Thursday, December 22, 2011
Melomakarona- 12 Days of Cookies Day 11
12 Days of Cookies Day 11: Melomakarona. These are a Greek cookie dipped in honey syrup and topped with walnuts. I like to make cookies that are common in some parts of the world, but are not so common here in the United States. I saw these cookies on Elly Says Opa! and they just sounded so good that I added them to my list of Christmas baking. I had noticed that she had made them around the holidays, but I wasn’t sure if they were Christmas-y. I was really happy to see that she recently posted about these again, saying that these were the cookies she made at Christmas, without fail.
I don’t typically like to use walnuts in baking, but I figured that was crucial to this recipe so I didn’t change that. I made half of the recipe but it still made a lot of cookies, so perhaps I made mine on the small side. The dough for these cookies was quite different and I wasn’t sure if I had added enough flour. They baked up fine so I guess I was ok. The dough smelled like yeast dough, which was unusual they contained no yeast. I baked them up and then let them sit overnight. My husband tried one before I had dunked it in honey syrup and he declared them unfinished.
I made a full batch of the honey syrup despite baking a half batch of cookies because I figured these cookies were all about the honey syrup and I didn’t want to be skimpy. I dunked the cookies in the syrup and let them sit and then sprinkled with the walnuts. My kitchen smelled divine when I was making the honey syrup! Yum, what a great cookie. I love the honey in these, which pairs so well with the orange juice in the cookie dough and the walnuts on top. I really loved these and I’m really inspired to try some more international flavors in my baking.
3 cups flour (plus additional if required)
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 ounces walnuts, finely chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until just incorporated. Add the oil and orange juice, mixing until smooth and combined.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. If necessary, add more flour to make a workable dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes.
Roll cookies into oval shapes with the palm of your hand and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Press the cookies down slightly with your fingertips, and then prick them with a fork several times. Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to sit out overnight before dunking in the honey syrup.
Mix the walnuts, cinnamon and cloves together in a bowl and set aside.
Make the syrup: bring the water, honey and sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for a minute or two; the mixture will thicken slightly. Skim the foam off the top. Turn burner to low, just to keep the syrup warm.
In batches, dunk the cookies in the honey syrup. Leave them in the syrup for about a minute and then remove them with a slotted spoon. Place the cookies on waxed paper and top with the walnut mixture.
Recipe from Elly Says Opa!