Mimi's Organic Eats » Cookie Recipes » Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies

Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies

This recipe for Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies are traditional Greek cookies that are served at major holidays like Christmas and Easter. These butter cookies are soft, dense, and melt in your mouth. With a hint of cinnamon and pecans, these cookies are covered in powdered sugar, making them the perfect pairing to a glass of milk.

If you are looking for more Greek recipes, be sure to check out my Chicken Sausage Greek Salad, Mini Greek Galettes, or my Greek Avocado Toast.

cinnamon pecan yiayia cookies, traditional greek cookies

YiaYia means grandma in Greek. So, this is a way of saying grandma cookies! The real name for this cookie is Kourambiethes (pronounced KorUm-bI-ethies). And growing up, us kids could never pronounce the cookies properly so we lovingly named them YiaYia Cookies because YiaYia was the only one that made them.

Kourambiethes is a traditional Greek cookie that is made up of a ton of butter, little bit of sugar, whiskey, flour and then covered in powdered sugar. This is similar to an Italian wedding cookie or a snowball, but these are not dry! I promise, these are buttery, melt in your mouth cookies that are way better than any other powdered sugar cookie ball you've had.

My recipe for my traditional YiaYia Cookies is in my book Cookies for Everyone. And while my traditional YiaYia Cookies will always be my all time favorite, I've started making other variations because this cookie is just so good! I always have YiaYia Cookies for every Easter, as it was tradition in my house. Whether YiaYia brought them over to our house, or we went over to the cousins for Greek Easter, I got my cookies either way.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

Traditional Greek Cookies: This recipe for Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies is a take on the traditional greek cookies, Kourambiethes (pronounced KorUm-bI-ethies), that are served during the holidays.

Buttery & Sweet: This cookie is dense, buttery, and it completely melts in your mouth. Unlike other culture's wedding cookies, which can be crumbly, these cookies are not crumbly or dry at all! Instead, they are dense have a wonderful crumb that just melts in your mouth. But, you'll want a glass of milk with these for sure. There is nothing better than enjoying one of these Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies with a big glass of milk.

Simple & Easy: The trick to making these cookies perfectly is use the exact ingredients I call for and measure using a kitchen scale. While the recipe may seem very simple, with recipes that have very minimal ingredients, the ingredients really matter! Especially the whiskey in this recipe. If you notice, I'm not calling for a fancy organic whiskey, no not here! I use the exact whiskey my YiaYia used when she made these cookies because the flavor is so nostalgic for me, and delicious. I've even tried making these with many other whiskeys and none of them measured up. Trust me, it makes a huge difference! Just like ingredients like butter and sugar taste different across brands, so does alcohol!

cinnamon pecan yiayia cookies, traditional greek cookies

Ingredients

Organic Valley Salted Butter

Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Sugar

Simply Organic Vanilla Extract

Organic Valley Large Eggs

Seagram's 7 American Blended Whiskey

Frontier Co-Op Organic Korintje Cinnamon

Homemade Organic Cake Flour

Frontier Co-Op Fine Sea Salt

Organic Pecan Halves

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woman sharing cookies with pug in kitchen

Tools Needed

Digital Food Scale

Stand Mixer

Baking Sheet Half Sheet Pan (use code MIMIBAKES for 10% off my favorite stainless steel sustainable bakeware!)

Parchment Paper (get my favorite nontoxic parchment paper and get 10% off with MIMIBAKES)

cinnamon pecan yiayia cookies, traditional greek cookies

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined.

Add in the egg yolk, whiskey, cake flour, cinnamon, and sea salt in that order. Mix on low until combined into a smooth dough.

Step 3

Using your hands, form the dough into 48 balls and place them close together on the prepared cookie sheets (they won’t spread while baking, so 24 should fit on each cookie sheet). Flatten each ball slightly. They should look like disks that are about 2 inches in diameter.

Step 4

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the bottoms. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets. (If you're baking at high altitude, be sure to check the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for high altitude baking instructions).

Step 5

Sift powdered sugar generously over the tops of the cook­ies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

cinnamon pecan yiayia cookies, traditional greek cookies

Baker's Tips

  • Use high quality butter in these cookies because this is the majority of what is in the cookie!
  • I list the exact whiskey my YiaYia used in this recipe, it's not fancy, but it's what makes these taste nostalgic for me! And I've tried many other higher quality whiskeys, so try this one out!
  • Make sure to allow the cookies to cool completely before adding the powdered sugar on top. If you don't let the cookies cool completely, the powdered sugar will just melt into the cookies and you'll have to add even more!
  • Store these in a cool dry place.

FAQ's

Can I use unsalted butter?

Yes, if you only have unsalted you can use that, but be sure to add 1 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.

Can I leave out the nuts?

Yes, if you don't want to use nuts, then you can just leave them out! If you don't have pecans, you could also use walnuts instead.

How do I store these?

These are best stored in a cool dry place. Preferably just out on a plate on your countertop is best! They will be eaten up right away!

Craving More?

cinnamon pecan yiayia cookies, traditional greek cookies

Cinnamon Pecan YiaYia Cookies

Mimi Council
YiaYia means Grandma in Greek, and these are a take on my YiaYia's traditional Greek cookies. If you like snowballs, then you'll love these even more!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Makes 48 cookies
Calories 148 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Dough

Topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined.
  • Add in the egg yolk, whiskey, cake flour, cinnamon, and sea salt in that order. Mix on low until combined into a smooth dough.
  • Using your hands, form the dough into 48 balls and place them close together on the prepared cookie sheets (they won’t spread while baking, so 24 should fit on each cookie sheet). Flatten each ball slightly. They should look like disks that are about 2 inches in diameter.
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on the bottoms. Let cool completely on the cookie sheets.
  • Sift powdered sugar generously over the tops of the cook­ies. Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 week.

Video

Notes

High Altitude — Bake at 325°F for 17 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the bottoms.

Nutrition

Calories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 86mgPotassium: 29mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 244IUVitamin C: 0.03mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.2mg
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