Armenian Shortbread “S” Cookies (Kourabia)

December 15, 2022

As the colder months approach and the holiday season is upon us, there is nothing better than baking up a batch of delicious cookies to enjoy with friends and family. And when it comes to cookies, there are few cookies that are more cozy and comforting than Armenian Shortbread “S” Cookies, also known as Kourabia. These cookies, also known as butter cookies, are a staple of Armenian cuisine and are often enjoyed during special occasions such as weddings and holiday gatherings. They are a favorite of both young and old, and their buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. I know you’re going to love them!

A bunch of the Armenian S Cookies, laid out on a countertop

Friends, do you ever eat something that instantly takes you back to your childhood? For me, it’s these Armenian “S” cookies. As a child, I remember looking forward to the holiday season every year because it meant one thing: my grandmother’s famous Armenian “S” cookies, or kourabia.

My grandmother, Peris Moomjian, had been making these delicious treats for as long as I could remember. Every year, she would spend hours in the kitchen, mixing, rolling, and shaping the dough into the perfect “S” shape. I would sit at the kitchen table, watching with amazement as she expertly rolled the dough into balls and carefully pressed each one with a fork to create the signature shape of the Kourabia cookies.

When they were finished baking, I would immediately pop one into my mouth. They were absolutely delicious, with a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a buttery flavor that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

Now, many years later, I still make these cookies every holiday season for my boys, and I love being able to share this Armenian tradition with them. And now, with you, too!!

What You Need to Make These Buttery, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

If you thought these cookies couldn’t get any better, then just wait until you hear this: they only need FOUR ingredients. What?! It’s true!

  • Unsalted Butter: Because these cookies are so buttery, of course they call for loads of real butter! Note that this recipe has not been tested with dairy-free butter, so I cannot guarantee that it will turn out the same.
  • Powdered Sugar: Along with the butter, another crucial ingredient when it comes to making these cookies is the powdered sugar! We will be using powdered sugar both in the cookie “dough” and for dusting the finished cookies with.
  • Vanilla Extract: This is optional, but highly recommended. A touch of vanilla extract adds the perfect flavor!
  • All-Purpose Flour or Gluten-Free Flour: Of course, any good cookie recipe requires a little flour, and this recipe is no exception! I use standard, all-purpose flour, but you can also use a 1:1 Gluten-Free flour, if desired!
An image of the Armenian cookie dough, in balls, lined up on a cutting board

How to Make These Armenian Holiday Cookies

To make these cookies, start by preheating your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, set it aside.

Next, in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until it’s light and fluffy – this should take approximately 4-5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, so that all of the ingredients are fully incorporated! And, make sure that the batter is really light and fluffy, otherwise you will end up with tough, dense cookies.

Next, once your mixture is light and fluffy, add in the flour and mix until it’s fully combined, again being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. It should take about two minutes for the dough to come together.

One of the finished Armenian S Cookies, sitting on top of a cup of hot chocolate

Once the dough is finished, use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 12-16 balls, rolling each one in your hand. Then, roll each one into a cigar shape and place it on the baking sheet.

Finally, bend each one into an “S” shape. Repeat until all of your cookies are formed!

Bake them for 18-22 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven once they’re done. While they’re still hot, dust them heavily with powdered sugar. Then, let them cool and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

** Photography by Bea Moreno
A bunch of the Armenian S Cookies, laid out on a countertop
Nut Free

Armenian Shortbread “S” Cookies (Kourabia)

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Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 32 mins
SERVES 24 Cookies
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As the colder months approach and the holiday season is upon us, there is nothing better than baking up a batch of delicious cookies to enjoy with friends and family. And when it comes to cookies, there are few cookies that are more cozy and comforting than Armenian Shortbread "S" Cookies, also known as Kourabia. These cookies, also known as butter cookies, are a staple of Armenian cuisine and are often enjoyed during special occasions such as weddings and holiday gatherings. They are a favorite of both young and old, and their buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates. I know you're going to love them!

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Mixer

Ingredients

  • 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar plus more for dusting
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract optional but highly recommended!
  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour or substitute a 1:1 Gluten-Free Flour

Instructions

  • Start by preheating your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, set it aside.
  • Next, in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until it’s light and fluffy – this should take approximately 4-5 minutes. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, so that all of the ingredients are fully incorporated!
  • Next, once your mixture is light and fluffy, add in the flour and mix until it’s fully combined, again being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. It should take about two minutes for the dough to come together.
  • Once the dough is finished, use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 12-16 balls, rolling each one in your hand.
  • Then, roll each one into a cigar shape and place it on the baking sheet.
  • Finally, bend each one into an “S” shape. Repeat until all of your cookies are formed!
  • Bake them for 18-22 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven once they’re done.
  •  While they’re still hot, dust them heavily with powdered sugar. Then, let them cool and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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