A Sweet For Babies
The #GreekCookingChallenge for May was scheduled to be “A Sweet For Babies”. However I was a little busy baking a bun in the oven (so to speak) and I did not publish the challenge recipe. I’m sorry about that.
Now it’s June and I’m finally at home with my new baby boy in my arms and I am attempting to type this blog post with one hand. It might take me a while to write the recipe but I am on a mission to get it done today.
A Tradition To Welcome A New Baby
It is tradition to offer friends and family a small gift when they visit a new mother and baby at the hospital or at home. This gift is usually a sweet that has been wrapped up in celophane and decorated with ribbon. Blue ribbon for boys or pink ribbon for girls – or whatever colour you like best.
The gift looks like a bombonerie. Different families will make different kinds of sweets depending on their individual family traditions. Sometimes the sweet is an almond cookie (Amygthalota or Kourabiethes) and sometimes the sweet is made with seasame seeds (Pastelli).
I really like the tradition and I also wanted to offer a gift to my visitors when they came to the hospital to visit me and my baby. So I asked my Mother-in-Law and my Aunty to bake me some Amygthalota.
My Aunty baked Amygthalota for me to have at the hospital. My cousins helped her to wrap the almond cookies in to clear celephane and tie blue ribbons in a bow. The biscuits were beautifully packaged in blue storage box which I later took home and could use as a nappy box in the nursery.
My Mother-In-Law made some Pastichia which is the Cypriot style of Amygthalota. The recipe is slightly different and the name is also different but it is also an almond cookie. I keep these cookies at home and offer them to all of my guests when they came over for a visit.
Amygthalota – Greek Almond Cookies
Amygthalota (αμυγδαλωτά) is pronounced ah-meegh-thah-loh-tah and it is the Greek word for almond. Amygthalota symbolically represent brides or babies because of their colour and taste. They are pure white and sweet. When baking Amygthalota be sure to blanch the almonds and then peel off the skin before processing. This will help you to get a colour that is more “white”.
Amygthalota are usually made for special events such as:
- The Birth of a Baby
- Christenings / Baptisms
- Name Days
- August 15th – Feast Day of the Virgin Mary
A Recipe For Amygthalota
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp flower blossom water (ανθονερο)
- 340g ground blanched almonds
- 150g icing sugar
- 24 whole blanched almonds
- Sift ground almonds & icing sugar into a bowl, whisk to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl or stand mixer, beat egg whites with lemon juice and salt until stiff peaks
- Add flower blossom water to egg whites, mix just to incorporate
- Fold almond & sugar mixture into egg whites in three additions
- Pre heat oven to 350f degrees
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Add finished cookie mixture to a piping bag fitted with a star tip
- Pipe cookies into rosettes, placing a whole blanched almond in the center of each cookie
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350f degrees
- Let cool on baking sheet
- If you are preparing the Amygdalota for a special event then you might like to individually wrap each cookie in cellophane paper and decorate with a ribbon or a tag.
Have you made Amygdalota before?
Please share a photo on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #GreekCookingChallenge or share your recipe link in the comments.
Related posts you might love:
- Our Baby Announcement
- The Greek Tradition of Naming Your Child
- 40 Days After The Birth Of A Child ~ Sarantismos
- The Number of Koufeta in Bomboniere
- Join The Greek Cooking Challenge