The Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Melomakarona

by Amy, HabsTweetup.com (AllHabs.net)

PHILADELPHIA, PA — It’s Friday, so celebrate! If your weekend is filled with holidays parties to host or attend, we’ve got a delicious dessert for you offer guests. Our fourth installment of The Twelve Cookies of Christmas are delightfully sweet little golden pieces of dough called Melomakarona!
Also considered “honey macaroons”, melomakarona is a traditional Greek Christmas cookie soaked in honey syrup and sprinkled with walnuts. Today’s unique recipe comes to us courtesy of All Habs team member Effie (@MistressFE0503) and they sounded so good, I couldn’t wait to try these cookies!

Melomakarona (Honey & Spice Cookies)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
COOKIES:
1 1/2 cups sunflower oil
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup brandy
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup fine-ground semolina
1 tsp. baking soda
grated peel of 1 orange
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
SYRUP:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups honey
3-4 whole cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). If using a convection oven, preheat to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
2. Dissolve the baking soda in the orange juice.

3. Add the flour, semolina, sugar, orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves to a large bowl and whisk until blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

4. Pour the sunflower oil, orange juice, and brandy into the well. Incorporate the liquid into the flour with your hands, kneading the dough until it becomes sticky.

5. Take a chestnut-sized piece of dough and roll it in your hands to create a log. Press the dough gently with your fingers on one side to flatten slightly. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet (use parchment paper for easy removal and cleanup).

6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before moving on to step #7.

7. Once the cookies are cool, start preparing the syrup by adding the water, sugar, honey, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a wide pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, skimming and discarding the foam that develops on top.

 

8. Reduce heat to low and remove the cinnamon stick and cloves. Add enough cookies to cover the bottom of the pan and gently press down on them with a spatula to keep them submerged for about a minute to soak up the syrup.

9. Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon to allow the excess syrup to drain off. Place on a large serving dish and sprinkle each layer of cookies with chopped walnuts.

Effie says these cookies should not be refrigerated and to cover them well with plastic wrap or store them in tins so that they don’t dry out. “They’ll last for several days – if they aren’t eaten by then. At my mom’s they don’t last!”
Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next great recipe: The Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookie!
Did you miss one of our cookie recipes? You can find them all here:
Day 2 – Almond Kisses
photo credits: Amy Johnson

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