Greek Christmas Cookies with Olive Oil, Melomakarona

Olive Oil Nut-and-Spice Cookies / Melomakarona me Elaiolado

These cookies are a Greek Christmas specialty, but they are great with your morning coffee every day of the year, too.
45 min
25 min


  • For the Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup/120 ml water
  • 1 medium cinnamon stick
  • One-inch/2.5-cm-wide strip lemon zest
  • For the Cookies
  • 3-3 ½ cups all-purpose flour as needed
  • 1 scant tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 cup/240 ml extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup/120 ml fresh orange or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup/60 ml brandy
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Grated zest of 1 orange


  1. 1. Make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey, and water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the cinnamon and lemon zest and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. 2. For the cookies: Sift together 3 cups of the flour, the baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the olive oil with the sugar until creamy. Stir the baking soda into the citrus juice and add to the oil-and-sugar mixture. Add the brandy, walnuts, and grated zest and continue mixing vigorously until combined.

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