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? 🙂
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 this recipe
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.
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.
More cookie recipes you’ll love:
- Almond butter cookies
- Chocolate peanut butter cookies
- Koulourakia (Greek Easter cookies) by Curious Cuisiniere
If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!
Greek Almond Cookies (Amygdalota)
- 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.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
41 Comments on “Greek Almond Cookies (Amygdalota)”
Hope that you had a nice low-key birthday! These cookies look like something my mom would love. She’s a sucker for any baked good that involves almonds!
Thank you Nicole, and it sounds like your mom would love these!
In your recipe you say sliced almonds, are they the same as slivered almonds that you buy or is it better to slice them yourself ?.
What I’m saying is is it better that the almonds are thinner or thicker.
and is it better that the almonds are with the skin or without also if using honey or maple syrup how much should I use.
Hi Joanna. Pre-sliced almonds are the best for this recipe as they are thinner and it’s time consuming to slice yourself. Chopped slivered almonds would work but they will be thicker and chunkier if you will.
Happy belated birthday Marcie! I hope you had an awesome day! These cookies are a fine way to celebrate and since they are only 5 ingredients, way easier to make than a birthday cake. I’ll have to keep these in mind for future celebrations!
Thank you Leanne! I was on the go all day on my birthday, so it was nice to have a stash of these with me! 🙂
Happy birthday Marcie!! I was just chatting with my friend the other day about how when you have kids, your birthday kind of gets lost in the mix of every-day stuff. But you’re ok with it! I’m glad you at least got to celebrate with these 5-ingredient beauties! My kind of cookie!
Thank you Katherine! And yes — your birthday does get lost, especially when the kids are smaller. My kids are in high school, so I’m at the point where I’m dreading my kids leaving home. I’m savoring every single thing! 🙂
I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!! And these cookies look divine!! I feel like I would eat way too many in one sitting 🙂 haha
Thanks Ashley! I’ve limited myself to 2 cookies at a time, but I also had coconut macaroons laying around and ate one of those too. That’s why I don’t bake cookies often! 🙂
Our Greek festival in Atlanta this weekend ran out of these cookies (my favorite) so my 13 yr old son found your recipe online so we could make it at home. My kids are swimmers and runners as well and he said your story sounds like me.
Thank you for providing a great recipe!
I’m so glad that you enjoyed the cookies! And that is the life of all moms right? I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂
Hi What is the defence between Almond flour and almond meal ??
Hi Kathy. Almond meal is normally a coarser grind than almond flour, and oftentimes contains the skin of the almonds as well. Almond flour does not include the skins of the almonds and is a finer grind, which makes it better for baking. I hope that helps!
Use 3/4 cup maple syrup or honey for every cup of granulated sugar. Have you tried coconut sugar? That’s an easy 1:1 swap — I use it a lot too. I hope you enjoy the cookies and I’d love to hear how they turn out.
can honey be substituted for sugar?
I haven’t tried it, but it should work fine!
Has anyone used swerve in these cookies as a sugar replacement?
Not to my knowledge Peggy. I think it would work fine but I’m not sure about the quantity.
will it make a difference if you use slivered almonds with skin or without ?
I would chop them up but otherwise it will just be a bit chunkier and change the appearance a bit!
Thank you so much for specifying it’s not almond meal , I have both , I made this recipe , so yummy thank you 🙏😋
I’m so glad you enjoyed them Marianna!
best to SKIP the orange. It ruins the flavor !
So many people think otherwise, but it all comes down to personal preference.
I tried this recipe for the first time yesterday as I had guests over for dinner. We were four of us and there were no cookies left after dinner. This is a keeper for sure. Used less sugar. I cannot do gluten so these are great. Will do them over and over again….thank you!!!
I’m so happy to hear that you loved these and thank you for the feedback!
Yum! I used monk fruit sweetener and they were festive and delicious!
I’m so glad these worked out for you! 🙂
Love almond cookies.
They are the best!
Can I use all purpose flour for this recipe?
I’ve never tried that so I can’t recommend it.
If you’re using flour instead of almond meal then how are they gluten free?
You need to use almond flour, not almond meal.
I made these cookies this weekend and they are fabulous. I added almond extract to the egg whites. I also was a little short on the almond slivers so I used pecan pieces on a few cookies. Both nuts are fabulous!
Thank you for the review and I’m so glad that you love the cookies!
Hi Marcie! I am Serbian Orthodox thru and thru and just went to the Greek festival in Buffalo NY. Bought a few if these almond horns a fell in love with them! Looked thru my Greek church cook books and could not believe the recipe was not in them. So I went to the web under images since I didn’t know name of them. I was SO HAPPY 😀 when I found your blog !! Can’t wait ti make them thank you so much !! I have many ethnic recipes if your looking for something specific let me know!
Hi Elaine! I’m happy to know someone that loves these cookies as much as I do, and I hope you love them! And I’ll certainly let you know if I’m looking for any specific ethnic recipes. 🙂
Wondering if the texture is the same as your CHOCOLATE DIPPED ALMOND HORNS? The horns use almond paste where this uses more almond flour and of course has the orange.
The texture of these is different as there is no paste. These are nice and chewy, but not as sweet and chewy as the almond horn cookies. They’re definitely worth a try. 🙂