|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 9g||11%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||4%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
If there was one Greek cookie that just says Christmas, melomakarona would be it. Although the name is hard to pronounce, melomakarona are not very hard to make—and they're delicious. Also known as finikia, these are traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, but you can certainly bake them year-round.
This is an oil-based cookie recipe that produces moist cake-like cookies flavored with orange and brandy, bathed in a sweet honey syrup, and topped with chopped walnuts.
- For the Cookies:
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 1 orange (zested)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brandy
- For the Syrup:
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 to 4 whole cloves
- 1- to 2-inch piece lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- Garnish: 3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts
- Garnish: ground cinnamon
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, the melomakarona is broken down into workable segments to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Cookies
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, use your fingers to combine the orange zest with 3/4 cup sugar: Rub the grains as if you were playing with sand to release the orange oils into the sugar.
Using an electric mixer, add the olive oil and vegetable oil to the orange sugar and beat until well mixed.
Add the orange juice and brandy and mix well.
Slowly incorporate the flour mixture, cup by cup, until a dough forms that is not too loose but not quite firm either. It should be dense and wet but not sticky. Once the flour is incorporated fully stop mixing.
To roll the cookies, pinch a portion of dough off about the size of a walnut. Shape it in your palms into a smooth oblong shape, almost like a small egg. Place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue to shape and roll the cookies until the sheet is filled.
Press the tines of a large fork in a crosshatch pattern in the center of each cookie. This will flatten them slightly in the center. The cookies should resemble lightly flattened ovals when they go into the oven.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. (The cookies will darken when submerged in the syrup.)
Make the Syrup
While the cookies are baking, prepare the syrup. Gather the ingredients.
In a saucepan, combine the honey, 1 cup sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon rind. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon rind and stir in the lemon juice. Set aside.
Finish the Cookies
While the cookies are still very warm, carefully float the cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Using a fork or small spatula, remove the cookie from the syrup and place it on a platter or plate.
Press ground walnuts lightly into the tops of the cookies (the syrup will help it adhere) and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
- Do not refrigerate melomakarona as they will harden. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
- These cookies will stick together! When storing them, put them in a single layer on parchment paper.