Almond drops
2nd December 2009

Almond drops

By Emma Photography by Emma

The 1st December marks a very special day in Auckland’s Christmas calendar.  On this auspicious evening every year just as dusk turns to dark in one of our central city streets, a row of houses light up with the spirit of Christmas.  Draped in curtains of Christmas lights these houses are transformed and it is impossible not to be overcome with Christmas cheer. An influx of cars brings traffic to a standstill and as crowds gather and the street fills, the sound of laughter fills the humid summer air.

For us here in New Zealand Christmas is synonymous with summer.  It is warm and humid and weather permitting we move outside to the shade of Mum’s garden for our late Christmas lunch.  Our menu is ever-changing and Christmas ham is the most traditional item ever to feature.  Desserts are numerous and this year, pre-empting the post lunch coffees I will make on Mum’s new coffee machine, I am going to make and serve these sweet little almond drops.

As well a making up a batch for Christmas day, I thought I would also make some to give as presents.  Boxed and tied up with a red ribbon I think they will make gorgeous Christmas gifts.  I am going to play round with the recipe too as I think you could make beautiful rose, vanilla or lemon flavoured variations.  If you cannot find the little gold cachous with which I decorated my drops, then try walnuts or pistachios.

Merry Christmas!


Makes around 30 balls
  • --
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 tbsp orange blossom water (enough to make a stiff paste)
  • Additional icing sugar and gold cachous to decorate.


  • --
  • 1. Mix the ground almonds, icing sugar and enough orange blossom water to make a stiff paste. Knead by hand until smooth and then let the paste rest for a few minutes. Place the paste in a bowl and cover with a tea towel so that as you roll out the balls the mixture does not dry out.
  • 2. Shape the paste into little balls the size of large marbles (I was pedantic and made mine 20g each just because I have electronic scales!). Roll in icing sugar and decorate with the cachous and place in little truffle cases. Store in an airtight container.


  1. Beautiful words and treat!

  2. Julia

    Hello, do you know where in Auckland you are able to purchase the Orange blossom water from? I would LOVE to make these :)
    Beautiful photos too!

  3. Emma

    Hi Julia,
    Thanks for your messages. I found the Orange Blossom Water at New World in Victoria Park.
    Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!

  4. Emma,

    These are beautiful. Not only that, but you make me wish for a Christmas in the sun where it isn’t so cold that going near a window makes run back to the fireplace!


  5. Emma

    Hi Laura,
    Thanks for your message. I can’t even imagine a Christmas where it is cold enough to light the fire! It must be magic though when the snow starts falling.
    Have a happy Christmas.

  6. These are adorable. Nice job, they look delicious also! Going to have to add these to my candy box.

  7. hey emma and team, nice work. i’ll be making this for the tea party diaries zine launch on tuesday. wish us luck!

  8. Lily

    Where did you get those plates and cups? They are adorable!

  9. Emma

    Hi Shasha!
    Good luck for the launch on Tuesday! How exciting! I hope the Almond Drops are a hit.

  10. Gorgeous photos and looks delicious!
    Greetings from South Africa

  11. Emma

    Hi Shel,
    Thanks for the greetings from South Africa – lovely to know that we have some readers over there!
    Merry Christmas.

  12. Hi, these look amazing, I am going to make them tonight!
    How long do they last though- I am considering making some for a christmas gift for someone and I don’t want them to spoil.

  13. Emma

    Hi Ella,
    These do last quite a while, though they will dry out a little. I still had a few left over after about a week or so and they tasted just as delicious as the day there were made.
    Happy baking and Merry Christmas!

  14. Alinda

    Hi Emma, can you use almond flour? I didn’t know what ground almonds meant. Thanks.

  15. Emma

    Hi Alinda,
    You could certainly use almond flour for this recipe. I am not sure whether or not it is more finely ground than the ground almonds you get here in New Zealand, though I doubt it. If it is however all this will mean is that you will most likely end up with a smoother finished Almond Drop – which is fine.
    Happy baking and let us know how yours turn out.

  16. Alinda

    Hi Emma, I found almond meal so I am going to try to make these this week for Thanksgiving. It sounded like it was closer to ground almonds than the almond flour.

  17. Emma

    Hi Alinda,
    I am glad you were able to find the almond meal – I imagine that it is more coarse than almond flour, is that right?
    They look so pretty all rolled and in little wee cases. You can experiment with different flavours too.
    Let me know how they turn out!

  18. Rochelle

    In the US, I can get ground almonds which are brownish or blanched ground almonds which are very pale and uniform in color. The latter looks like it is equivalent to what is call almond meal in Australia? I may try this with both kinds!

  19. Emma

    Hi Rochelle,
    Yes, the blanched ground almonds are what I used for the almond drops. Perhaps the ground almonds which are more brown in colour have their skins on before they are ground. It would add colour and flavour to the drops which I think would be really nice.
    Let me know how they turn out!
    Happy cooking,

  20. Nithya

    Hello Emma,

    Greetings from India. I chanced to see your blog this morning and I haven’t stopped going through it.

    Had a question regarding the almond drops- could i replace orange blossom water with rose water instead ?


  21. Emma

    Hello Nithya,
    Thank you for reading us all the way from India and for stopping by and leaving a message. I think replacing the orange blossom water with rose water would be beautiful. I might have to give it a go myself! Please let us know how they go if you do go ahead and make them.
    Happy cooking,

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