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Amygdalota (No Bake Almond Cookies)

Amygdalota (No Bake Almond Cookies)

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Amygdalota pr. Ah-mee-gdah-loh-TAH, take their name from amygdala, which means almonds in Greek and are no bake Greek cookies from the Greek islands (Cyclades), made with blanched almonds and sugar. 

almond cookies shaped image

These no bake cookies are shaped liked small pears, usually with a clove inserted on the top. They are then dipped in rose water and showered with icing sugar.

These desserts were offered at any festive event, be it a wedding, engagement or baptism of a child.

Amygdalota wrapped in cellophane image

Nowadays there are so many options to offer on these occasions that amygdalota are not used any more.

However, if you want to follow the traditions, you can offer these amazing and aromatic morsels at your child’s christening.

They can be shaped the traditional way or cut them with a cookie cutter. After they dry, wrap them in cellophane and tie each one with a ribbon.

They are so easy to make that your children would love to help you making them.

Amygdalota shaped into a star image

My tweaked Amygdalota

There are a few versions of Amygdalota, either baked or not.

Onr day, I made these cookies the traditional way but filled them with mandarin marmalade!

Amygdalota with Mandarin image
amygdalota with icing sugar image

They are great to make during Christmas, with or without chocolate!

White and Chocolate Citrus Amygdalota image

Chocolate Citrus Marzipan balls

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams (8.80 oz) almonds, blanched and ground
  • 235 grams (8.30 oz) icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 50 grams butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup citrus spoon preserve (orange, Seville orange, bergamot etc), finely chopped
  • Citrus blossom water (about 2 – 3 tablespoons)

 Chocolate glaze:

  • 125 grams milk chocolate
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Pilfar Orange liqueur

Directions:

  1. Blanch the almonds and let them dry.   Grind them with some icing sugar in a food processor until powdered.
  2. Add the remaining icing sugar as well as all the other ingredients and mix.
  3. Finally add enough blossom water until they hold together.
  4. In a double boiler melt the chocolate with 1 tsp butter and 3 tbsp heavy cream.  Mix in the liqueur.
  5. Add the melted chocolate in the almond paste, together with the citrus fruit preserve and mix.
  6. Shape them into pears and place them on parchment paper to dry.
  7. Serve them in cupcake cases.
  8. During summer keep them refrigerated

At the end of the post, you will find my recipe for Amygalota with White Chocolate. A similar recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

Since I am posting this recipe during the Christmas period, I would like to tell you a few things about Greek Christmas traditions:

Greek Christmas Traditions

On Christmas Eve  one of the few traditions,  preserved in its entirety to this day, is Kalanta.

Kalanta are similar to Christmas carols and are sung on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Epiphany Eve, each time with a different song.

All the children go around from house to house in small groups, some playing a musical instrument such as a guitar or a harmonica but the most usual one is a metallic triangle held in one hand and hit with a wand producing a metallic sound.

On each of the above three occasions they would sing different carols, which usually describe the occasion and end up by wishing the landlord good health and prosperity.

In the past the children would be given traditional sweets such as kourabiedes, melomakarona, amygdalota, etc., but now they are only tipped with some coins.

These are the traditional Carols, sang on Christmas Eve.

I also wish all of you Happiness, Health and Prosperity.

Kala Christougenna “Merry Christmas”.

Amygdalota image

Amygdalota with White Chocolate

Yield: 20
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Amygdalota, take their name from amygdala, which mean almonds in Greek and are no bake Greek cookies from the Greek islands made with blanched almonds and sugar. They are dipped in rose water and then coated with icing (confectioners’) sugar.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams (8.80 oz) almonds, blanched and ground
  • 235 grams (8.30 oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 30 ml rose or orange blossom water
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

White Chocolate ganache:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) white chocolate
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Blanch the almonds and let them dry. Grind them in any way you like but they must be really thin.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar and add the almonds as well as all the other ingredients and mix.
  3. Add enough rose or blossom water until they hold together and can be shaped resembling little pears.
  4. In a double boiler melt the chocolate with 1 tsp butter and 3 tbsp heavy cream.
  5. Dip each amygdaloto in the chocolate and with a fork and a spoon try and carefully get one on the fork, so that excess chocolate will drip off.
  6. Place on parchment paper to dry.
  7. Serve them in cupcake cases.
Nutrition Information
Yield 20 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 162Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 4mgSodium 70mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 2gSugar 16gProtein 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

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Collage Amygdalota no bake Greek Almond cookies image

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

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cakebrain

Sunday 28th of December 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! lovely looking amygdalota. I've never tasted any but the ingredients so appeal to me that I'm sure I'd love them!

anudivya

Friday 26th of December 2008

Happy Holidays Ivy! What a perfect way to celebrate it with these...

Anamika: The Sugarcrafter

Thursday 25th of December 2008

Hi ivy the almond dessert looks very tempting to palates...wow. I would also like to wish you Merry Christmas and wonderful ushering into new year 2009.

PG

Thursday 25th of December 2008

yummylicoius! Kala Christougenna “Merry Christmas” to you too!

Cakelaw

Thursday 25th of December 2008

These look delightful Ivy. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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