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Hello my dear friends!

It is almost evening time here in Nicosia and we are getting ready to start cooking our Christmas dinner. Since we are expats, with no nearby family, this is generally a very quiet moment for us, far from the running, shopping and cooking craze that December generally brings.  Family is always missed, but there is comfort and joy in knowing that we are together is our hearts.

One of the advantages that I see in this way of living, is that we get to choose the traditions we love and we want to incorporate into our own celebrations as a little family, and to change them and adopt new ones as it pleases us. So, when it came to choosing how to spend our Christmases, we opted for a quiet dinner at home on the eve, and a bigger, yet intimate, celebration on the actual day of the holiday. Our kids are still rather small, and they haven’t started school yet, so they don’t have many expectations about these dates…so they are doubly surprised and overjoyed when they discovered their presents and special treats on the 25th!

One of the treats that I make since we live in Cyprus are some special Greek cookies called Kourambiedes. They were the first sweet I had when I arrived in Nicosia and I loved them immediately.  They are eaten on Christmas day, and at other celebrations, such as weddings. They have cinnamon, almonds and rose water, and they melt in your mouth!

So, if you feel like baking something different these days, do try them! They are very easy, and fun for baking with kids!


Here is the recipe:


{for the filling}

30grs almonds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon sugar


{for the dough}

1 egg

1 teaspoon brandy/cognac

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

100grs butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 cups all purpose flour


{for dusting}

rose water (1/4 cup, approximately)

icing sugar  (approximately 3 tablespoons)

Diciembre 201068


1)Preheat the oven at 150C/300F

2) Process the almonds, sugar and cinnamon until the almonds are coarsely ground (do not over do it, you don’t want them to turn into powder)

3) Beat slightly the egg, vanilla and brandy. Cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon and add it to the egg mixture. Once they are integrated, start adding flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a workable dough (see picture 2)

4) Shape a piece of dough into an oval. Make a hole in the middle, put 1/4 teaspoon of the almond and cinnamon mixture in it and close it, as shown in  picture 3

4)Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until barely golden (Keyword: barely! Do not let them brown!)

5) Put the rose water on a glass and get a brush ready. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, paint them with rose water. (The difference in temperature will allow the rose water to be absorbed by the cookies, so do not let them cool down).

6)Let the cookies rest for about 3 to 4 hours. After they are dry, dust  icing sugar over them and they are ready!

They taste delicious with a cup of tea and they last for a couple of weeks if you keep them in an airtight container.



May you have a wonderful Christmas, full of love, peace and joy.



Este post está dedicado a mi amiga invisible, y compañera de andanzas fotográficas, María. Feliz navidad!!!!!!

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