place on lined baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.

    Remove from the pan, place on a rack and let them cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Pastry flour is regular flour with less protein content. You can make your own "pastry flour" by mixing 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons corn starch.
  • Butter: For the butter you can choose goat and sheep butter, cow's milk butter, or a mix of both. It's best to be clarified (ghee). Choose according to your taste. Clarified butter should be slightly cold, whereas normal butter should be at room temperature.
  • Butter in sticks: If you use 2 sticks butter it will be 220 grams. Add two tablespoons of a neutral tasting vegetable oil to reach the required 250 grams.
  • Measure the flour: If you don't have a scale to measure your ingredients, then the flour should be lightly spooned into a measuring cup taking extra care not to compact it. Then it should be leveled with a straight object (a long fork will do!).
  • Don’t add all of the flour at once - you may not need it all. Also, don’t over-work the dough because your cookies will be tough.
  • Baking: For crunchy cookies (my preference) bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. For softer, white cookies bake at 330 °F (165 °C) for 25-30 minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before you dust them with confectioner's sugar. This will prevent the coating to absorb moisture. If after some days you notice that the coating has started to show condensation signs, shake it off and coat the cookies with a fresh coating. Another option is to store cookies in an airtight container and dust them with sugar just before you serve them.

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