Greek Butter Cookies with Cloves

Greek Butter Cookies

Getting a “leg-up” on my Christmas baking by starting with these buttery little morsels that have just a hint of anise flavour. They’re good keepers and freeze well!  You can use either blanched or unblanched almonds to make the cookies.  I’ve been baking these off and on for over 40 years…the original recipe is taped together and has suffered somewhat by coming into contact with butter and flour over the years!  Aaah fond memories!

Makes About 4 ½ Dozen Cookies

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 tsp. salt
¾ cup sifted icing sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large  egg yolk
1 Tbsp. Greek Ouzo or Galliano liqueur
4 ¼ cups sifted unbleached flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup very finely chopped blanched almonds
Whole cloves
Icing sugar for dusting cookies after baking

Make the Cookies:

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy and light using either a stand-mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and liqueur.  Blend in the almonds.

Combine sifted flour and baking powder; add to the butter-sugar mixture; blend well. Chill the dough 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Shape the dough into balls, using about 1 Tbsp. dough for each cookie. If the dough becomes sticky, lightly flour the palms of your hands.  Place each cookie 2” apart, as rolled, on a baking parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Stud each cookie with a single whole clove.

Bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes or until cookies are a very light sandy colour. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then carefully place on wire racks, using a metal spatula.  Sift icing sugar over tops of cookies while they are still warm.  Allow to cool completely before putting into the container you will be storing them in.

Save some for Santa!





  1. These are beautiful cookies! Ouzo is so strong, but in cookies I imagine it’s a wonderful flavor!

    • Hi Mimi…welcome…yes it is strong but there is only 1 TBSP. in the dough…as I mentioned I like to use Galiano too…both are good…I suppose one could use Pernod too. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday season and here’s to lots of cookie making!

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