Every day till Christmas, we're bringing you 12 Days of Baking: 12 all-new baking recipes to lift holiday spirits -- from breakfast pastries to dinner rolls, and all the desserts you can handle.
Today: Our Associate Editor, Kristy Mucci, shares one of her fiancé's family's holiday cookie recipes.
I first had these cookies a few years ago at a Christmas celebration with my fiancé's family. They're not too sweet and the sweetness you do taste is honey, mixed with spice and citrus. The texture is fun, too -- slightly sandy cookies topped with crunchy walnuts. I look forward to them all year.
Until last week, I was calling these "the Greek honey cookies," but they have a real name: melomakarona. They're a traditional Greek holiday cookie and they're often made with semolina, and a lot of recipes call for olive oil. The recipe my fiancé's cousin, Lisa, graciously shared with me doesn't call for either of those things, but I think they could easily be substituted in. More importantly, even without those ingredients, these cookies are still my favorite holiday treat around.
Having received these cookies in the mail, I can tell you that they do, in fact, keep for weeks. I also think they get even better with time.
The recipe below is slightly adapted from cousin Lisa's recipe.
Makes about 60 cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pound unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
Finely crushed walnuts, for topping the cookies
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
Photos by James Ransom