Melomakarona (Greek Honey Cookies With Walnuts)

Greek Honey Cookies With Walnuts (Melomakarona)

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 60 servings
Yield: 60 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
176 Calories
8g Fat
24g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 60
Amount per serving
Calories 176
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 14mg 70%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 67mg 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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • Pinch kosher 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

  • 3/4 cup coarsely ground walnuts, for garnish

  • Ground cinnamon, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Make the Cookies

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Greek Honey Cookies With Walnuts (Melomakarona)

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

    sift flour with baking powder into a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. In a mixing bowl, use fingers to combine orange zest with 3/4 cup sugar: Rub grains to release orange oils into sugar.

    Combine orange zest with the flour mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Using an electric mixer, add olive oil and vegetable oil to orange sugar and beat until well mixed.

    dd olive oil and vegetable oil to orange sugar in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Add orange juice and brandy and mix well.

    Add orange juice and brandy to the oil mixture

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Slowly incorporate 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 flour is incorporated fully, stop mixing.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. To roll 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 cookies until sheet is filled.

    dough balls on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  8. Press 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.

    Press fork in center of each cookie on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. (The cookies will darken when submerged in the syrup.)

    cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Syrup

  1. While cookies are baking, prepare syrup. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for syrup

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon rind. Bring mixture to a boil.

    syrup ingredients in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes.

    syrup cooking in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Remove cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon rind and stir in lemon juice. Set aside.

    syrup in a saucepan, with the cinnamon stick, cloves, and lemon rind removed

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Finish the Cookies

  1. While cookies are still very warm, carefully float cookies in syrup and allow cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Using a fork or small spatula, remove cookie from syrup and place it on a platter or plate.

    cookie dipped into syrup in the saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Press ground walnuts lightly into the tops of the cookies (the syrup will help it adhere) and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

    Greek Honey Cookies With Walnuts (Melomakarona) on a plate

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Tip

  • 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.