The Kourabiedes cookies are almond cookies popular in Greece, Cyprus, and Greek communities in Anatolia, as well as across the Greek diaspora and have in their DNA the European origin of the shortbread type cookies.
This cookie based on flour and sheep butter must have been “born” the 7th century in Persia, birth place of sugar as well. Kourabies became known to the peoples of the Balkans and Turkey, where we find it to this day. But what does the word kourabies mean? It comes from the Turkish kurabuye or the Arabic qurabiya and actually means double-baked. As much as it belongs to the popular tradition of the Middle East, but also of the surrounding people, it seems that the white kourabies has its origin in European traditions.
It belongs to the type of cookie that we call in English shortbread. This is a technique in which the basic ingredients meet the following equation: One part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. The oriental origin of kourabie requires fresh sheep butter and almonds, something that makes it very special in relation to the European cookies of this kind.
Kourabies is on the table all year round. It is the symbol of joy and housewives used to prepare it for baptisms and weddings. The white color of the powdered sugar seems to have made it an ideal choice for happy days, like the ones above and especially for Christmas.
Chef Tony Kavalieros