Amigthalota are the traditional Greek version of marzipan. These delicate almond sweets are most often served at weddings and baptisms and covered with a snowy dusting of powdered sugar. The traditional pear shapes can also be made into crescents and however you shape them, amigthalota are as beautiful as they are delicious!
So simple and quick to make, you’ll need just five ingredients and only twenty minutes to whip up a batch of your own. Almond extract and rose water give the marzipan center the most wonderful fragrance and a whole clove tops each pearl white pear making this an aromatic as well as incredibly tasty treat. One bite through the just ever so lightly crisp outside into the dense, chewy, almondy amazing center and you’ll be hooked – they’re just that good!
This recipe makes about 18 amigthalota and can be scaled as needed for parties and celebrations. These are also a perfect summer treat as the recipe calls for just 3-4 minutes on the stove and they keep for 7-10 days.
The trick is to follow these few, easy instructions below EXACTLY as written. Trust that I’ve done the experimentation for you and worked out all the kinks and you’ll get the most wonderful amigthalota every time!
3 cups almond meal (use blanched or fine ground almond meal, not the brown specked natural kind)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp rosewater
Sift the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl or cup, measure out the almond extract and rose water and set aside.
In a medium pot, bring water just to a boil and quickly add the almond extract and rose water. Bring the heat down to LOW and swirl the water to incorporate the flavors. Add the sifted almond meal and powdered sugar and remove from the heat.
Quickly quickly – preferably with a fork – work to combine all ingredients into a loose crumble.
Transfer crumbles to a large bowl. The dough will still be warm but wait until it’s cool enough to handle and knead for about 3-4 minutes. You want to get to a smooth, dense dough.
To mold your amigthalota, simply pinch off pieces about the size of a heaping tablespoon and roll in to balls in your hands.
Very lightly dip the tips of your fingers into a bowl or cup of room temperature water shaking off the excess,
Allow pears to cool completely. This takes about 20-30 minutes. It’s important to allow pears to cool completely because the sugar coating will melt and dissolve if the pears are still warm!
As a finishing touch, insert a whole clove into the top of each pear.
Feel free to make the dough up to five days ahead. And they keep well, covered in a cool place, for 7-10 days. You can refrigerate them but remember to allow amigthalota to come to room temperature before serving!
Kiki Vagianos is The Greek Vegan! Kiki lives and cooks in Boston. She spends her free time collecting, testing and posting favorite traditional Greek recipes at The Greek Vegan website. She loves sharing these simple and delicious authentic dishes and helping to bring them back into kitchens throughout the Greek diaspora. Kali Orexi!