How to make Tasty Melomakarona

Melomakarona are some of the most beloved of all Greek cookies, especially around the Christmas period. As with most holidays in Greece, Greek Christmas revolves around food! This means that these are the festive days of the year to make all these traditional Greek recipes, like kourabiedes, vasilopita, diples, and of course these amazing sweet honey cookies, the traditional Greek melomakarona!

Melomakarona are traditionally made with olive oil, flour, honey, and citrus. These make a much more healthier treat than most holiday treats. Today’s melomakarona contains chopped walnuts and are sprinkled with ground walnuts as well. More modern versions are often wrapped in dark chocolate.

So let’s have a look at this delicious recipe below, which may look difficult due to the number of ingredients but is actually quite easy to make. Give it a try as it is guaranteed to delight all members of your family and even your Christmas guests at the festive table this jolly season.

Ingredients

For the melomakarona

  • 150g fine semolina
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 100g orange juice
  • 3 tbsps cognac
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 flat tbsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg (powder)
  • 1/3 tsp clove (powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 90g water
  • 125g olive oil
  • 125g vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 50g honey
  • zest of 2 oranges

 

For the syrup

  • 300g water
  • 600g sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 200g honey

To garnish

  • 200g chopped walnuts
  • powdered cinnamon (optional)
  • powdered clove (optional)

Technique

  1. To prepare this melomakarona recipe it is best to start with making the syrup first. In a pot add all the ingredients for the syrup, except the honey and bring to the boil. Keep boiling for 3-4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved you can then remove from the stove. Next, stir in the honey and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Prepare the dough for the melomakarona. In a bowl add the semolina, flour and baking powder and mix with a whisk to combine.
  3. In another large bowl add the orange juice, the cognac, the sugar and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, vanilla) and mix. Add the baking soda and whisk immediately for 5-10 seconds until the ingredients combine and the baking soda dissolves and starts to foam. Pour in the bowl the water, the oil, the orange zest and honey and whisk to combine.
  4. Now it’s time to combine the two mixtures together. Add the mixed flour, semolina and baking powder (from step 2) in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients from step 3 and start kneading the dough for the melomakarona. Knead the dough for the melomakarona using your hands, until the ingredients combine and the dough is smooth and soft and slightly sticky. Do not overwork the dough as the mixture can become tough.
  5. Preheat the oven at 180C / 356F. Layer the bottom of 4 large baking trays with parchment paper and start shaping the melomakarona. Pinch a portion of dough about the size of a walnut (30g) and shape with your palms into a smooth oblong shape, like a small egg. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a fork and pierce three times on top about half way through the dough. Continue with the rest of the dough.
  6. Depending on how large an oven you have when your first two trays are ready you can start baking them. Place the baking trays with the melomakarona in the oven and bake for approx. 15-20 minutes, until the melomakarona are lightly and evenly browned and cooked through. If you’ve made them bigger, you’ll need to bump up the cooking time!!
  7. When the melomakarona come out of the oven, dip them immediately in the cold syrup, flipping them with a slotted spoon to absorb the syrup for approx. 10-20 seconds, depending on how syrupy you like them. Remove the cookies using a slotted spoon, place on a platter and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  8. While you are dipping your first couple of tray in the syrup add the next two in the oven to bake. Don’t forget to set your timer!!
  9. Store the melomakarona at room temperature in an airtight container. They will keep for all your Christmas Holidays!

Merry Christmas from everyone at The Greek Deli, your favourite Greek Online shop in the UK.

The Greek Deli stocks artisanal products, including Greek juices, tsoureki, egg dyes, olive oils, wines, cheeses,  and mezedes. In addition, ready meals (such as pastitsio and gemista), sweets (such as baklava and kourabiedes), and Greek coffee (Loumidis) can be found in our online shop. We even stock beloved Greek chocolates and cookies. Furthermore, brands such as LactaIonSokofreta, and Gemista cookies, as well as an impressive selection of Greek wines. You can purchase and customise our unique Greek gift boxes, with your favourite products or pre-made. One box includes extra virgin olive oil, two bottles of wine, two jars of olive paste, roasted peppers, honey, chilies, and balsamic vinegar. Perfect for sending the best of Greek tastes to a distant beloved!).

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