Monday, June 22, 2009


As another birthday approaches it becomes ever more important to document and preserve family recipes. The dishes and treats that make everyone smile aren't often the most complicated or innovative. Simple cookies like this family favorite take me back to a special place and time. I was lucky enough to have my dearest aunt, Theia Sotiria (pictured below on the far left) share her recipe and wisdom.

My dad's sisters have a panache for baking and to my great fortune are pretty good about sharing their techniques. They have a dictatorial approach as in this case my aunt needed an extra blood pressure pill when I hinted butter may be a nice substitution for margarine. Sharing on their terms can lead to interesting recipe discussions and I am willing apprentice as no cook book can teach the approach of not measuring the flour rather just continue adding until it comes together and leaves the hand. That dear reader is the philosophy of those born to bake.

Amygthalota cookies are flaky but sturdy little bites of almond goodness. The recipe is straight forwarding, beating the fat, sugar adding the eggs then the dry ingredients. This version creates an almond sugar cookie that is perfect to serve with coffee or wine. While the more traditional recipes use blanched ground almonds as opposed to flour I like this texture and flakiness of this cookie. Enjoy!

Amygthalota (Almond Sugar Cookies)
Adapted from my beloved Theia Sotiria
Yields 4 dozen

1 lb. unsalted room temperature margarine (fleischman's)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs separated
2 teaspoons almond extract
4 1/2 cups all purpose white flour
8 oz. sliced almonds (unbleached if possible)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer beat the margarine and sugar until fluffy and white (about 10-15 minutes). Add the almond extract. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time. Decrease the speed and slowly add in the flour. Beat the egg whites. Place sliced almonds in a shallow plate. Roll dough in to 1 inch balls. Dip in egg what then roll in almond pieces. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on racks and store in air tight container for up to a week.


Betty's Cuisine said...

Kanella, there is an award STILL waiting for you in my blog...could you come and get it please???

BMK said...

I love almond anything! These look great! What a wonderful thing to be able to learn your family recipes and spend time cooking together.

elly said...

Amygdalota are one of my favorite cookies, ever. I love them so much! I haven't made them myself least not yet.

Peter M said...

Like Elly, Amygdalota are one of fave cookies....I eat them so slowly...savouring them.

Luana said...

I wonder why they don't like to use butter for them?

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