Kourabie or kourabiedes (in plural) are commonly consumed in Greece during the Christmas season. They are the popular treat for Christmas and New Year’s festivities.
Kourabie resembles light, airy shortbread and is made with the addition of almonds. Almonds are the most important ingredient in a kourabie, and provide the cookie’s signature almond flavor. Other ingredients include large amounts of butter, as well as flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, among others.
The name kourabie comes from the Turkish “kyrabiye”, which means biscuit, a sweet made from flour, butter and raw sugar. Asia Minor refugees from Karvali in Cappadocia founded New Karvali in the Greek province of Kavala in 1924, and transferred the traditional kourabie recipe from Asian Minor. Thus, the best-known traditional kourabie in Greece today is called kourabie of Kavala.
The origin of the kourabie should be sought in Persia. Of course, like most famous sweets, many countries claim its origin, particularly Lebanon, while similar treats are found in Turkey and Albania as well as Spanish-speaking countries, but are there called Polboron.