Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies)
Melomakarona recipe (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies)
Posted in ***Most liked recipes***, Baked, Desserts, Extra syrupy desserts, Intermediate, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Tea and Coffee nibbles, Traditional Greek Christmas Recipes Originally published on November 30, 2013 Last updated on January 9, 2016 By Eli K. Giannopoulos
Making these sweet little cookies always makes me realise that it’s Christmas time! Melomakarona (Greek honey cookies) are one of the most popular treats throughout Greece during the Christmas Holidays and their intense homely smell makes every house smell like Christmas.. These sweet little Greek honey cookies (melomakarona) are super quick to bake, so much fun to make and highly addictive to eat! So consider yourself warned! This easy to follow traditional Greek melomakarona recipe makes 60 of these delicious festive Greek Christmas cookies, plenty for everyone to try. Serve over a hot cup of coffee and you have a match made in heaven…
Melomakarona recipe – A delicious Greek Christmas tradition
As with most holidays in Greece, Greek Christmas also revolves around food! This means that these are these festive days of the year to make all these traditional Greek recipes, like kourabiedes, vasilopita, diples and of course these amazing sweet little honey cookies, the traditional Greek melomakarona! Melomakarona are my absolute favourite Greek Christmas treat. And how couldn’t they be! Greek melomakarona are incredibly soft, moist and flavoursome, soaked in a delicious honey syrup and infused with fragrant butter. For an authentic last touch sprinkle the melomakarona with chopped walnuts and just a pinch of cinnamon and clove. Once put in the oven, the intense aromas of the sweet spices permeates the house and brings back childhood memories. Just heaven!
Try out this traditional sweet delight and let the smell of freshly baked cookies, orange and cinnamon remind you it’s Christmas! Enjoy!
For the melomakarona
- 150g thin semolina (5.3 ounces)
- 500g flour (soft) (17.6 ounces)
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 100g orange juice (3.5 ounces)
- 3 tbsps cognac
- 100g sugar (3.5 ounces)
- 1 flat tbsp powdered cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg (powder)
- 1/3 tsp clove (powder)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp baking soda
- 90g water (3.2 ounces)
- 125g olive oil (4.4 ounces)
- 125g vegetable oil (4.4 ounces)
- 50g honey (1.8 ounces)
- zest of 1 orange
For the syrup
- 500g water (2 cups)
- 1 kg sugar (35.27 ounces)
- 150g glucose (5.3 ounces)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- some orange peel
- 500g honey (17.64 ounces)
- 200g chopped walnuts (7 ounces)
- powdered cinnamon (optional)
- powdered clove (optional)
- To prepare this melomakarona recipe start by making the syrup first. In a pot add all the ingredients for the syrup, except the honey and bring to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and set aside to cool down completely. When the syrup cools completely add the honey and stir.
- Prepare the dough for the melomakarona. In a bowl add the semolina, flour and baking powder and blend with a whisk to combine.
In another large bowl add the orange juice, the cognac, the sugar and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, vanilla). At the end add the baking soda and whisk immediately the ingredients for 5-10 seconds, until the ingredients combine and the baking soda dissolves and starts to foam. Pour in the bowl the water, the oil, the orange zest and honey and whisk to combine.
- Now it’s time to combine the two mixtures. Add the mixed flour, semolina and baking powder (from step 1) in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients from step 2 and start kneading the dough for the melomakarona. Knead the dough for the melomakarona using your hands, until the ingredients combine and the dough is smooth and soft. When preparing a melomakarona recipe, it is very important not to overwork the dough. Knead lightly with your hands (like working with a meringue) until the flour has incorporated the mixture and the dough is really soft. Be careful not to add any more flour than this melomakarona recipe calls for, as this will make them tough.
- Preheat the oven at 180C. Layer the bottom of 2 baking trays with parchment paper and start shaping the melomakarona. Pinch a portion of dough about the size of a walnut/ 50g (or bigger, if you prefer) and shape with your palms into a smooth oblong shape, like a small egg. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a fork and make some holes on top (not all the way down). Continue with the rest of the dough.
- Place the baking trays with the melomakarona in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes, until the melomakarona are lightly browned and cooked through.
- When the melomakarona come out of the oven, place them in the cold syrup, flipping them with a slotted spoon to absorb the syrup for approx. 20 seconds, depending on how syrupy you like them. (When syrupying the melomakarona it’s best do so in 2-3 batches). Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon, place on a platter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
- Store the melomakarona at room temperature in an airtight container. They will last for all your Christmas Holidays!
Recipe image gallery:
Got a comment or suggestion? Drop us a note in the comments section below. And as always, don’t forget to share with your friends and family!