Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Mastiha flavored Christmas almond cookies

{kourabiedes me mastiha Hiou}


Melomakarona and kourabiedes are the absolute Greek Christmas treats! Once they show up in the confectionary stores, you can tell it is Christmas time.  My mother used to make them around her name day on December 9, but she had to repeat the baking at least once more, since they would disappear before the 25th! They are easy to make, but easier to eat especially if you make them as tiny as a bite size!

Preparation Method

1.     Spread almonds on a baking sheet; toast in oven at 400F for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown; chop them coarsely on a chopping board

2.     Use a mixer to beat the butter with sugar for 10 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and white (should look like whipped cream)

3.     Add the yokes one by one

4.     Add the mastic powder and the mastiha liqueur and mix

5.     Add the almonds and flour slowly, taking turns. (You may not have to use all the flour in your mixture.) Start by using half of it, then turn the mixer down and start mixing with a spatula or your hands. The dough has to be very soft, buttery and light

6.     Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a teaspoon, scoop out half an inch pieces of dough and roll into balls between the palms of your hands. Press them lightly and place them on baking sheets

7.     Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and let them cool for 5 minutes

8.     As soon as they are ready and still warm, sift icing sugar first on a baking tray until you have a thick layer and then place the cookies on it in order to coat them from all sides.  Sift more icing sugar on them and let them cool completely before moving them, otherwise they will crumble. Place them on a serving tray and add more icing sugar if needed


-       ½ cup icing sugar

-       1 ¾ cups butter

-       2 egg yokes

-       1 tsp. mastiha liqueur

-       1 tsp. Chios Mastic Powder

-       1 tsp. baking powder

-       1 cup almonds

-       3 cups all purpose flour

-       about 1lb. of icing sugar (only for icing)



















Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Baking Time: 45 minutes

If you wish to taste the most iconic Greek desserts, book your seat now for February 24 to taste a wide variety of the authentic Greek spoon sweets along with the world famous mastiha liqueur