During Christmas time, every household in Greece makes an enormous pile of melomakarona, also known as “Greek Christmas honey cookies.”
Greek blogger, author and food personality Tassos Antoniou has shared an incredibly tasteful recipe that shows you how you can enjoy this classic Greek Christmas delight, which makes for a great treat with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
His books, Mama Peinao blog (meaning, “Mom I’m Hungry!”) and website are among the most popular in Greece, thanks to his approachable style and straightforward instructions.
Read the ingredients/instructions below and also watch the video (in English) so you can make your own delicious melomakarona today!
Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Honey Cookies)
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Total Time: 35 mins | Servings: 40 cookies
For the syrup:
- 1 lb water
- 1 lb sugar
- 10 oz honey
- 1 slice of orange
For the cookies:
- 9 oz maize oil
- 9 oz olive oil
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 3 oranges juice and zest
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp clover
- 2.5 tsp cinnamon
- 2.2 lb all purpose flour
- 2.5 tsp baking powder
- crushed walnuts to serve
Prepare the syrup one day ahead:
- In a large pot, heat water, sugar, orange slice and honey. Allow to boil for three minutes after it starts simmering. Remove from heat. Stir well and allow to completely cool down in room temperature.
Make the melomakarona:
- Preheat the oven to 320oF / 260oC.
- In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, maize oil, brandy, sugar, cinnamon, clover, orange zest.
- In a cup, mix the baking soda with the orange juice. Add to the oil mixture.
- Sift the flour with the baking powder into the mixture. Mix using your hands, until all ingredients are blended, for about 2-3 minutes. The final mixture should be soft and beautifully incorporated.
- Pull off a medium sized piece of dough and shape it into an oval cookie using your hands.
- Gently press the cookie on a grater to form a pattern on it.
- Place each cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave a few inches space among the cookies as they will double in size in the oven.
- Keep shaping and flattening the cookies until all dough is used up.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
- While the melomakarona are still hot, soak them in the syrup. Using a deep-fry skimmer, soak one melomakarono at a time in the cold syrup for 10 seconds. Please on a wire rack and allow to rest and soak the syrup, for at least one hour.
- Serve the melomakarona on a platter. Garnish with crushed walnuts.
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