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Tsoureki inspired shortbread

A buttery, flaky shortbread cookie flavoured with masticha and mahlepi
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Shaping time15 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Mahlepi, Mahlepi shortbread, Masticha, Masticha shortbread, Mia Kouppa, Mia Kouppa desserts, Mia Kouppa recipes, our Kouppes, Shortbread, Shortbread cookies, Tsoureki, Tsoureki flavours, Tsoureki shortbread
Servings: 25 cookies
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp ground mastiha
  • 1/4 tsp ground mahlepi
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • slivered almonds optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, mahlepi, mastiha and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the icing sugar, butter and shortening until well combined and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mix, and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then add the remaining flour. Beat well until combined.
  • Shape your cookies by taking about a tablespoon of dough and shaping into a ball with your hands. Once you have a ball, flatten it slightly in the palm of your hand so that you end up with a cookie which is about 1/2 inch thick.
  • If you like, decorate each cookie by pressing some slivered almonds onto the surface.
  • Place your cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in the middle of your oven for 8 - 10 minutes. Your cookies will brown on the bottom but will not really change colour otherwise (that is, the surface of your cookie will not brown).
  • Once your cookies are baked, allow them to cool on the baking tray for approximately 5 minutes before transferring them with a spatula to a cooling rack for them to cool completely.
  • Cookies can be stored in a air tight container for several days, at room temperature.


The amount of Mastiha and Mahlepi used in this recipe gives the shortbread a very mild flavour.  If you would like a more pronounced flavour of Mastiha and Mahlepi you can increase the amounts to 1/2 teaspoon each.  Don't add more than that however, as too much of a good thing can make your cookies bitter and off-tasting..