Does Christmas without Melomakarona even happen? Μelomakarona, along with the kourabiedes, is the traditional Greek Christmas treat. Especially if you like the aromas of cinnamon, orange and cloves, you will not regret cooking them. Just make sure you follow Kyriakos’ tips!
Tip 1: The mix of the cookies needs to be made by hand. It is very important to simply bring the ingredients together and not work the dough, as you would do if you made bread for example.
Tip 2: Make sure that your spices; cinnamon powder and sticks, and clove powder have a strong aroma. If they have been stored for a long time they might have lost their strength, which is essential.
Tip 3: Keep the cookies small when shaping them, they rise in the oven.
Tip 4: In this recipe we don’t use only olive oil because the cookies will turn out heavy with a strong taste.
Tip 5: The syrup needs to be cool and the cookies warm. Start by making the the syrup so that it cools down.
Tip 6: This recipe will give you around 90 small bites. You will refill your tray a few times to bake them all. Melomakarona stay yummy for 20 days and don’t store in the refrigerator.
For the syrup:
- 600 g water
- 600 g granulated sugar
- 200 g honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-3 orange peels
For the cookies (mix in one bowl):
- 200 ml seed oil (preferably corn oil)
- 250 ml olive oil
- 400 ml fresh orange juice
- 100 ml cognac (could be Metaxa or any cognac)
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (powder)
- Orange zest of the oranges we juice
For the cookies (mix in a separate bowl):
- 1 kilo all-purpose flour (the soft flour for making biscuits)
- 100 g semolina, fine (important that is fine)
- 1 teaspoon clove powder (just about a teaspoon, not overfull)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (just about a teaspoon, not overfull)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Chopped walnuts
For the syrup:
- Βoil all of the ingredients for the syrup for 3’. Remove from heat.
- Let the syrup cool for an hour or more. It must be cool by the time the cookies come out of the oven.
For the melomakarona cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 160* C set to fan (ovens vary, we need a mid-low temp).
- To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.
- For the first mixture, add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand whisk for 1-2 minutes. We basically mix the liquids, with sugar, zest and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients of the second mixture and mix by hand.
- Combine the two mixtures.
- Mix by hand only, very gently and for 5 seconds, just enough for the liquids to absorb the flour mix.
- Mold the dough into oval shapes, 3 cm in length. Keep them small, they will rise.
- To make a pattern on top of them, press one side on a box grater (the side used to zest) or use a fork. Place on a baking tray.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 160* C set to fan, until they are golden brown. Keep an eye don’t over bake them.
- Every time you prepare the next bake, mix the dough for 1 second to put it together.
- Remove from the oven, and while warm, soak them in the syrup for 5 seconds.
- Allow them to drain on a wire rack.
- Drizzle with a bit of honey and the chopped walnuts to stick.
Merry Christmas with health and love for all that we have and all that we can create! Καλά Χριστούγεννα με υγεία και αγάπη!