Try out these traditional Christmas honey cookies! They are incredibly flavorsome and soaked in a delicious honey syrup. Pure Heaven!
1 kg all purpose flour
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cognac
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 cups good quality walnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cinnamon + extra for sprinkling
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 oranges, zested
For the syrup
3 cup very good quality honey
3 cup sugar
3 cup water
For the syrup: In a medium pan simmer all ingredients for 2-3 minutes until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.
For the melomakarona: In your stand mixer beat oil with sugar, cognac and orange juice, for 3-4 minutes. Add 2 cups chopped walnuts, cinnamon, orange zest, baking powder and soda and beat for another minute or so. Add flour in batches until you get a smooth nice dough. You might not need to use all the flour. Check the consistency as you go. You need to be able to form balls of dough with ease. It shouldn’t stick in your hands. Rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven at 180C/fan. Tale a little dough at a time and form balls bigger that a large walnut. Press down slightly and form 5-6 cm long pieces of dough. Line two shallow dishes with baking parchment and transfer your “cookies”. Bake for 20-25 minutes until nicely colored.
Dip the melomakarona (hot from the oven) 3-4 at a time in the cold syrup for 5-6 seconds and transfer on a platter with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Continue with the rest of the “cookies” and syrup, sprinkling with more walnuts and cinnamon every time.
Photo Sotiris Papanikolaou – Food styling Antonia Kati