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6 Easy Greek Sweets


There are many wonderful Greek sweets and many easy recipes, but these are the easiest. They make wonderful gifts, or to serve to guest or satisfy a sweet tooth. The hardest part of any of these recipes is the Greek name. Each is a traditional Greek favorite and each is easy to make (one needs no stove time at all). Listed alphabetically.

1. Honey Puffs - Loukoumathes (Loukoumades)

Photo of Greek Honey Puffs - Small Donuts - Loukoumathes - Loukoumades
Photo © Jim Stanfield
In many areas of Greece, Loukoumathes (also loukoumades) are a New Year's Eve tradition, and they are also made to celebrate the name day of St. Barbara (December 4). The Greek Jewish community also includes these small honeyed puffs at Hanukkah. They are quick and easy to make - 20 minutes start to finish. Serve hot or warm, and drizzle with honey just before serving.

2. Semolina Pudding - Halvas

Photo of Greek Semolina Pudding - Halvas
Photo © Jim Stanfield
Halvas made with semolina, nuts, raisins, and cinnamon is a delightful, grainy textured dessert, and one of the more famous Greek sweets. This version is cooked on the stove, placed in a mold to shape, and served at room temperature. The recipe makes a fairly large quantity, so it works well for several gifts. Just divide the pudding among several decorative molds!

3. Sesame Honey Candy - Pasteli

Photo of Greek Sesame Honey Candy - Pasteli
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Pasteli is a favorite Greek candy, and can be made with a variety of seeds and nuts. Called "the original energy bar," this traditional recipe calls for sesame seeds and honey and creates a chewy candy, perfect with tea or for an energy boost. To wrap for gift-giving, use cellophane.

4. Sesame Honey Spread - Tahinomelo

Photo of Greek Sesame Honey Spread - Tahinomelo
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Mixing tahini (sesame paste) and honey has long been a Greek favorite. This no-cook recipe is simple and easy to make, and packed in small jars, makes a wonderful gift from your kitchen. With fewer calories than peanut butter, it's healthy and delicious. Spread on bread like jam or preserves, or use in sandwiches (delicious with bananas), and enjoy!

5. Sugared Almond Cookies - Kourabiethes

Photo of Kourabiedes - Greek Sugared Almond Cookies - Kourabiethes
Photo © Jim Stanfield
If you make any kind of cookie from scratch, Kourabiethes will be a snap. This is a great recipe for kids, and since my 9-year old granddaughter is my chief assistant, I put her to work. The dough is fairly dry so it won't stick to the hands, and it's easy to roll it into balls that are slightly flattened before baking. When the cookies are done and cooled, I put the powdered sugar in a strainer and she shakes it to give the cookies a thick coating. These make beautiful gifts.

6. Traditional Greek Spoon Sweets (Preserves) - Glyka Koutaliou

Photo of Traditional Greek Spoon Sweets - Preserves - Glyka Koutaliou
Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Spoon sweets are similar to preserves, made with fruit, nuts, or vegetables, cooked with sugar to create a thick syrup. Because they are so sweet, they are served by the spoonful, hence the name. A traditional offering to guests, spoon sweets can also be used as dessert sauces and condiments. They are easy to make - mostly a matter of boiling the fruit with sugar. Decorative jars filled with these treasures are delightful gifts.
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