Melomakarona (Μελομακάρονα)

Summary

These are traditional Christmas Greek cookies that are considered a bit healthier and lighter because they have only olive oil instead of butter. This recipe measures everything with a cup, which means that you can use any cup, glass or measuring pot you like. The portions in this recipe are calculated with a small 150ml cup.

Variations

In the classic recipe, the cookies are soaked in honey based syrup. I don’t like very sweet stuff and I prefer dry cookies, so I am leaving them without the syrup!

The dry, without syrup variation:

  • 24 Cookies
  • 80 Kcal each (dry, without syrup)
  • 120 Kcal each (classic, with syrup variation)

Cookie ingredients

  • 1.5 cup fine semolina flour
  • 1.5 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate)
  • Zest from one orange

Syrup ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Coarse ground walnuts (for putting on top in the end)
  • Cinnamon (for putting on top in the end)

Preparation

  1. Mix the semolina, the flour, the sugar and the zest in a large bowl
  2. Add the oil and mix well
  3. Mix the cognac and the orange juice in a large cup/glass
  4. Take the above cup/glass on top of the bowl and put the baking soda in and stir well. The reaction of the soda with the orange’s citric acid will make the whole thing bubbly and it could spill, so it is a good idea to do it on top of the bowl
  5. Mix everything together. Best way to mix is with your hands, no need for a food processor.

Baking

  1. Pre-heat the oven in about 2/3 of the maximum (180 – 220 C)
  2. Ideally put a sheet of baking parchment on a large cooking tray and spread a bit of olive oil with a brush. If you don’t have the parchment, just use the olive oil.
  3. Make the dough in small cylinders/ellipsoids about 4-5 cm long and 2-3 cm diameter in the center.
  4. Place them with 3cm distance between them in the tray
  5. Press them from the top to flatten them a bit.
  6. Put them in the oven around the middle
  7. Cook for about 30 minutes, till they have a brown colour

Syrup

  1. Pour all the syrup ingredients (except walnuts and cinnamon) into a saucepan
  2. Bring to boil and stir
  3. Then lower the heat so that the mix is close to boiling but not boiling
  4. Use something like a spatula with wholes to put one or two cookies at a time inside the syrup. Leave them for about 10 seconds.
  5. Place the cookies on a serving tray and sprinkle the walnut and the cinnamon

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