Thursday, December 14

Around The World From Your Desktop: A Taste of Cyprus – A Recipe For Kourabiethes (Sugared Almond Cookies)

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My country is Cyprus and my food is a sugared almond cookie pronounced koo-rah-bee-YEH-thess. These melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a tradition at holidays and celebrations. Cyprus is a Middle East country predominately Greek and part Turkish.

Country Information

  • Geographic Facts

Here are three geographic facts about Cyprus:

1.            Cyprus is in the Middle East of the world and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia).

2.            Cyprus has moderate earthquake activity, droughts, and water resource problems.

3.            Cyprus climate is temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters.

  • 3 “Serious” Facts

Here are three serious facts about Cyprus:

1.            Industries within Cyprus are: tourism, food and beverage processing; cement and gypsum production; ship repair and refurbishment; textiles; light chemicals; metal products; wood, paper, stone, and clay products

2.            A former British colony, Cyprus received independence in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Now Cyprus is 77% Greek.

3.            The life expectancy for a male is 78 years and for a female are 75

  • 3 “Fun” Facts

Here are three serious facts about Cyprus:

  1. The country is about 0.6 times the size of Connecticut

  1. The Cyprus flag is white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities

  1. The national anthem of Cyprus is called ‘Hymm’, which is incidentally the national anthem of Greece as well.

  • A “Potpourri” Item

Here is an unusual fact (or two or three) about Cyprus:

  1.       Cyprus has problems with illicit drugs. It is a minor transit point for heroin and hashish via air routes and container traffic to Europe, especially from Lebanon and Turkey; some cocaine transits as well; despite a strengthening of anti-money-laundering legislation, remains highly vulnerable to money laundering; identification of benefiting owners and reporting of suspicious transactions by nonresident-controlled companies in offshore sector remains weak.

  • 3 Pieces of Travel Information

Here are three pieces of info that travelers to Cyprus will want to know about where to go, what to see, and/or how to stay safe while there:

1.            The country is a great tourist spot, with its numerous coastal beaches and the stunning mountain ranges.

2.            Cyprus has abundant sunshine for almost 300 days every year.

3.            The country has 17 airports total.

Food Information

  • Recipe

·  4 cups of butter

·  2 cups of confectioner’s sugar

·  2 egg yolks

·  2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

·  2 teaspoons of baking powder

·  3 tablespoons of brandy

·  1 cup of coarsely chopped roasted almonds

·  12 cups (1 1/2 kg or 3 1/3 lbs) of all-purpose flour

·  1-2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until white. Dissolve the baking powder in the brandy and slowly add to mixture, along with egg yolks, vanilla, and almonds. Add flour gradually. Knead the dough by hand until malleable.

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Shape the cookies by hand into dome-shaped circles about 2 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick, and place on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until cookies barely start to brown.

While cookies are baking, sift confectioner’s sugar onto a large tray or cookie sheet. As soon as the cookies are done, sprinkle with rose water (optional), roll in the sugar. When all the cookies have been coated once, repeat (without rose water) and cool. When cooled, place in layers on a serving platter that has been dusteed with sugar, sift a liberal amount of sugar on each layer.

Yield: 60 cookies

  • My Kitchen Story  

I made these cookies at the last minute. The recipe calls for rose water. I was unable to find the rose water at Albertsons so I left it out of the recipe. It called for a lot of flour and made a lot of cookies. I made more cookies than I needed times ten. The process was very easy and did not take long at all. The baking process only took me one try but I had so much dough I baked at least 5 batches. I made so many cookies I started juggling them and then my dad yelled at me for getting the dough all over. He said “now you got little cookies all over the floor”. The secret to these is to keep them powdered. 


Contact Info: To contact the author of “A Taste of Cyprus: A Recipe for Kourabiethes (Sugared Almond Cookies),” please email


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:



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