Great olive oil is what makes these classic Greek holiday cookies so healthy and delicious. To find a range of wonderful regional Greek oils, go to my online store here.
For the syrup
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup honey
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 strip orange zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
For the filling
- 450 gr 16oz ground walnuts, extra for sprinkling
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the dough
- 1 ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 ½ cup orange juice strained
- 2 tsp cognac
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 6 – 7 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 60 g 2 oz ground walnuts to garnish
- 1. Syrup: In a pan mix the sugar, honey and water and let boil. Add the orange zest and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice.
- 2. Filling: Mix 450 g / 16 oz walnuts and the cinnamon with 4-5 spoonfuls of the syrup. Let aside.
- 3. Dough: Using an electric mixer on high speed beat the oil with the sugar until you get a creamy texture. Gradually add the orange juice and cognac beating constantly. Add all spices.
- 4. Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F). In a medium bowl, sieve the baking powder and soda with 2 ½ cups flour. Add the flour mixture to the olive mixture in doses beating well after each addition. Gradually add more flour until you get a fluffy texture. Mead by hand.
- 5. Melomakarona: Cut a small piece of dough, approximately the size of a walnut and shape it into an oval at around 7cm width and 2 ½ cm height. Press the piece between your palms to make it flat and using a teaspoon add the filling in the middle. Fold the dough over the filling pressing down well to seal. Place in a shallow non-stick dish. Repeat until you are out of dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the melomakarona from the oven and let cool.
- 6. Reheat the syrup. When it comes to a boil turn of the heat and dunk the melomakarona in the syrup a few at a time. Place on a serving plate. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.