Greek Christmas Cookies (Kourambiedes)

Ann Hatzimangas


Sorry- just posted this recipe with the wrong name, should say Kourambiedes not Melomakarana!!!! You have got to try this recipe!! Got this from a Greek friend which had been passed from her mother and grandmother. The secret is the "staxto-nero" (water in which you've boiled ash from the fireplace!) Ash from a wood burning fire works best. Sounds strange but results are yummy. I just made them for the first time using the staxto-nero, everyone raved about them, truly tried and tested!
Staxto-nero has many uses - great for cleaning - dishes, pots, pans, kitchen tiles and also for laundry!!


★★★★★ 2 votes

makes approx. 50 cookies
15 Min
15 Min
Convection Oven


  • 500 g
  • 50 g
    bitam (margarine)
  • 250 g
    aldmonds, peeled, slightly roasted, chopped
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla powder
  • 1000 g
    all purpose flour (you may use less)
  • 1/2 c
    caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 pkg
    caster sugar for dredging

  • 1/2 c
  • 2 Tbsp

How to Make Greek Christmas Cookies (Kourambiedes)


  1. STAXTO-NERO: Add the ash to the water, bring to the boil, let sit for five minutes, bring back to the boil, remove from the heat and strain. Use a fine strainer. The water will look dark, pour into a glass and leave for about 10 minutes, sediment will settle at the bottom of the glass, pour into a clean glass leaving the sediment, which you just throw away. Now you have staxto-nero!
  2. Put a little butter in a pan and add the almonds, stir continually until they are slightly toasted.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, margarine and 1/2 cup caster sugar for about five minutes. Should be white and airy. Add toasted almonds, vanilla and staxto-nero. MIX WELL WITH A WOODEN SPOON.
  4. Gradually add the flour, you may use slightly less then 10000 grams, depending on the flour. Use you hands to knead it, the dough should not stick to your hands, but moist enough to be able to shape, and hold the cookie shape.
  5. Bake at 200 for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will still be a pale color but are ready when they start to slightly brown around the edges.
  6. While you're waiting for the cookies to bake, get your tray ready. Sift plenty of caster sugar covering the whole tray. remove the cookies from the oven and while still hot arrange in lines on the tray and immediately dredge lots of caster sugar on top. It's best to leave them overnight and dredge again next day. In my house that wasn't possible, kids ate them right away!! The cookies can be stored in an air-tight container for several days. Good luck with that!

Printable Recipe Card

About Greek Christmas Cookies (Kourambiedes)

Course/Dish: Cookies
Main Ingredient: Flour
Regional Style: Greek
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

Show 8 Comments & Reviews

27 Stuffed Food Recipes

27 Stuffed Food Recipes

From appetizers to meat and baked treats, stuffed recipes are fun. Stuffed peppers are always a winner but other dishes can be stuffed too. Crescent dough can be stuffed with pretty much anything. Turn a basic chicken breast into something special by stuffing it with cheese and bacon. Stuffed shells are traditionally Italian but give […]

11 Easy Fish Taco Recipes

11 Easy Fish Taco Recipes

For all our fellow taco-lovers out there, you need to check out these recipes. Not only is fish a healthier option for Taco Tuesday, but it also helps switch things up. Plus, there are so many options! From beer battered to grilled to pan seared, fish tacos are a delicious addition to your taco rotation.

Vegetarian Dinner Ideas for Meatless Monday

Vegetarian Dinner Ideas for Meatless Monday

Bored of eating the same old, same old? Looking to make a change to your menu? One of the easiest ways to do it is to have Meatless Monday. It’s a great way to try vegetarian recipes not normally in the weekly rotation. Trust us, your family won’t be sacrificing anything. Mondays won’t be a […]