Eating one of those heavenly tasty cookies, besides fatter, makes me want to share this incredible recipe as soon as possible with all of you. So I am trying to write something that will make you understand what melomakarona is about. That is of course for those of you who haven’t eaten melomakarona not even once in your life. For all the others just the name of it is enough. I am trying to find the words to describe the taste, the texture, the flavor. It is difficult! It is really difficult! Whatever I will say is nothing to what a bite of a melomakarono can do. Only the feeling that overflows you is the real thing. Aromatic, syrupy, nutty, melt in your mouth, with honey and cinnamon flavor are always one of the reasons for Christmas to be the most favorite time of the year.
Melomakarona is one of Greek traditional Christmas sweets that every home “must have” on Christmas table.They are cookies with orange juice and cinnamon, dipped in honey syrup and sprinkled with ground walnuts. There are many different recipes. The basic ingredients are the same of course but there are some small variations in every recipe. Others are using semolina instead of flour, others are using chopped walnuts in the dough and others are covering the melomakarona with chocolate. I am giving you one of the classic recipes and in my opinion one of the best.
I could go on and tell you more about these amazing honey cookies and the aromas that permeates not only the house but also all the neighborhood and every neighborhood in Greece this period, all the childhood memories they bring up but I think it is not time for any more talking or writing to be more accurate. It is time for baking!
Merry Christmas to all of you!!!
- for the dough
- 2 cups olive oil (you can use 1 cup olive oil and 1 cup corn oil or just corn oil)
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- for the syrup
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups honey
- for topping
- 2 cups ground walnuts
for the syrup
Put all the ingredients for the syrup in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil the syrup for 4-5 minutes.
Remove the foam with a skimmer.
The syrup must be warm when you add the cookies in it but not very hot.
for the cookies
In a large bowl add all the ingredients for the dough except flour.
Using a hand whisk mix until well combined.
Add the flour little at a time mixing gently after each addition.
After you have added about the half of the flour or more you will have to use your hands to mix in the rest of it.
The dough is ready when it is not sticky and can be shaped. You may need to add some more flour than the amount I give you. It depends on the flour.
Do not knead the dough. Just incorporate the flour by hand and it is ready. Do not overwork it.
Take a small amount of the dough, like a walnut and roll it to oval shape.
Arrange the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
With a fork press the top of each cookie gently to make a pattern and to flatten them slightly.
Bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Let them cool slightly and then dip them into the syrup (5-6 cookies each time) for about 15 seconds turning them upside down 2-3 times.
With a skimmer remove from the syrup and let them drain on a cooling rack or a colander for 2-3 minutes before transfer them to a platter.
Sprinkle them with ground walnut.
The time of dipping depends of how hot is the cookie and the syrup when you dip them in it. So if the cookies or the syrup gets colder more dipping time may needed. I think you will understand it.