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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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Easy Oreo Truffles!

19 Dec

This is the easiest dessert I’ve ever made. Oreo truffles covered in dark chocolate. Delicious and only took a few minutes. Did I mention that it doesn’t need baking? If you like Oreos, you should try this! You only need 3 ingredients.

oreo truffles

Oreo Truffles – ideal Xmas treat!

Ingredients (for about 15 Oreo truffles)

1 package of Oreo cookies (150g)

1/3 cup cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)

85g dark chocolate (I used Lindt 85% cocoa. You can use any type of chocolate you like)

oreo truffles

Oreo Truffles

Instructions

Put Oreos in a sealed bag. Keep 1 cookie for garnish. Crush Oreos.

Mix with cream cheese until well combined. Roll into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Put in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

While waiting, melt the chocolate bar – you can do this in the microwave or over a pot of boiling water.

Dip the Oreo balls in the chocolate and garnish with the Oreo you kept earlier. Refrigerate, wait 30 minutes, enjoy!

Each Oreo truffle has around 85 calories (6g of fat).

Honey, Cinnamon, & Walnuts Eggless Cookies!

12 Dec

cookies3Christmas is coming soon! I’ve been trying to find the ultimate festive cookie recipe. One of the first few ideas I had was that of a honey based cookie. I searched for similar recipes online and found a few interesting ones. In the end I decided to create my own adapting a few pre-existing ones (1,2) .

Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tbs cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

 

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a bigger ball cream together butter and sugar. When the mix gets fluffy, add the honey and the cinnamon and cream well. The smell is amazing!
Slowly add the flour mixture and mix well. Finally, add the walnuts and the chocolate chips.

Shape the dough into round balls and place onto baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies turn brown. If you want crispier cookies, leave them for 1 extra minute. Wait for 2 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool completely. To be honest, they taste great even when they’re slightly warm but the texture is better when the cookies are cool.

cookies5

It makes about 12 cookies. Enjoy!