Greek Christmas honey cookies
Greek Christmas honey cookies (melomakarona), it is a Greek traditional dessert, which prepared during the Christmas holiday season. Typical ingredients of the melomakarono include mainly flour, orange zest, and fresh orange juice while after baking, they immersed for a few seconds in cold syrup made of honey and sugar dissolved in water.
Ingredients for syrup:
- 500 ml water
- 700 g granulated sugar
- 160 g orange blossom honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 orange, cut in half
Ingredients for the cookie dough:
- 400 ml orange juice
- 400 ml sunflower oil
- 180 ml olive oil
- 50 g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- grated zest of 2 oranges
- 1 kilo all-purpose flour
- 200 g fine semolina
- extra orange blossom honey
- 150 gr chopped walnuts
For making the syrup, boil all of the ingredients, apart from the orange blossom honey, until sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add the orange blossom honey and mix till combined. Let syrup cool for 4 hours. The syrup must be cold by the time the cookies come out from the oven.
Preheat the oven to 190* C (370*F) fan and layer the bottom of a baking tray with parchment paper.
Split the ingredients into to two separate mixtures. Mixture number one consists of the orange juice, sunflower oil, olive oil, caster sugar, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, baking soda and grated orange zest. Mix all the above in a large bowl by using a hand whisk.
In a separate bowl make mixture number two, which consists just flour and semolina.
Add the second mixture to the first one and mix by hand, very gently. Do not overwork the cookie dough, 15 seconds at the most. If you mix longer the mixture will split or curdle.
Mold cookie dough into oval shapes (like an egg), 3-4 cm in long, 30 g each. Try to keep them as similar as possible. Place on the baking tray, push lightly the top with a knife and make some lines on top (not all the way down). Continue with the rest of the dough.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until they are crunchy and dark golden brown. Check them before you remove them from the oven, the cookies have to be dark golden brown.
As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the syrup for 10 seconds. Allow them to drain on a wire rack.
Drizzle with honey and chopped walnuts. Your melomakarona are ready.