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Almond and rosewater shortbread

Australian Gourmet Traveller Greek Easter biscuit recipe for almond and rosewater shortbread (kourabiedes).

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 10
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus chilling, cooling
Almond and rosewater shortbread
Almond and rosewater shortbread

Who can resist a snowy pile of kourabiedes, the Greek shortbread served at many celebrations and festivities, be it Christmas, a baptism or Easter? This melt-in-the-mouth version is scented with vanilla, aniseed and rosewater. Don't skimp on the icing sugar.


  • 120 gm natural almonds
  • 220 gm softened butter
  • 375 gm (2½ cups) pure icing sugar, sieved
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 ml ouzo
  • 330 gm plain flour
  • 3½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tbsp rosewater, or to taste


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Spread almonds on an oven tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until golden (5-6 minutes). When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside.
  • 2
    Beat butter, 75gm icing sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Beat in yolk, then ouzo, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Sift in flour and baking powder, add almonds and stir to form a stiff dough, then turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • 3
    Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1.5cm-thick. Cut into crescents with a 5cm-diameter cutter and place on baking trays lined with baking paper. Press scraps together and repeat. Bake until light golden (18-20 minutes), cool on trays for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with rosewater. Dust heavily with remaining icing sugar, cool completely on trays. Biscuits will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 1 week (dust with icing sugar between layers).


Note This recipe makes about 30.