Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Cookies)

22 Dec

Melomakarona are probably my favourite Christmas desserts. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find them anywhere outside Greece.

I thought that making them would be very difficult and I’d never tried to even look at a recipe before. This year, however, I decided to give it a go after watching a youtube “how to” video by accident. The recipe didn’t seem as complex as I expected.

A great thing about those cookies is the fact that they’re made using olive oil instead of butter. Also, they don’t have eggs.   You should only use GOOD quality olive oil though.

Ingredients

for the cookies:

2 cups olive oil
1 1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups of flour
1/4 tbs cinnamon
1/4 tbs nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
peel one clementine

for syrup:

1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup of walnuts (for sprinkling)

Instructions

MelomakaronaMix the orange juice and the olive oil in a big bowl. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and the clementine peel and mix well. It’s probably best if you use your hands to do this. In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda. Slowly incorporate the flour until the mixture forms a dough that is not too loose but not quite firm either. Use a handful of dough to make each cookie, forming into a log shape. Place the cookies on a cooking sheet and flatten them by pressing them with a fork.  Bake them for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned. Don’t worry if they don’t look as dark as in the photos! They will darken when you submerge them in syrup.

Wait until the cookies are cool. Then prepare the syrup by combining the honey, sugar, water and cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and simmer over the lowest heat possible during dipping. Put in cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Hold them down for 30 seconds and then place on a large serving plate and sprinkle them with finely chopped walnuts.

Do not refrigerate the melomakarona. Cover them well with plastic wrap or store in air tight containers. Enjoy!

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