Greek Christmas Honey cookies (melomakarona)
Gooey, sticky traditional Greek Christmas honey cookies with delicious festive flavours. There's no way you'll be able to eat just one!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 50 cookies
For the cookies
- 6.5 cups plain flour
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
- 0.75 cups sugar
- 1 orange zest of
- 0.75 cups orange juice (I used the juice of 2 oranges)
- 0.25 cups brandy (optional)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 0.75 cups walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
For the syrup
- 1 cup runny honey
- 1 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 cloves
- 2 inches lemon rind
- lemon juice a few squeezes
Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C.
Zest the orange, then combine the zest with the sugar in a large bowl.
Pour the oils into the sugar/orange mixture and beat until well combined. Then add the orange juice and brandy and beat again.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda, then add to the liquid little by little until a stiff, wet dough forms.
Pull off a walnut-sized piece of dough and shape it into a ball / oval in your hands, then place it on a baking sheet. Use a fork to flatten the dough and make a criss-cross pattern on it. Keep shaping and flattening balls of dough until it is all used up.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned. While they are in the oven, make the syrup. Combine the honey, sugar, water, cinnamon, lemon peel and cloves in a saucepan, then bring to the boil. At this point, simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly. Then take out the cinnamon, lemon peel and cloves and stir in the lemon juice.
Then, while the cakes are still very warm, float them in the syrup a few at a time, turning them over to make sure they soak up plenty of liquid. After about 30 seconds, take the cookies out with a fork or spoon with holes in, put them on a serving plate and press some walnuts into the top. Lastly, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon over them.
Once you've covered your plate, you can pile the others on top of each other if you like - this is how they are usually sold and served in Greece!
Recipe slightly adapted from this one on About.com.
Don't keep these Greek Christmas honey cookies in the fridge. They are better kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
Also, don't pour away any leftover syrup. Simply drizzle it all over the top of the cookies. The more syrup sinking into these babies the better!
You can also confidently make them well ahead of Christmas (or any time you like really) as they will last for about a month. They actually get better after a few days after all the lovely syrup has sunk in.
Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 56mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.9mg