Melomakarona cookies

By Peggy Kotsopoulos
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A tasty treat to enjoty on Orthodox Christmas, this classic dessert is enjoyed all over Greece for the holidays. Prepare for a blast of delightful orange flavour with each bite, along with spices like cloves amd cinnamon.

YIELDS
60
 TO
65 COOKIES

Ingredients

Syrup:

  • 1-1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 an orange (remove zest prior to, to be used in cookie)
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Cookies:

  • 2 cups oil (olive or grape seed)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup cognac (or Grand Mariner)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup of crushed walnuts + 1 cup for topping
  • 6-1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Syrup:

  1. Add water, sugar, orange and cinnamon stick to sauce pan and place on stove on medium-to-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat then stir in honey. let syrup cook completely. 

Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one large bowl, mix the oil, orange juice sugar and cognac. 
  2. Stir in sugar, honey, ground clove, cinnamon and orange zest and mix until well combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl sift together four cups of flour, baking soda and baking powder then mix into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Gradually add the rest of the flour one cup at a time, kneading gently with your hands. 
  4. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. If it is to sticky, add a bit more flour. Finally, mix in 3/4 cup of walnuts.
  5. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. 
  6. Scoop out roughly 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough and form into an oval shape with your hands and place on cookie sheet. Continue until all cookie dough is used, spacing cookies roughly two centimeters apart. 
  7. With a fork, gently prick each cookie roughly four to five times working down the center of the cookie from top to bottom. Bake for 20 minutes.

Assembly:

  1. Once cookies are removed from oven, let them cool just enough that they are easy to handle, but they should still be warm. 
  2. Using tongs, dunk cookies into the cooled syrup and flip around a couple of times so that the entire cookie is covered and the some of the syrup is absorbed. 
  3. Remove cookie from syrup and dip the top of the cooking onto a plate of crushed walnuts. Set aside and repeat with all cookies.  

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