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nistisima kourambiedes - sugar covered cookies

nistisima kourambiedes – sugar covered cookies

These snowy white, crazy yummy cookies are so quick and easy to bake up, they’ll amaze you with every bite! This recipe is for the nistisima (or vegan) version of kourambiedes, slightly different but just as authentic as the more well known butter cookie version.

Made with a combination of almond meal and flour, orange juice and a bit of brandy, the finished cookies are light and high and just ever so slightly crumbly. Kourambiedes are a cup of coffee ad tea’s best friend!

This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies and can easily be doubled or tripled as your occasion dictates. Go ahead and make the dough up to a week ahead, just bring to room temperature before baking!

dusted with powdered sugar

dusted with powdered sugar


  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal (Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder (or extract)
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • for dusting – 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine flour, almond meal, powdered sugar and vanilla powder together in medium bowl. (If using vanilla extract, do not add at this time.)

In a small glass, combine orange juice and brandy (and vanilla extract, if using) and mix them into dry ingredients until everything is completely incorporated and mixture is crumbly.

Add vegetable oil (or very light olive oil) and knead into crumbly dough to combine completely. This will form a ball of dough.

Pinch of golfball size pieces of dough and roll into circles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and press down just slightly so balls of dough don’t roll off the pan!

Bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes until bottom of cookies is golden brown.  Keep an eye on them because its difficult to tell from the tops when the cookies are done.

While still warm, roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar and set on piece of waxed paper to cool.  You can dust with additional powdered sugar when cookies have cooled. These will keep, covered in a cool place, for up to 5 days – though they’ll never hang around that long 🙂

the last bite!

the last bite!

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12 Responses to Kourambiedes

  1. Georgia April 2, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    Can we just use all purpose flour if we don’t have the almond meal?

    • Kiki April 2, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

      Georgia, I honestly can’t say as I’ve never tried it and don’t want to steer you wrong. I’m pretty sure that you could switch them out but I would have no idea how to calculate that substitution. If you do try using AP instead of almond flour, please let us know how it goes!

  2. Georgia April 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    I made them only with ap flour and let’s just say I was the only one who ate them! Lol I just made them with exactly your recipe to a tee and they were better! They’re not like kourambiedes I’ve had before though but I still like them. Thx!

    • Kiki April 10, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

      I love the almond meal flavor and texture myself! And thanks for letting me know how it went with using only AP flour. Is always great to pass on other variations of a recipe but maybe we’ll keep this attempt to ourselves 🙂

  3. SBO May 14, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    Thank you,I will try to do it.

    I never tired of cookies, These cookies looks awesome!

  4. Ines July 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Hi! Could these be made with gluten free all-purpose flour and then the rest of your ingredients? Any changes or additions needed? Thanks.

    • Kiki July 19, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

      I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour in cookie recipes before (though not this particular recipe) and have always had great results. King Arthur Flour also has a great gluten free flour mix. As there is no yeast component, I believe you would be fine going gluten free here without any changes other than the flour itself. Please do let me know how it turns out if you try it GF! Kiki 🙂

  5. Garth December 13, 2015 at 8:20 am #


    I’m in Australia, I’m assuming what you call “AP” or All Purpose flour is what we call, not very imaginatively I must say (!) “plain flour” ??

    Also I managed to find, with some difficulty, the “almond meal”, it was relatively expensive (i.e. it works out around $A30.00 per kg/ approx $US9.80 per lb), could you substitute with blanched/ peeled raw almonds pulverised with a pestle & mortar ?

    Many thanks,

    • Kiki December 13, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

      Hi Garth, yes – regular flour 🙂 and absolutely, yes make your own almond meal from blanched almonds. Even better, get them with the skins on and blanch yourself – takes just about a minute in boiling water, then rub the brown skins off with a dish towel. In the US at least, the blanched almonds are so much more expensive for something that takes just a few minutes to do at home. Thanks for mentioning the option of ‘do-it-yourself’ – certainly the much more authentic and traditional way! Kiki 🙂

  6. Garth December 17, 2015 at 2:04 am #

    Thank you Kiki, I’m making my first batch tonight (with the almond meal as mentioned, and “plain” flour!), if they’re a success I’ll make future batches with the raw almonds, I found myself a supplier and they’re MUCH cheaper, and, as you say, very easy to ‘do-it-yourself’ !

  7. Angie December 24, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Hi Kiki,
    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I’m making the kourambiedes as I’m writing this message. I substituted the cardamom for cinnamon and used vegan butter instead of the oil. So excited can’t wait to try them and show off to my family

  8. Angie December 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

    Update: they’re little bits of heaven
    Thanks so much

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