Christmas time! Baking time! Melomakarona time! What better way to celebrate the festive season than a traditional Greek Christmas cookie?
Melomakarona is probably the most iconic Greek Christmas cookies. Soaked in honey syrup, topped with walnuts, they are an authentic Greek delicacy.
You can also mix olive oil with vegetable oil for the dough. Many cooks find that if you omit the vegetable oil, your melomakarona might turn out too dark in the oven. Another helpful tip has to do with the kneading. Don’t bother using a hand mixer, as eventually, the dough will get so thick that you’ll need to use your hands. Knead until the ingredients are well combined, but not too much! You certainly don’t want a hard, stiff dough, or your melomakarona will not soak in the syrup properly.
With no further delay, here’s my recipe for Greek melomakarona.
For the syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 orange slice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 tbsp honey
For the melomakarona:
- 1 cup orange juice
- 250 g. olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tbsp icing sufgar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- chopped walnuts
Make the syrup:
- In a saucepan add water, sugar, lemon & orange slice, cinnamon stick. Boil for 5 minutes over medium to high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add honey and stir well. Let the syrup cool down.
Make the melomakarona:
- In a bowl add the orange juice, olive oil, melted butter, icing sugar, cinnamon, cloves and mix well using your hands.
- In a bowl sift the flour and mix with baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Knead the dough well, until the mixture thickens and all ingredients are incorporated.
- Roll the dough with your hands and form the melomakarona into an oval shape. Put the melomakarona on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- Once out of the oven, dip the melomakarona in a bowl filled with the syrup. Allow them to rest on a baking rack and absorb the syrup, until completely cool.
- Top the melomakarona with the chopped walnuts and drizzle with honey.