Make Ahead

Melomakarona (Greek Honey-Spice Cookies)

December 15, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

These are a traditional Greek holiday cookie that my fiancé's family makes every year. His cousin, Lisa, graciously shared her recipe with me and I've adapted it slightly. For a more sandy texture, try replacing some of the AP flour with semolina. —Kristy Mucci

  • Makes about 60 cookies
Ingredients
  • 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 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Finely crushed walnuts, for topping the cookies
  • Honey Syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, spices, baking soda and baking powder.
  2. Beat the butter until it is light in color and fluffy, about 10 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the sugar and continue mixing for about 5 more minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and orange juice together. Add to the butter mixture and make sure it is thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Add dry ingredients in 3 parts, mixing after each addition, then add the teaspoon of honey. Mix just until a soft dough forms. Chill dough 30 minutes to 1 hour before shaping.
  5. Shape the dough into small ovals and flatten a little on the cookie sheet. These cookies do spread a little, so be sure to leave enough room in between. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the syrup ingredients over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
  7. When cookies are cool enough to handle, dip into syrup on both sides for about 10-15 seconds. Gently press freshly-dipped cookies top side down onto crushed walnuts, then place on wax paper top side up. Let dry completely before you store.
  8. NOTES FROM COUSIN LISA: Cookies should be stored in an air tight container and can be kept fresh for several weeks if properly stored. Cookies can be baked and frozen until ready to dip into syrup and ground walnuts, just bring them to room temperature before dipping. Be sure to cool dipped cookies before storing to prevent them from becoming soggy.

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