Sweet Greek flavours
Traditional Greek sweets always distanced themselves from gooey, melty chocolate or fluffy cakes. The sweetest pleasures are found bottled in crystal jars to preserve small bites of fruit from one season to the next, our famous ‘spoon sweets’ that are, in essence, wholesome marmalades. Along with fruit and vegetable preserves the next best thing is nuts. Walnuts and almonds grind their way into small delicious bites. There are many versions for baking these small almond or walnut based delicacies. For Mykonos, I chose amygdalota: fragrant almond based bites, dusted in icing sugar, a soft reminder of the white washed houses.
Head straight to the recipe.
Traditional Mykonian amygdalota require very few ingredients: almonds, eggs, sugar and floral water. This minimalism of ingredients is reminiscent of times less lush. In the dry, wind whipped Cycladic islands, scarcity of ingredients calls for resourcefulness and delicacies suffice in few but delectable ingredients. This is the case of Amygdalota, so popular in Mykonos. There are a handful of almonds, a bit of sugar, a fluffy meringue and fragrant rose water to lift the mix up. Execution of the amygdalota recipe however calls for the baker skills. Once the fine mix of ground almonds meets the meringue, oven temperatures should not be harsh on the oblong shaped cookies, but gently wrap them in heat to consolidate the mixture and bring out their fine flavours. Amygdalota are not overtly sweet, but rich in almond flavours and floral water. Greek coffee could not be in better company.
Ingredients (makes approximately 40 pieces)
- 400 gr almonds
- 100 gr sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 50 ml floral water
- Icing sugar for dusting
How to make them:
- In a food processor, grind the almonds with the sugar until their texture resembles a fine powder. It’s best to grind them in small batches.
- Beat the egg whites into meringue.
- Add the meringue to the powdered almonds and sugar and mix gently to incorporate.
- Form small, almond shaped balls with your hands and layer them on a baking tray.
- Bake at 120°C for 20-25 minutes.
- Spray them with floral water as soon as they get out of the oven and let the amygdalota cool down.
- Once at room temperature, roll in icing sugar to coat.
I hope you enjoy amygdalota as much as I do. Drop me a line when you make them.
From Mykonos with love,
PS: This Mykonian amygdalota recipe has been photographed for Greek Flavours and first appeared in their website, you can find them here.