Melomakarona – traditional honey soaked Greek Christmas cookies that are flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and orange and topped with walnuts.
Christmas wouldn’t be well, Christmas, without making approximately 347012897 Melomakarona.
Melomakarona are my ABSOLUTE favorite Christmas cookie. They are cinnamon, clove, and orange flavored cookies, which are soaked in honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts. I’m seriously drooling thinking about them right now.
These cookies scream Christmas. They are soft, and delicious, with the perfect balance of spice and sweetness.
The process to make this is a bit time consuming, but 100% totally and completely wort it! This is a holiday recipe, so it makes A LOT of cookies. Which is okay because these are meant to be shared (or you can just keep them for yourself – no one will ever know).
Melomakarona are traditionally an oval shape, and some people stuff them with walnuts or dates. I prefer mine plain. And shaped in cute shapes – like hearts, stars, snowflakes. You can even do mini gingerbread men.
These cookies keep very well for a few weeks (if you can resist eating them all), and their taste actually improves over time.
- 2 sticks butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups oil (safflower, avocado, or a light olive oil work great)
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1½ cups orange juice (freshly squeezed, or bottled)
- zest from 2 oranges
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground cloves
- 7 cups flour
- 3½ cups sugar
- 1 cups honey
- 3 cups water
- rind from 1 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 5-6 cups walnuts
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add butter, oil, sugar, and orange juice to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Starting at low speed, and slowly increasing to medium, beat until smooth (about 4-5 minutes).
- Mix in orange zest, cinnamon, and ground cloves.
- Whisk together flour, baking power, and baking soda in a separate large bowl. Add to butter mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
- Shape cookies, by rolling out dough and using a cookie cutter, or shape into 2-inch ovals. Place cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake 20-30 minutes, depending on size of cookies, or until golden brown.
- While cookies are baking, prepare the syrup. Add sugar, honey, water, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves into a large heavy bottom saucepan over medium high heat. Bring mixture to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When ready, remove cookies from oven, and immediately place in warm syrup. Allow to soak 20-30 seconds (I soak mine in batches of 6-8 cookies at a time). Use a slotted spoon to remove cookies from syrup and place them on a tray or platter. Sprinkle with chopped walnut mixture and cover with plastic wrap or an air tight container until ready to serve.
- Cookies will last up to a month stored at room temperature in an air tight container or tightly covered with plastic wrap.
- WALNUT TOPPING: Add walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and ground cloves to food processor. Pule a few times until walnuts are chopped.