Melomakarona are Greek honey cookies. They are very popular during the holiday season. We make them early in December and continue to enjoy them through the New Year. The cookies are spiced with cinnamon, clove and orange. And finally they are soaked in a delicious honey syrup.
Greeks love their traditions. In fact we are steeped in traditions! This is one of those nostalgic holiday treats that every Greek household around the globe enjoys!
The cookie itself is actually vegan, as it is made with olive & sunflower oils, and without any eggs. Obviously, honey is not vegan, but if you are looking for a vegan cookie option , simply omit the honey from the syrup, or switch it to something else like maple syrup.
1 cup sunflower seed oil
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp cognac
juice & zest of 3 oranges
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground clove
2 tbsp cinnamon powder
6 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
2 cups of good quality honey
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Start by whisking all of the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. That would be the sugar, sunflower & olive oils, cognac, orange juice and zest, cinnamon and clove. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.
In another bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Sift the dry mixture into the wet mixture little by little, mixing it as you go. At some point, you will switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon, as the mixture begins to thicken. As it continues to thicken, you will then see that it’s time to knead it a little with your hands to make sure that all of the flour is fully combined.
Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Then it will be ready to roll into cookies.
As I roll them and flatten them a little, I use a knife to press a design into it. You can also poke holes with a fork. Making these indentations will allow the syrup that you will later soak them in to be better absorbed by the cookie.
Bake them at 350 F for 20 minutes.
I get 40-50 cookies from this recipe, depending on how small I roll them.
Now for the syrup. Combine the sugar and water, cinnamon, clove, and lemon and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the honey.
Now you can soak them one of two ways. You can either soak the hot cookies in syrup that is fully cooled down. Or, you can soak the cold cookies in syrup that is hot. You simply need the opposite temperatures.
Garnish them with a mixtures of finely chopped walnuts and cinnamon powder.