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Amygdala is the name of almonds in Greek and this dessert is called Amygdalota “all almonds”. There are a few versions either baked or not. These desserts are traditionally made in the Greek islands, shaped liked small pears with a clove inserted on the top and showered with confectioners’ sugar.

Chocolate Citrus Amygdalota

I did not follow the traditional recipe but made a total different recipe using other ingredients.

Chocolate Citrus Marzipans


  • 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
  • Citrus spoon sweet
  • Orange blossom water (about 2 – 3 tablespoons)


 Chocolate glazing:

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


  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 and can be shaped resembling little pears.
  4. In a double boiler melt the chocolate with 1 tsp butter and 3 tbsp heavy cream.  Mix in the liqueur.
  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 and keep them refrigerated.

A similar recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!

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


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 the 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 and melomacarona but now they are only tipped with some coins.

Here is what all the children will be singing

I also wish all of you Happiness, Health and Prosperity.     Kala Christougenna “Merry Christmas”.

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15 Responses

  1. Mmmhhh, with white chocolate… Nice song!


    Rosa xoxo

  2. Ivy,

    These look amazing, I love almonds and white chocolate. That first photo is great! Have a great holiday.

  3. these are amazing!!! happy holidays to you!!! 🙂

  4. Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένος ο Καινούργιος Χρόνος! Ivy, all my very best Compliments of the Season for you and your family. And your amygdalota look excellent! 🙂

  5. The amygdalota look amazing Ivy! The white chocolate is a nice touch. All the best wishes for you and your family this coming festive season. Chronia Polla!

  6. Amygdalota…gotta have them during Christmas and decadent additions like white chocolate are called for!

    I wish you and your family and Merry Christmas, health & happiness in 2009.

  7. Καλὰ Χριστούγεννα καὶ καλὴ χρονιά! Take care and eat more for me ok??? ho ho ho…hee hee hee… 🙂

    Lots of hugs!

  8. ooh i love the songs ho ho ho ho… police stops my car (sing to feliz navidad) from the Christmas song Medley 😀 I think I loved most is My Favourite Things…always reminded me of The Sounds Of Music! I always hummed this song when I’m sad.

    Thank you so much for sharing the music!

  9. giz

    As always Ivy, something beautiful and so yummy sounding. There is something so festive about white.

  10. Definitely no one will go hungry in your home. All of these traditional desserts look delicious. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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

  12. PG

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

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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!