This Chocolate Kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) recipe combines the traditional, authentic snowball Kourabiedes with chocolate! Kourabiedes or Kourampiethes are the most traditional Greek Christmas cookie with a Greek Christmas platter not being complete without a tower of these delicious cookies!
What are Kourabiethes?
Kourabiedes are Greek short bread cookies filled with toasted almonds and covered in powdered sugar. They are crumbly buttery biscuits with a crunchy almond bite and sprinkled with rose water. These chocolate kourabiedes with almonds ( Greek butter cookies) still have the same crumbly buttery texture and crunchy nutty bite but with added mouthwatering chocolate! While the traditional kourabiedes are covered with tons of icing sugar, these are covered by copious amounts of cocoa.
Secrets making these chocolate kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies)
The secrests to preparing these melt in the mouth chocolate kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) is to use the finest ingredients.
Kourampiethes get their crumbly texture from the butter so it is imperative to use the finest quality butter. Choose a butter high in fat content and at least 80%. Moreover, the delicious buttery taste relies not only on the butter quality but also because it is clarified.
How do you clarify butter? While it is fairly simple process, it can be a bit time consuming but the end result is worth it. To clarify butter, dice it and place it in a saucepan and let it melt over low heat. Do not be tempted to turn up the heat as the butter will burn. Once the butter has melted, you will notice foam forming on top. Remove this with a spoon. Let the butter cool down for a few minutes and strain it with a wire mesh and a cheesecloth.
To save time, I usually clarify a couple of butter blocks and store them in jars in the fridge so I can use them in my bakings. As the clarifying process removes the milk solids and thus you will end up with slightly less butter, so make sure you have added enough from the beginning. You will end up with 20% less butter, though this clarified butter will have a much superior taste. Thus, for 100gr clarified butter, start the process with 120gr butter.
Get the finest quality cocoa powder to enrich the chocolate flavour of your kourampiethes.
Toast your almonds to 160C or 320F for 8 minutes or so to make your almonds crunchier and nuttier.
Chocolate kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) dough
To prepare your chocolate kourabiedes dough, start by sifting the flour, cocoa and powdered sugar together. Unsifted cocoa will be lumpy and will not be evenly incorporated into the flour.
The chocolate Kourabiedes dough will be very crumbly and it will not be possible to shape them. I use a spoon and transfer equal dough portions into a parchment lined baking tray.
Baking chocolate kourabiedes
Bake the chocolate kourabiedes initially at 180C or 356F for 10-12 minutes and then lower the heat to 160C or 320F and continue to bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of the chocolate kourampiethes. Make sure you do not over-bake the chocolate kourabiedes, ie no more than 30 minutes in the oven.
The chocolate kourabiedes will be ready once they lift off the parchment paper. Don’t forget to let the chocolate kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) cool down so that the butter solidifies. This will make the kourabiedes better to handle.
Decorating chocolate kourabiedes
There are many options to decorate these melt in the mouth chocolate Kourabiedes with sifted cocoa, powdered (icing) sugar or melted chocolate. Simply melt good quality dark chocolate with a little bit of butter (cube size) and drizzle them.
Other Christmas recipes
Looking for more Greek Christmas recipes? Try my authentic and homemade Kourabiedes (Greek almond Christmas cookies). Kourabiedes go hand in hand with Melomakarona, walnut biscuits dunked in aromatic syrup, so be sure to try my Melomakarona recipe (without semolina).
Are you vegan? Then try out my vegan kourabiedes recipe!
chocolate kourampiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies)
- 160gr (clarified) butter or ghee ( 3/4 cup)
- 160gr powdered (icing) sugar ( 1c up + 2tbsp)
- 160gr self raising flour ( 1 cup)
- 15gr cocoa, plus extra for dusting ( 3 tsp +3/4 tsp)
- 100gr almonds (unsalted) ( 1/2 cup +2tsp)
- 2-3 vanilla drops
For this recipe you will need a hand mixer, kitchen scales, baking tray 40x45cm or 15x17 inches, spatula.
- To prepare these chocolate Kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) start by clarifying the butter. Place the butter (around 180gr as you need to have 160gr clarified butter) in a saucepan and over low heat melt it. Once it froths, remove the forth. Let the butter col down and strain it with a mesh wire and a cheesecloth. Remember that with the clarifying process you will lose around 20% of the original butter so add more that the recipe requires, around 180gr.
- On a a parchment line baking tray place the unsalted almonds and toast them for 8 minutes at 160C or 320F keeping an eye on them and making sure you do not burn them. Let the toasted almonds cool down and the roughly chop them.
- Sift the flour, cocoa and powdered (icing) sugar. Add the cocoa in the flour and mix.
- In a mixer bowl add the butter and vanilla drops and beat them (with ballon whisk) for 30-40 minutes until the butter turns soft and mousse-like. Carry on by gradually adding the powdered (icing) sugar and beating (over low speed) the mixture until the sugar is incorporated.
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 356F.
- Once the sugar is incorporated in the butter mixture, add the flour-cocoa mixture in small batches. Fold the flour with a spatula by hand. Make sure you handle the mixture as little as possible as you will lose volume. Finally add the toasted almonds and mix very lightly, just so that the almonds are incorporated in the mixture.
- Line a bairn tray with parchment paper. The chocolate kourampiethes dough will be very crumbly, so with a spoon take equal amounts and lay on the tray.
- Bake the chocolate kourabiedes at 180C or for 10-12 minutes, then lower the heat to 160C or 320F and continue to bake for another 12-15 minutes. The chocolate Kourabiedes with almonds (Greek butter cookies) will be ready as soon as they lift from the parchment paper. Baking time will depend on the size of the kourabiedes.
- Let the chocolate Kourabiedes cool down and dust them with sifted cocoa. Alternatively, melt chocolate in Bain Marie and smother them with chocolate.