Kourabia Cookies – ala The Armenian Kitchen

After posting Sara Raymond’s family recipe for Kourabia, I thought it only fair to share my own recipe with you.

The Armenian Kitchen‘s Kourabia

My recipe does not require the use of an  electric stand or hand mixer. Instead, I use the basic wooden spoon, mixing bowl – and God-given hands. Wrapping my hands around the dough  makes the preparation very personal.

Happy baking everyone!

Yield: Approx. 2 ½ dozen cookies

2 sticks (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. Arak (or cognac, or whiskey)
1 egg yolk
2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
Dash salt
Sliced almonds
Powdered sugar for dusting, optional


1. Using a wooden spoon, cream the softened butter until fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, mixing well.
2. Beat in egg yolk and Arak.
3. Stir the baking powder and salt into the flour. Gradually add the flour mixture into butter/sugar mixture. Stir with your hands until a soft dough is formed. (If dough feels too sticky, add a little more flour.)
4. With lightly floured hands, pinch off pieces of dough and roll into 1- inch balls.
5. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly and press an almond slice in the center of each cookie.
6. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

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  1. Anonymous July 2, 2011 at 8:40 am

    a great tea or coffee time favorite from Greece to Persia..with so many variations..we always insert a clove in the top of each cookie before baking

  2. Anonymous December 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Hello, I'm Sara Raymond's mother. I had a disaster with my Koorabia this week. I've been making this for years and this is really a surprise, not a good surprise. The dough wouldn't stay together when I tried to roll it to make the "S" shaped cookies. I made a few of the round ones like yours, but all the cookies were too hard, didn't melt in my mouth as usual. I see that you don't use Crisco. My mom always did and so did I. Shall I try it with only the butter? Also, would the superfine sugar work better?
    I will look forward to your reply.
    Thank you,
    Alma Toroian Raymond

  3. Robyn December 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Alma,
    Hmmm, I can't understand why you'd have so much trouble with a recipe you've been making for years. I never use Crisco – except for an occasional pie crust. Butter and powdered (confectioner's) sugar help give the cookies that melt-in-your mouth texture, so give it a try. If the dough is too soft, try adding a touch more flour. I'd love to hear how that works for you. Good luck!

  4. Alma Toroian Raymond December 27, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Thank you for the information. I made the Koorabia again using only butter and powdered sugar. They did melt in the mouth, but they also flattened out during baking. Shall I use more flour to make them stay puffed up?

  5. Robyn December 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Alma,
    If the cookie isn't holding its shape, add just enough flour for it to hold together, but not so much that the cookies taste like flour. Keep me posted on your experimentation. If you have any other questions, please email me: robyn@thearmeniankitchen.com.

  6. Anonymous May 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Hi, instead of using a wooden spoon can i use my electrical mixer??

    1. Robyn Kalajian May 3, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      An electric mixer may be used, but use a lower speed so the dough does not thin out too much.


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