Amygdalota (Αμυγδαλωτά)

Amygdalota or (Αμυγδαλωτά in Greek) are a classic Greek almond cookie. These amazing cookies are made with almond flour and egg whites and are crispy on the outside by soft on the inside. They are one of my favourite cookies; very flavourful, just sweet enough, and amazing served with a delicious cup of Greek coffee.

Amygdalota

If you’ve never eaten amygdalota, here’s what you can expect. This is a cookie that is gluten-free, since it contains only almond flour. Add to that egg whites, superfine sugar (you can read more about that in the Helpful hints), and a special technique and you get a cookie that is firm and kind of crisp on the outside, but soft, chewy and macaroon-like on the inside. Note, I said macaroon and not macaron…those are two different types of cookies. What makes this even more confusing is that the ingredients in amygdalota are actually more similar to the ingredients in macarons versus macaroons. Sigh. You know what…don’t worry about it. Just enjoy the amygdalota and don’t concern yourself to much with what they are, and are not, similar to.

It took years for me to perfect this recipe to the point where I felt comfortable sharing it. However, with this recipe I feel that they are even better than the amygdalota that I have always purchased, and loved, from our local Greek bakery. Amydalota,, these traditional Greek almond cookies, are the perfect addition to a Christmas cookie platter along with melomakarona, kourambiethes, and koulourakia.

Why I love this recipe

Remember when you were a kid and you made someone that you loved a card, or a macaroni Christmas tree ornament, or a finger painting of what was clearly an abstract masterpiece? Remember how excited you were to offer your gift and to sit back and listen to the accolades? Remember the pride, the joy, the downright glee? I really, really hope that you do.

I remember that feeling, and frankly, I’m having the same kind of feels right now. But now it’s not about art, or arts and crafts…it’s about baking and I am practically bursting to be able to share with you my recipe for amygdalota. Youppi!!

Amygdalota are classic Greek almond cookies made with few ingredients; almond flour, egg whites, sugar and a few more little things combined to create a cookie that is full of flavour, which has a texture unlike any other, and which looks so, so pretty.

Amygdalota

So what took so long, you ask? A few things. First, because this isn’t a recipe that our parents’ make, I was on my own. And so, I needed to be sure that this amygdalota recipe was as perfect as I could make it. It is! After many, many, many versions were baked in my kitchen, and then taste-tested by Helen and our families, I am confident that this recipe is a winner. The final step was to get the approval of my parents; although they don’t make amygdalota, they love them and it is their favourite cookie from one of the Greek bakeries in our city. This recipe had them exclaim, “Bravo!” in unison. The second reason for the wait was that although many had asked if we had an amygdalota recipe, Helen and I were kind of holding onto it – for a future project. But finally, in a fit of childlike can’t-wait-for-you-to-see-what-we’ve-got-for-you excitement it was decided that holding out was too painful and that future projects would just have to share present gifts. I think that will work out just fine.

Amygdalota

Key ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make these traditional Greek almond cookies.

Almond flour – The base of these cookies is almond flour. I use superfine almond flour to make these gluten-free cookies.

Superfine sugar – I start off with granulated sugar which I grind in a blender or food processor. The superfine sugar is perfect for these cookies because it incorporates into the batter perfectly.

Egg whites – Only egg whites are used in these cookies. They are whipped and then folded into the batter in two different points. I often use carton egg white for these cookies because I find it easier, and I am not left with the unused egg yolks.

Cream of tartar – Using cream of tartar makes the whipped egg whites more sturdy so that they retain their fluffiness.

Almond extract – Adds the warm and nutty flavour of almonds to these cookies.

Slivered almonds – I use slivered almonds to decorate the top of my cookies before baking them. Alternatively, you can decorated the cookies with an entire almond.

How to make

Follow these tried and true step to make the perfect amygdalota.

Step 1
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2
In a medium sized bowl whisk to combine the almond flour with the salt. Set aside.

Step 3
In a large bowl, using the hand held mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together 3 of the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Next add the almond extract and the superfine sugar to the whisked egg whites and beat until well combined and your mixture appears glossy.

Step 4
Fold in the almond flour using a rubber spatula. Your dough will be stiff at this point but mix well until you end up with a uniform batter.

Step 5
Add in the last 2 egg whites and beat to combine using your hand held mixer. (At this point we switch to the paddle attachments of the hand held mixer).

Step 6
Attach a large star shaped piping tip to your piping bag. Fill your piping bag with the cookie batter and pipe cookies onto a parchment lined cookie tray. Leave about 1 inch between cookies and pipe your cookies so that they are about 1 inch high.

Step 7
Place a slivered almond on top of each cookie.

Step 8
Bake in the middle rack of your oven for between 17 – 19 minutes until golden brown on the bottom of the cookie. The baking time will depend on how you have shaped your amygdalota.

Step 9
Remove your baking tray from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray.

Step 10
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Amygdalota

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between almond flour, almond meal and ground almonds?

Both almond flour and almond meal are actually made of ground almonds. The difference however is that almond flour is made from blanched, peeled almonds whereas almond meal is coarser and made from raw, unpeeled almonds. Between the two, almond flour is lighter in colour and finer in texture, and it is what is used in this recipe for amydgalota.

Can I make my own almond flour?

Sure! All you need is a good blender and a few minutes of your time – and the almonds of course. Add blanched and peeled almonds to your blender and blend until you end up with a finely ground texture. Don’t walk away or you might end up with almond butter! Alternatively, you can purchase almond flour here.

The recipe calls for a total of 5 large egg whites. What do I do with the leftover egg yolks?

First, I love that you are concerned about not wasting food! My parents would be very proud of you! There are lots of recipes that use egg yolks including custards and lemon curd. You can also cook egg yolks and feed them to your dog, you can use them to make face masks and you can even preserve them. This last option sounds SO weird – I am definitely going to try it one day. Or, you can do what I have started doing, which is to buy egg whites in a carton. That way there are no shells to crack, and no yolks to deal with.

What is superfine sugar, and where can I find it?

Superfine sugar is exactly what it sounds like, sugar with very fine crystals of granulated sugar. It is often used in delicate desserts like meringues and mousses. I like to use it here because it incorporates easily into the beaten egg whites.

If you can’t find superfine sugar in the store (even if you do – pass…it is usually quite expensive), here is how to make it at home. Simply put regular granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for a few seconds until you end up with powdery white superfine sugar granules.

Note: superfine sugar is NOT icing or powdered sugar.

Do I need to shape these cookies with a piping bag?

No you don’t. You can make delicious amygdalota by using a mini ice cream scooper or even a tablespoon to measure out the dough for each cookie. I love the look of using a piping bag, and the way that the edges on the piping get extra firm after baking but this is not essential. Also, if you prefer a less chewy inside to crispy outside ratio, make your cookies a little flatter – either by using a piping bag or not. Simply adjust the baking time.

Amygdalota
Amygdalota

If you love these traditional Greek almond cookies, I think that you will love these cookies as well:

Tahini honey cookies

Pear-shaped cookies (Αχλαδάκια)

White chocolate and cranberry cookies

Simple, dairy-free, gluten-free and utterly delicious! Tahini honey cookies are our new favourites.
Syrup soaked cookies shaped like little pears but flavoured with a hint of orange!
The perfect white chocolate and cranberry cookies! A sweet and tangy combination.

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Amygdalota
Amygdalota

Amygdalota (Αμυγδαλωτά)

Greek almond cookies
4.95 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Billie Bitzas

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour we use superfine ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 + 2 large egg whites see Recipe Notes
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar see Recipe Notes
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a medium sized bowl whisk to combine the almond flour with the salt. Set aside.
    3 cups almond flour, 1/4 tsp salt
  • In a large bowl, using the hand held mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk together 3 of the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Next add the almond extract and the superfine sugar to the whisked egg whites and beat until well combined and your mixture appears glossy.
    1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp almond extract, 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, 3 + 2 large egg whites
  • Fold in the almond flour using a rubber spatula. Your dough will be stiff at this point but mix well until you end up with a uniform batter.
  • Add in the last 2 egg whites and beat to combine using your hand held mixer. (At this point we switch to the paddle attachments of the hand held mixer).
  • Attach a large star shaped piping tip to your piping bag. Fill your piping bag with the cookie batter and pipe cookies onto a parchment lined cookie tray. Leave about 1 inch between cookies and pipe your cookies so that they are about 1 inch high.
    If you do not have a piping bag you can simply use a tablespoon or mini ice cream scooper to form balls of cookie dough.
  • Place a slivered almond on top of each cookie.
    1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Bake in the middle rack of your oven for between 17 - 19 minutes until golden brown on the bottom of the cookie. The baking time will depend on how you have shaped your amygdalota.
  • Remove your baking tray from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking tray.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Superfine sugar can either be purchased, or made at home.  To make superfine sugar at home simply place regular granulated sugar into a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground.
A total of 5 large egg whites are required for this recipe, but they will be used in two different steps.

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 0.01IU | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Thanks for sharing!

32 Comments

  1. Irene Kypreis says:

    What can I replace cream of tartar with, for the amygdalota.
    Thank you

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Irene! In this recipe the cream of tartar is used to help stabilize the egg whites (sometimes it is used in combination with baking soda as a leavening agent – not the case here). If you don’t have it, leave it out. Your cookies should end up fine.

  2. Ooo. Yes I remember these treats.
    I used to watch my mum make them.
    And they were sooo delicious.
    All the parents used to have them with tea or coffees. I can only imagine what they tasted like with a good cup of Greek coffee.
    I’m so grateful to you for sharing this recipe.
    I’m transported back to my past & remembering some really good times with my family, friends and relatives.
    I’ll be making them real soon (Christmas day).
    Thanks again.
    Harry

    1. miakouppa says:

      Your comment has made us so happy Harry! We are so grateful to be able to bring back happy memories for you. We hope you do try this recipe, and that you love it – be sure to make yourself a nice Greek coffee to go along with it 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

    2. I just made these and the taste is amazing!!!! i put them for 19 minutes and they were a bit brown on the bottom and a bit hard on the outside but the color was still white and the inside was still mushy! what do i do in this case?

      1. miakouppa says:

        Hi Jinan! Thanks for trying our recipe and we love that you enjoyed the taste!! The texture on the outside should be slightly firm, and the inside chewy (not mushy). They also don’t get very brown all around. Perhaps you cookies were a little too “high”, keeping them from cooking through on the inside while the outside was already done. Oven temperature can also play a role; if your oven tends to run hot, lower the temp – and increase it if the opposite is true. Hope that is helpful! xoxo Helen & Billie

  3. Christina says:

    Is it ok to just use beater attachments on the hand mixer? Will that pump too much air into the batter?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Christina. You can try that. We like to use the whisk attachement for the egg whites to get them nice and fluffy and the paddle attachment to help mix after we’ve added the almond flour. But, you can certainly try to use only the paddle attachments (we think those are the ones you are referring to). Let us know! xoxo Helen And Billie

  4. nurse99ca says:

    I just made these and they turned out magnificent! Thank you!!!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Yay!! We are so happy to hear that!! So glad that you gave them a try and thrilled that you love them 🙂

  5. EVEY SIMON says:

    Have you ever made these with Baking Splenda, instead of sugar? Thanks

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Evey, we haven’t and so can’t be sure how they would turn out. If you want to try we suggest making half a batch, just in case they don’t work out (you don’t want to waste all that almond flour 🙂 ). Let us know if you do give it a try with that substitution. xoxo Helen & Billie

  6. HELP! They taste amazing! But they completely spread and didn’t hold the star shape at all. What did I do wrong? Thank you!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Maria!! I’m so happy that you tried the recipe and loved the taste 🙂 We are not sure why they didn’t hold their star shape. Did you use large egg whites? (this is what is called for in the recipe). Was your dough very soft (It should not be). Perhaps take a look at the video we just posted on Instagram showing Billie making the amygdalota so that you can see the texture you are looking for. Hope that helps. Xoxo Helen & Billie

  7. Once cooked, can I freeze these?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Faye! We haven’t tried freezing them, but there is no reason why that wouldn’t work! Just be sure to keep the air out so that they don’t get freezer burn. 🙂

  8. I made these and they turned out wonderful. Tasted just like some of my favorite ones I have had in Greece. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Thank you Soula!! So glad you tried our recipe and loved the amygdalota 🙂 We really appreciate you taking the time to let us know. Have a great day! xoxo Helen & Billie

  9. The flavor of this recipe is amazing and delicious, but I haven’t been able to get the texture to stand up to a cookie shape. I have tried to make these twice & both times, it turned into more of a cake batter, so that is how I baked it. I will try again whipping the last 2 eggs and folding them in prior to baking since that seems to be when the batter becomes too liquified. Any other suggestions?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Andrea! So happy that you enjoy the recipe. The texture you end up with has us perplexed! If anything, the batter is usually more on the stiff side. We wonder if perhaps your eggs are too large? We would suggest adding one of the egg whites only at the end – and seeing what happens. If your texture is fine at that point, leave it at that. Also, be sure to mx your batter well when adding the last egg whites. Good luck! and keep us posted!! xoxo Helen & Billie

  10. Hello, I really like the sound of your recipe and would like to make it but I have a question. With the extra two egg whites that are added in later, “Add in the last 2 egg whites and beat to combine using your hand held mixer. (At this point we switch to the paddle attachments of the hand held mixer)…
    question 1 – just checking – do you add the egg whites in their liquid form? (ie you don’t whip them into white peaks first and then fold them in)? and question 2 – I don’t have a paddle attachment to my hand mixer, how could I best mix them in, eg can I mix them in by hand using a spatula?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Ilianna,
      Sorry for the delay in responding to you. For your first question, yes, add the egg whites in their liquid form. And sure, if you don’t have a paddle attachment to your hand mixer simply use a rubber spatula, or even you your regular beaters. Either will work well. Happy baking (hope you love these cookies – they are one of our favourites!) xoxo Helen & Billie

  11. Catherine G Rogers says:

    Hi there. What size tip did you use for piping?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi there Catherine! We use an open star tip #848. Hope that helps! Helen & Billie

  12. Hi… just a query.. about superfine sugar… do you mean the equivalent of
    English caster sugar.
    . or
    icing sugar …
    Thanks

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Mairi, Thanks for the question. No, superfine sugar is granulated white sugar that is finely ground – similar to caster sugar. It is not the same things as icing sugar. Hope that helps! xoxo Helen & Billie

  13. Dena Martinez says:

    I made these today and they were a hit in my house. They are perfectly sweet with that great chewy texture — I don’t think they’ll make it Easter. They are easy enough to whip up another batch in a flash so I may make more tomorrow.5 stars

    1. miakouppa says:

      We are so happy to hear that you tried and loved this recipe! We tweaked quite a bit until we got them just right! xoxo Helen & Billie

  14. Hi, you said to pipe them out to about an inch thick but what diameter should we aim for?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Maria, we usually make them about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Enjoy! xoxo Helen & Billie

  15. I just used a small scoop but the dough was not very stiff so they were flat. Should I have added more flour or eliminated the extra egg whites?

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Marsha, either adding more almond flour or omitting the last egg white could have worked. Hope they still tasted delicious for you! xoxo Helen & Billie

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