This Amygdalota Recipe produces delicious Greek Almond Cookies that have the perfect crunchy exterior but or soft and chewy on the inside. This simple cookie requires only 5 ingredients and are naturally dairy and gluten-free!
If you love almonds and simple recipes, than you have got to try whipping up a batch of these Amygdalota cookies or Greek Almond Cookies. They require just 5 ingredients – 6 if you include an optional almond slice for garnish – and are ready in less than 30 minutes!
Amygdalota are a classic Greek cookie that is often enjoyed around festive occasions such as holidays, celebrations like weddings and baptisms, and pretty much anytime, to be honest. These are always a hit when shared with friends and family and I make sure to include them in my cookie trays alongside my Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies) and Melomakarona for this reason.
Since these classic Greek almond cookies don’t contain any flour, they are also naturally gluten-free and dairy-free which makes them a great addition to a dessert table for dairy and gluten-sensitive guests!
While they don’t resemble macaroons in taste (there is absolutely no coconut used in these, instead they are very much an almond flavored treat), they are kind of like a Greek version of macaroons in terms of texture. Similar to macaroons, they have a meringue like texture – crunchy on the exterior and chewy on the inside.
This amygdalota recipe produces perfect little cookies that are full of almond flavor and only lightly sweetened. If you have almond flour on hand, than you are ready to get this recipe started! The ingredients are all simple, common ingredients you likely have in your kitchen right now.
Let’s get baking!
Ingredients in this Amygdalota Recipe
- Almond flour: You will need about 3 cups of almond flour. For the best results, use a super fine almond flour (I buy mine from Costco).
- Granulated sugar: I only use 1 cup of sugar in my recipe to make these only lightly sweetened. If you want a sweeter cookie, you can increase the quantity.
- Almond extract: I use just a tiny bit to have a more pronounced almond flavor. You can also use vanilla extract or substitute orange blossom water instead. Orange blossom water or anthonero is also commonly used in amygdalota recipes.
- Egg whites
- Sliced almonds: optional, used as garnish on top of each cookie. You can also use a whole blanched almond, almond slivers or no garnish at all.
Note: Ingredient quantities and full instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Almond meal vs almond flour
This recipe is best when made with almond flour versus almond meal. While both are very similar, they do have some distinct differences. Almond meal is made from whole almonds that are ground to make a meal. The ground almonds are typically ground in their raw form (basically whole almond with the skin still on).
In contrast, almond flour is made from whole blanched almonds that usually have the skin removed. Almond flour is also ground more finely.
For the best results, this amygdalota recipe uses almond flour that is super fine. I typically use the Kirkland brand from Costco, but you can also find this in bulk stores, health food stores, or the health section of many grocery stores.
How to make this Amygdalota Recipe
The full instructions for this easy recipe are in the recipe card at the end of this post, but essentially, these cookies come down to these simple steps:
1. Combine the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, sugar and salt together. Add the almond extract and set aside.
2. Whip egg whites: In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk together the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
3. Mix the cookie dough: Gently fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until they form a thick dough (like a paste).
4. Pipe: Transfer the almond mixture to a pastry bag or piping bag fitted with a large star attachment. Pipe swirls of dough onto parchment paper lined baking sheets to form the cookies. [Alternatively, you can scoop dough with a cookie scoop and roll it into a ball. Then press it down to form the cookie shape since the cookies will not spread much.]
5. Garnish: Sprinkle the cookies with almond slices or top each one with just one almond slice or whole almond, if desired.
6. Bake and cool: Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Turn the broiler setting on for your oven and broil the cookies a little to achieve a little browning on the top of the cookies. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips and Substitutions for this Amygdalota Recipe
- Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. While some amygdalota recipes skip this step, in order to achieve the lightest, meringue-like texture, it’s important. The whipped egg whites add an airiness to the cookies that is achieved by whipping the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Add other extracts of flavorings. These cookies have a distinct almond flavor, owing to the fact they are primarily almond flour. I also up the almond flavor in my cookies by adding a bit of almond extract. If you like, you can replace the almond extract with vanilla extract, orange blossom water (anthonero in Greek) or even rose water. This is often used in amygdalota recipes and gives a hint of orange flavor to the cookies.
- Use a large star tip. While this dough is pipable, it is going to give you quite a workout if you are trying to squeeze it out of a small star-tip. You need a wide opening to make them easy to pipe and create those beautiful designs.
- Scoop cookies instead of piping. I love how beautiful these cookies look when they are piped but you can make them easier by just scooping out the cookie dough instead. To do this, scoop the dough and then roll it into a ball. Press down on the cookie ball to flatten it because these cookies do not spread. Before baking, press almond slices over the cookies so they stick to them.
- Let them cool before transferring from the baking tray. When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be soft and can easily lose their shape if you try to move them. Allow them to cool on the baking tray first before transferring them.
Storing Greek Almond Cookies
Once cooled, these cookies can be stores in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week.
For longer storage, you can freeze these cookies. Place cooled cookies in freezer-safe container or bag and store them for up to 3 months. To prevent freezer burn, you can wrap the cookies in plastic food wrap as well before placing them into the container.
What to do with those leftover egg yolks
Since only the egg whites are used in this recipe, you might be wondering what to do with the leftover egg yolks. There are a few great options for using up egg yolks. You can use them to make a custard, a curd (like lemon curd), or hollandaise sauce to serve over your breakfast.
Other recipes I like to use the egg yolks in are my Pecan Cookie Recipe (uses 1 egg yolk) or Portuguese Custard Tarts (Pastéis de Nata) (uses 3 egg yolks).
I hope you enjoy this Greek almond cookies recipe as much as I do! Amygdalota are just perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!
You may also like these Greek cookies:
Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies)
Koulourakia – Greek Easter Cookies
Recipe for Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)
Greek Olive Oil Cookies (Vegan) – Koulourakia Ladiou
Amydalota Recipe (Greek Almond Cookies)
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or substitute orange blossom water instead)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds optional, used as garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the almond extract and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk together the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until they form a thick dough (like a paste).
- Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star attachment. Pipe swirls of dough to form the cookies. [Alternatively, you can scoop dough with a cookie scoop and roll it into a ball. Then press it down to form the cookie shape since the cookies will not spread much.]
- Sprinkle the cookies with almond slices or top each one with just one almond slice or whole almond, if desired.
- Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Turn the broiler setting on for your oven and broil the cookies a little to achieve a little browning on the top of the cookies. [Keep a close, watchful eye during this step because they can brown quite quickly and you do not want to burn them.]
- Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.