Greek Almond Cookies (Amygdalota)
Greek Almond Cookies are crunchy, chewy amygdalota cookies that are made with only 5 ingredients, and they’re naturally gluten-free!
It’s my birthday today! I’ll be spending the entire day at my youngest son’s swim meet, then going to my oldest son’s track meet. I’m completely fine taking the focus off of myself, which is the sign of being a mature older woman. 🙂
My birthday truly has been an after thought for me this year. Maybe it’s because mid-April came way too fast, or it’s just because I’m getting older (I’m 52 if you must know!) and I’m just happy to be alive. lol
These days, the simple things in life truly make me happy, which is why I chose to post these Greek Almond Cookies (Amygdalota) on my birthday.
These cookies are simple, classic (like me!), and symbolize happiness and new beginnings, which I’ll get more into in the history of these cookies.
Isn’t that better than a birthday cake? 🙂
Greek almond cookies (amygdalota)
I’m part Greek as you probably know by now, so I love making classic Greek treats for the holidays.
These greek butter cookies (kourabiedes) are a favorite of mine, but I’m limiting the amount of flour that I eat these days, so I love finding flourless recipes to try.
I went to a Greek festival last September and experienced amydalota cookies. The cookies were crescent shaped, so I thought they were almond horns, which I also love (see my recipe here).
While amygdalota cookies are similar to almond horns, they’re definitely different. The biggest difference between the two is that the amygdalota cookies include almond flour, and almond horns are made with a combination of almond paste and almond flour.
I did a lot of research to find an amygdalota cookies recipe because I had to learn how to make them.
They’re crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, with a touch of orange flavor. The cookies are just sweet enough, and completely addictive.
What does amygdalota mean?
The word amygdalota means sweets from almond.
History of amygdalota cookies
Almond trees are prevalent in Greece, which is why almonds are found in many Greek pastries. Almonds happen to symbolize happiness, prosperity and new beginnings, so amygdalota cookies are present at most Greek baptisms and weddings, along with other almond treats.
Amygdalota are typically made with ground almonds, egg whites, sugar and rosewater or orange essence. Semolina is sometimes added as well, but I chose to make my greek almond cookies gluten free as many people do.
These cookies are thought to be the Greek version of macaroons, only they’re made with almonds instead of coconut. No wonder I love them!
You can find greek almond cookies in various shapes depending on which region of Greece that you’re in. Some are rolled into balls like I’ve done here, some are piped with a whole almond in the middle, and some are shaped in crescents or half moons.
Sometimes they’re unbaked and shaped like pears with a powdered sugar coating as well. There are so many variations of this classic greek almond cookie!
How to make Greek almond cookies
This Greek almond cookies recipe is one of the easiest cookie recipes you’ll ever make! There are only 5 ingredients, and no dough chilling or fancy techniques.
Simply combine the almond flour, sugar, salt and orange zest in a large bowl. Add lightly beaten egg whites and stir until the dough is wet and paste-like.
Use a 1 1/2″ cookie scoop to scoop out tablespoon-sized balls, and roll the balls into sliced almonds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, and flatten as the cookies will not spread.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set, and cool on wire racks.
Recipe tips and substitutions
I like to break up half of the almonds into smaller pieces with my fingers as they coat the cookies better this way. You can opt to place one whole almond in the center of each cookie instead if you like!
The cookies may also be piped for a pretty presentation with one whole or sliced almond in the center, or shaped into crescents following the instructions for my almond horn cookies.
Swap out the orange zest for other citrus peel, or use 1 teaspoon orange, almond or vanilla extract.
- 3 cups almond flour (not almond meal)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (use maple syrup for Paleo friendly)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Set the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line (2) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the almond flour, sugar, orange zest and salt in a large bowl until combined. Stir in the beaten egg whites until the dough is wet and paste-like.
- Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop, scoop the dough into tablespoon size balls and roll in the sliced almonds (this is easier to do if you break up some of the almonds into small pieces with your fingers). Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and flatten them a bit as they won't spread.
- Bake both trays in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through baking, for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set.
- Remove from heat and cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire racks. Serve and enjoy!
- Store cookies in an air tight container at room temperature for 1 week.
- The cookies may also be piped for a pretty presentation with one whole or sliced almond in the center, or shaped into crescents following the instructions for my almond horn cookies.
- Swap out the orange zest for other citrus peel, or use 1 teaspoon orange, almond or vanilla extract.
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Serving Size:2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215 Total Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 47mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 11g Protein: 7g