Traditional Greek Recipes: Melomakarona (Christmas Honey Cookies)

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Melomakarona are a classic Greek traditional delicacy, filled with flavours of cinnamon, orange and walnut. 

They are a popular treat throughout the year but especially during Christmas their sweet aroma fills the house with an intensely sweet smell.

Ingredients

For the syrup:

  • 500 g water
  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g honey
  • 3 stick(s) cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 orange, cut in half

For the biscuits:

  • First mixture
    • 400 g orange juice
    • 400 g seed oil
    • 180 g olive oil
    • 50 g icing sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon(s) cloves
    • 2-3 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon(s) nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
    • Orange zest of 2 oranges
  • Second mixture
    • 1 kilo all-purpose flour
    • 200 g semolina, fine

For the garnish:

  • 100g crushed walnuts
  • Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line two baking trays with parchment paper
  2. Boil all of the syrup ingredients apart from honey. When it has melted, remove from the heat, add honey and mix until combined. 
  3. Let the syrup cool for 3-4 hours or even overnight so that it cool by the time the cookies are ready
  4. To make the biscuits, you need to prepare two separate mixture
  5. For the first mixture, add all of the first mixture ingredients into a large bowl and mix using either an electric or hand whisk
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and semolina
  7. Combine the first and second mixture together in a large bowl and very gently mix by hand for a short time to avoid the mixture splitting or curdling
  8. Shape the batter into oval shapes and place onto the baking tray
  9. Bake the biscuits for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  10. When the melomakarona comes out of the oven, begin soaking the hot biscuits in the cold syrup. This is best done by placing an individual biscuit onto a slotted spoon and dip into the syrup for about 10 seconds
  11. Remove the cookies using the slotted spoon and place onto a wire rack to drain
  12. Once drained, you can top the biscuits with crush walnuts and a sprinkle cinnamon and they are ready to be served!

Kali epitichia! 

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