Gluten-free Greek Buttery Almond Shortbread Snowball Cookies (Kourabiethes/ Kουραμπιέδες)



'Kourabiethes' are traditional Greek shortbread cookies. They are similar to Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies or 'snowball cookies' because of their appearance. Kourabiethes, however, are traditionally shaped in a crescent shape, but also  rolled into round balls. 

My gluten-free Greek kourabiethes recipe is made from butter and toasted almonds. They are wonderfully buttery and fragrant with hints of rosewater and finished with a generous dusting of icing sugar. Don't skip on toasting the almonds as that enhances the nutty flavour and brings the crunch!


21 Cookies


15 Minutes


30 Minutes


  • 190g good quality unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 60g almonds, roughly chopped

  • 25g (3 Tbsp) coconut sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/powder/paste

  • 2 tsp rosewater, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 2 Tbsp brandy (optional)

  • 160g gluten-free oat flour

  • 120g very fine cornmeal/ polenta 

  • 55g tapioca flour/starch

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • Icing (confectioners) sugar for dusting, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

  2. Add the chopped nuts to a dry frying pan and toast til lightly golden.

  3. In a large bowl blend all the flours together.

  4. In a bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip the butter for 6-8 minutes until the texture is thick and colour is white. 

  5. Add in the icing sugar, mix to combine.

  6. Then drop in the egg yolk, rose water, vanilla and brandy and continue to mix.

  7. Sift in the flour,  baking powder, psyllium husk and salt and mix until a dough begins to form.

  8. Add in the toasted almonds and again mix on slow until evenly incorporated.

  9. Grab a piece of dough, and roll into small balls about the size of a walnut at 30g each and press gently to flatten slightly on the baking tray.

  10. Repeat with all the dough and bake for 25-30 minutes.

  11. When ready, remove from oven and carefully and place the tray on wire rack to cool. Initially they will be very soft when warm so it's best to allow to cool overnight to harden.

  12. When completely cool, splash the remaining 1 tsp of rosewater over the kourabiedes.

  13. Dust liberally with icing sugar using a sieve.


  • These can be stored at room temperature on a serving platter for up to 5 days or longer in an air tight container.


  • If your dough is too soft to roll into a ball, you can try placing in the fridge for 30-40minutes to harden, or add some extra flour until it comes together.


  • Just a sprinkle of icing sugar is all that's needed


Gluten-free oat flour - is a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Oats are high in the soluble fibre beta-glucan, which helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels and promotes healthy gut bacteria. (Source)

Almonds - are high in protein and fibre and are an excellent source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. (Source)

Cornmeal/ polenta - is a healthy gluten-free grain and an important source of antioxidants like carotenoids which give cornmeal its yellow colour and may help lower the risk of eye diseases. (Source)

Egg yolk - Egg yolks contain many essential minerals including Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc and are a great source of many vitamins, as well as healthy fats. (Source)

Coconut sugar -  brings a lovely caramel flavour with a lower GI. (Source)

Rosewater - In ancient Greece, the rose was closely associated with the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Rose water also contains a number of powerful antioxidants and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. (Source


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  • Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.​

  • Kindly note, by purchasing products via certain affiliate links in this post, I may receive a commission. This in no way increases the cost to you. I only recommend products based on my preferences to help you get the best results. Thank you for your support.

  • Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.


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