Recipe: mellow down with the traditional Christmas spiced syrupy cookies
Traditional Greek spiced syrupy cookies which are nibbled around the clock throughout the Xmas season. The batter is flavored with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and orange juice and after it’s been baked and your home is filled with the most festive aroma, the cookies are dunked in a honey spiced syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts and a little cinnamon spice. They are a guaranteed addiction.
Makes 40-50 melomakarona
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 60 minutes
FOR THE SYRUP:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 pieces of orange peel
FOR THE MELOMAKARONA:
1/2 cup olive oil
120 gr butter softened at room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup cognac or brandy
2 tsp orange zest
500 gr flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp clove powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp salt
200 gr walnuts finely chopped
TO MAKE THE SYRUP
This NEEDS to be made while the cookies are baking so that it is ready when they come out of the oven.
Put all the syrup ingredients in a medium saucepan, stir together and bring to a slight boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened discarding any foam that forms on top.
Remove the cinnamon stick and orange peels. Lower the heat to a low setting and keep syrup warm until cookies are ready.
TO MAKE THE MELOMAKARONA
Preheat oven to 170°
Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of food processor beat olive oil, butter and sugar until light and creamy.
Add orange juice, cognac or brandy and orange zest and beat until well combined.
Start adding flour mixture two tablespoons at a time and mix everything together until you have used all the flour mixture. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour one tablespoon at a time.
Roll the cookies into small balls and place on the baking tray lined with the baking paper and with the back of a fork press down to slightly flatten the cookies.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm.
Remove from the oven and drop them a few at a time into the warm syrup for 1 minute flipping them over to soak and coat evenly.
Layer the cookies on a flat plate and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and cinnamon.