Amygdalota (Αμυγδαλωτά) are wonderful Greek almond cookies that can have a variety of shapes and textures. They can be baked or unbaked. Shaped into balls, pears, crescents and even piped. This recipe is a vegan, gluten free version which can be prepared in less than 10 minutes! All you need are almonds, sugar and the liquid/flavoring of your choice.
What Are Amygdalota?
Amygdalota (from “amygdala”, Greek for almonds) are Greek sweets that are usually served on happy occasions such as weddings and baptisms. There are several ways to make amygdalota yielding cookies with different textures and flavors.
In their most basic form, amygdalota are simply composed of almonds, sugar and a liquid (generally orange blossom water or rose water). This type of amygdalota (which we’ll be making today), doesn’t need to be baked. Once the dough is ready, it is simply shaped then coated with sugar.
Baked amygdalota will usually contain egg whites and have a chewy texture. They are sometimes coated in powdered sugar or simply topped with an almond. Another less common addition to the recipe is semolina.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- No bake: No need to bake these amygdalota which makes them perfect for a hot summer day.
- Short preparation time: You can make these in less than 10 minutes! All you need to do is mix the ingredients together and then shape as desired.
- Easy for kids: Kids will enjoy shaping (and eating!) these amygdalota. My daughter’s favorite version is the chocolate orange combo. Use orange juice instead of water and coat them in chocolate shavings. And if the kids want to make the dough themselves, you can skip the food processor and use store-bought almond flour. They can simply mix the almond flour with sifted powdered sugar and then add the liquid.
- Minimal ingredients: You only really need three ingredients: almond, powdered sugar and water. The flavoring is completely optional and you can choose whatever you have or like.
- Customizable: You can really have fun with the flavoring and give these sweets a twist every time you make them!
Let’s first take a look at the ingredients we will need. And then we’ll get straight to making them as they are that easy!
I use whole, blanched almonds and grind them to a powder in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, or if you want a smoother texture, use almond flour (not almond meal) instead.
Almond flour has a finer texture than almond meal. It is made from blanched (skinless) almonds. Almond meal, on the other hand, is made with almonds that haven’t been peeled.
It’s best to use powdered (icing) sugar for a smooth texture, especially if you aren’t using a food processor. You’ll need the sugar for the dough and you can also use it to coat the shaped amygdalota.
Liquids and flavorings
You’ll need to add a small amount of liquid to form a dough. As for the flavoring, you can add as little or as much as you like. Depending on the flavoring you use, you might need to adjust the amount of liquid to get the desired consistency.
- Water: The simplest liquid you can add is water.
- Orange blossom water: I like to use a combination of water and orange blossom water (or rose water) for a wonderful floral flavor.
- Amaretto: Amaretto liqueur intensifies the almond flavor and is a great choice. You can replace the orange blossom water with amaretto liqueur. You might need to add a little bit more water. This version tastes wonderful coated in chocolate shavings.
- Orange juice: You could also use orange juice for example and coat the amygdalota with chocolate shavings. It’s hard to resist the chocolate orange combo! To do so, you can replace the liquids (water and orange blossom water) with orange juice. Start by adding 25 g (0.9 oz.) and then add more if needed. Just note that the almond flavor won’t be as intense.
- Vanilla extract: You can replace the orange blossom water with water and add a little bit of vanilla (about 1 teaspoon) to the amygdalota if you’d like.
Okay, let’s make some delicious treats. The instructions below are for a food processor. If you don’t have one, use store-bought almond flour and sift the powdered sugar. Then simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl to form a dough, using a spoon or your hands.
- Place the almonds in the food processor bowl. Process until ground, about 40 seconds. Scrape the bottom edges (corners) of the bowl. Tip: Don’t process for too long so you don’t end up with almond butter. We can process more once we add the sugar which absorbs part of the oil released by the nuts. I use a small food processor with a capacity of 830 ml (28 fl. oz.).
- Add the powdered (icing) sugar and process until the almonds are finely ground. Scrape the bottom edges of the bowl. Process briefly once more until fully combined.
- Add the water and orange blossom water (if using). Process the mixture until it turns into a smooth paste and starts to collect into a ball. The dough will be thick and slightly sticky. Tip: If you find the dough too thick, add a little bit of liquid. If on the other hand you find it too sticky, you can add finely ground almonds or powdered sugar.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 27 g (0.95 oz.) each. Roll each piece into a ball then coat with powdered sugar. You can roll the ball in sugar to fully coat it. Or sift powdered sugar over it, for a lighter coating. Shaping the dough: After you roll into a ball, you can shape the dough however you wish: pear shaped, crescent etc.
And that’s it! Serve and enjoy! If there are any leftovers (unlikely!), you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
More Easy Recipes (Without An Oven)
- Lazy cake
- Vanilla panna cotta
- Supangle (Turkish chocolate pudding)
- Mahalabia (Middle Eastern milk pudding)
And if you don’t mind turning on your oven, you can also try some of these easy recipes.