Taste the Holidays with These Authentic Greek Christmas Cookies

Taste the Holidays with These Authentic Greek Christmas Cookies

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Greek Christmas cookies are a delightful fusion of flavor and tradition that highlight holiday celebrations across Greece.

Greek Christmas Cookies Cover Image

Each cookie promises a delectable surprise, from the honey-drenched melomakarona, bursting with walnuts, to the ethereal kourabiedes, dusted in snowy powdered sugar.

And who could resist the nutty allure of iSli, filled to the brim with walnut goodness? Keep reading and discover how to make these delicious treats, perfect for creating an unforgettable Greek Christmas.

History of the Dish

Travel back to the rich history of Greek Christmas cookies, tracing their origins to the enchanting medieval era. These delicious treats, once known as “Makaronia,” originated as dry pies served at funeral dinners, a far cry from the festive cookies we enjoy today.

As time passed, their somber beginnings became a cherished holiday staple, essential to Greek Christmas celebrations.

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Melomakarona, the honey-kissed walnut wonders, captivate taste buds with their irresistible charm. Kourabiedes, buttery shortbread treats dusted with powdered sugar to look like snow, make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.

And let’s not forget about iSli, those tempting gems filled with walnuts that make our holiday tables look even more alluring. These time-honored treats invite us to revel in their whimsical nostalgia as they carry the echoes of ancient traditions to our modern holiday gatherings.

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What Can You Serve With Greek Christmas Cookies?

Savor the festive joy of Greek Christmas cookies as they pair exquisitely with various delightful beverages. Imagine the warmth of a steaming cup of coffee or tea, enhancing the heavenly flavors of these traditional treats.

A refreshing glass of cold milk begs to go with the honey syrup-drenched, nut-sprinkled melomakarona.

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When eaten with a glass of Mavrodaphne, a sweet dessert wine, Kourabiedes, which tastes like butter and almonds, becomes a luxurious treat.

Lastly, iSli cookies are a magical combination of coffee or tea, making each bite a treat.

Greek Christmas Cookies Ingredients


  • Butter, room temperature – ensure the butter is soft and easy to whip.
  • Egg Yolk – you’ll need just one egg yolk for this recipe
  • Powdered Sugar – this will add sweetness to your cookies
  • Vanilla – use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor
  • Brandy or Sub-Orange Juice – choose one of these ingredients to add a fruity note to your cookies
  • Flour – you’ll need enough flour to form a dough, usually around 3–4 cups

Preparation Instructions

whip butter until fluffy

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 and lining your baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, whip the butter until it’s fluffy, which should take about 10 minutes. This step is crucial for a perfect cookie, so be patient with the butter. Then mix in the egg yolk.

add in powdered sugar and other ingredients

Add the ¼ cup of powdered sugar, vanilla, brandy, or orange juice. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Now, it’s time to add a cup of flour until a dough forms.

form balls and place on baking sheet

Place the dough onto the lined baking sheets using a scoop, and bake for 20–25 minutes until the bottoms are light brown. Once baked, let the cookies cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

sprinkle with powdered sugar

Then, place them on a powdered sugar-covered serving plate and sprinkle a generous amount of additional powdered sugar.

Greek Christmas Cookies

That’s it! Your Greek Christmas Cookies are ready to serve and enjoy!

How Could You Switch This Up a Bit?

Want to add some new twists to your traditional Greek Christmas cookie recipes? Well, with just a few simple ingredient swaps, you can take your cookies to the next level.

For instance, if you’re a fan of chocolate, why not add some chocolate chips to your melomakarona recipe? The added sweetness and richness will take your cookies to new heights.

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Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, add rose water to your kourabiedes recipe for a unique floral twist.

And for those who love a good crunch, experiment with different types of nuts, like pistachios or hazelnuts, in your iSli cookies. With these simple switches, you can make Greek Christmas cookies stand out from ordinary ones.


How long can I store Greek Christmas cookies?

You can store Greek Christmas cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Can I freeze Greek Christmas cookies?

Yes, you can freeze Greek Christmas cookies for up to 3 months.

How do I keep my Greek Christmas cookies fresh?

You can keep your Greek Christmas cookies fresh by storing them in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: 12 - 15 cookies

Greek Christmas Cookies

Greek Christmas Cookies

These delicious treats, once known as "Makaronia," originated as dry pies served at funeral dinners, a far cry from the festive cookies we enjoy today.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon brandy or sub-orange juice
  • 2 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whip butter until fluffy, 10 minutes - this is important for the recipe so take your time with the butter.

Mix in egg yolk.

Add in ¼ cup powdered sugar, vanilla, brandy or orange juice - mix until well combined.

Add in flour 1 cup at a time until dough forms.

Scoop onto lined baking sheets and bake 20-25 minutes until bottoms are light brown.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Place on a powdered sugar-covered serving plate then sprinkle a generous amount of additional powdered sugar.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 204mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g
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