Cyprus Almond Macaroons (Ergolavi)

about 15 minutes
15 minutes
Makes about 25 cookies

300g slivered blanched almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 egg whites
zest of 1 orange
1tsp almond extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

2. Measure a 1/2 cup of the 300g slivered blanched almonds. Coarsely chop the almonds. Set to the side in a flat pan.

3. Put the rest of the silvered blanched almonds and the granulated sugar into a food processor. Grind together into a fine powder.

4. Add the icing sugar, zest and almond extract. Pulse 2 seconds.

5. Add the egg whites and pulse until it forms a firm paste.

6. Take walnut sized teaspoon of the firm paste and shape into a cylinder.

7. Roll the cylinder in the coarsely chopped almonds and shape into a crescent shape.

8. Place on parchment paper on a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes until very light golden brown.

Cyprus Macaroons (“ergolavi”) are traditionally given as “kerastika”. There is no English word for this, but I think it is a very sweet idea. (ba dum chhhh). In Cyprus, on certain celebratory occasions like your birthday, or when you baptize a baby, you typically give those invited to celebrate with you a treat – called “kerastika”. “Ergolavi” were typically handed out for baptisms, weddings and birthdays. Nowadays, of course, there are a variety of “kerastika”. In any event, don’t let not having a special occasion put you off from making “ergolavi”. These cookies are very easy to make if you have a food processor. If you do not, you will need a mortar and pestle to grind the almonds. “Ergolavi” are delicious with coffee. And they have a soft, chewy center that reminds me a little bit of marzipan.

I think they are best enjoyed right out of the oven, or consumed during the next day – otherwise they tend to go hard. So, in any event, they should be kept in an air-tight container. One good thing about these cookies, is that they freeze extremely well for up to 3 months. This week I had the chance to pick up some tips from Joey Armstrong, an amazing food photographer based in Vancouver.

I took over the cookies and enjoyed the time learning. I also made some Greek coffee and we took a quick Cyprus-coffee break and enjoyed some of these cookies. They were really such a perfect treat for an afternoon pick-me-up summertime snack!


    1. Hi Kristen, icing sugar is a fine, powdered form of white sugar. It also goes by the name ‘powdered sugar’ or ‘confectioners’ sugar’. If you only have normal white sugar at home, you can make icing sugar by grinding the sugar by hand in a mortar and pestle. Hope that helps! 🙂

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Cyprus Cuisine

“Cyprus Cuisine”, published by Whitecap Books in 2021, is now available for purchase. Christina Loucas shares over 80 recipes that showcase the very best of Cypriot cooking.

Cyprus Cuisine