These beauties are as delicious as they are lovely and gluten free too! When wheat flour was less available, nut flours were used instead in both sweet and savory recipes. Nut flours have a long and tasty history in traditional Greek food culture and this cookie recipe is a wonderful example of baking with almond flour. Greek almond cookies are authentically sweetened with honey, easily substituted with agave nectar if you prefer, and lightly spiced with cardamom – just made for a cup of coffee or tea. You will LOVE these!
On our Dad’s island of Chios, Greek almond cookies were often flavored with an almond flavored syrup called soumatha (σουμάδα) and I’ve learned Greek Cypriots also have this tradition. Soumatha is also used to preserve cherries, a local fruit tree on Chios and more well known in the prefecture of Pella in northern Greece, producing something very similar to Maraschino cherries that we have here in the US. I’ve coopted them (Maraschinios) for this recipe and, though not Greek, they work perfectly with the almond flavors here 🙂
A lightly crisp outside with a just-sweet-enough, chewy cookie inside, these so simple cookies are scrumptious. They’re also a fantastic recipe to make with children because they can safely munch on the dough and will have a great time scooping and rolling out. Try a batch today – and save me a few!
- 3 cups of fine ground almond flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup honey (or agave nectar)
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 12 maraschino cherries, halved
Combine almond flour, salt, cardamom and baking soda in medium bowl. Set aside.
Add honey (or agave) to small bowl and stir in vanilla/almond extracts to combine completely.
Add honey/extracts to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Drizzle in sunflower oil and mix until completely combined.
Scoop dough in slightly rounded tablespoons, roll into balls and lightly press down until about 1/2 inch thick. Cookies do not spread much at all. Make a thumbprint into center of each dough disk and firmly press in half of maraschino cherry.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Allow cookies to rest for 5 minutes before transferring to cooking rack. They’re ready to enjoy after about 10-15 minutes. Greek almond cookies keep for up to two weeks, covered in cool place.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.