Monday, November 21, 2011

Recipe: Cheryl Malandrinos Greek Sugar Cookies (Kourabiedes)

Welcome children author Cheryl Malandrinos who brings us a traditional Greek sugar cookie recipe for Christmas. She also has a  children's story, Little Shepherd, perfect for Christmas gift giving to a special child in your life. Your mouth will water as you read through this recipe. Enjoy her musing about Food and Writing.

The recipe below is for Greek Sugar Cookies (Kourabiedes). My mother-in-law was kind enough to share it with me. Kourabiedes are usually served at Christmas; though they can be seen at weddings or on Easter. I recently learned it's traditional to stick a whole clove in the top to represent the gift of spices the Three Wise Men brought to Bethlehem. The little French girl who married the Greek guy doesn’t know everything about Greek food yet—but she’s learning.


1 lb. sweet butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup powder sugar
4 ½ - 5 cups of sifted flour
2 – 1 lb. boxes of powdered sugar, shifted on top immediately after baking*
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cream butter well (until butter turns white). Add egg and beat again. Add vanilla and sugar.
Gradually add sifted flour and blend until the dough is easy to handle (knead the dough with your hands when you are no longer able to blend it with the mixer, but only until the dough does not stick to your hands.) Be careful not to handle the dough too much or it will harden the cookies.
Drop by rounded teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Use a finger to make a slight impression in the middle of each cookie.
Bake at 400° for 20 – 25 minutes.
Put newspaper down on the table and cover the newspaper with wax paper. Sift powdered sugar onto the wax paper to coat it. Take cookies out of the oven and put on the sugar-coated wax paper. Sift a thick layer of powdered sugar on the top of the cookies while they are still hot.
Cool well before handling.
*Yes, that is two boxes of powdered sugar. Once the cookies are on a plate you can sift extra powered sugar over them to create a virgin snowy mountain centerpiece for your dessert table.
It’s a good idea to wear an apron and protect your floor when you make these, because they are messy. They are however, delicious and kids absolutely love them.

Food and Writing: A Lovely Mix

By Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of Little Shepherd

Food is so much a part of who we are, it’s not surprising a variety of dishes make their way into the books we write.
Marilyn Meredith, author of the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, seamlessly blends in tasty meals for her characters to enjoy. In her latest novel, Bears With Us, Tempe—the only female police officer in Bear Creek—and her pastor husband, Hutch, visit the Bear Creek Inn where they dine on Glazed Mini-Pork Roast. Nick Two John, co-owner of the Inn, delivers their meal and is eager for them to try his new recipe. “Served on a bed of wild rice with crisp baby asparagus alongside, the glazed miniature pork roasts had a hint of apple cider fragrance.”

Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Southern fiction authors are well-known for embracing how much we take pleasure in food. Rhett DeVane, who wrote two of my favorite books in this genre—The Madhatter’s Guide to Chocolate and Up the Devil’s Belly—not only celebrates food through her writing, she graciously includes recipes (chocolate ones in Madhatter and spicy ones in Devil) for the many dishes Hattie, Jake and Piddie enjoy while living in Chattahoochee, Florida.
Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth. Can he trust the miracle of Christmas to keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?
I didn’t get a chance to include the joy of cooking in Little Shepherd. A re-telling of the first Christmas didn’t seem to be the right place. Though one might believe the shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem could have been hungry while guarding their flocks, I’m pretty sure food was the last thing on their minds once the angel appeared.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl at her newly redesigned website or visit the Little Shepherd book blog at



Anonymous said...

Thank you for featuring me during your Good Eats, Great Reads special. I hope your readers enjoy making Kourabiedes. My girls like helping with the powdered sugar part. Does that surprise anyone? :)

Wishing you and your readers a blessed Thanksgiving.


Unknown said...

Wonderful! My mother (and I) use the same recipe each year. So delicious! Mrs. Borsis, a great friend of my mother, gave it to her many years ago. It wouldn't be Christmas without it. Thanks for spreading the joy!

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