Return to Content

Greek Nut Crescents (Kourabiedes)

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


Greek Nut Crescents (Kourabiedes)
2 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (79% score)
Print Friendly

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Hands On Time: 40 minutes

This recipe for Greek Nut Crescents appeared in February 1958 in an article by Duncan MacDonald, then Yankee’s food editor and lifestyle maven. In an article celebrating the influx of European cuisines to postwar America, she included recipes for halva (spiced semo­lina pudding), loukoumathes (honey-coated fried-dough pastries), and these crescent cookies, kourabiedes.

Essentially shortbread with nuts, they’re similar to Russian tea cakes and Mexican wedding cookies. You can make them with any nuts you like: hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, or walnuts. These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 10 days, and they also freeze well—just dust them with another coat of powdered sugar once they’ve thawed to room temperature.

Find more recipes for "Cookies Through the Decades."

Login to add to your Recipe Box
Upload Your PhotoUpload Your Photo


  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup plus 21/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups very finely chopped nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, or pecans (a food processor is ideal for this job)


Using a standing or electric mixer, beat the butter until very creamy, 2 minutes. Add 1/3 cup sugar, plus the salt and vanilla, and beat well. Add the flour and nuts, and beat until combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350° and position the racks in the middle, with space in between. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Break off a tablespoon-size piece of dough, roll it into a cylinder, turn it into a crescent shape, and transfer it to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until browned on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies gently with the remaining 2-1/2 cups of powdered sugar to coat. Repeat once cookies have cooled.

Updated Friday, November 1st, 2013

Special 2 for 1 Holiday Sale

Send a one-year gift subscription of Yankee Magazine for only $17.99 and give a 2nd one-year gift subscription absolutely FREE. Plus, we will send you a FREE 2016 Scenes of New England Calendar (a $9.95 value)! BUY NOW!

Browse Similar Recipes

One Response to Greek Nut Crescents (Kourabiedes)

  1. Jean December 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    These cookies are good and easy. Next time I make them I will only use 1/2 tsp salt. I used unsalted butter, as directed, and they are a bit too salty for me.

Leave a Reply

We reserve the right to remove or edit comments that are offensive or disrespectful to our readers and/or writers, cannot be verified, lack clarity, or contain profanity. Your comments may be republished by Yankee Magazine across multiple platforms.

Register Sign In

©2015, Yankee Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Yankee Publishing Inc., | P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444 | (603) 563-8111