Greek Honey Dipped Cookies (Melomakarona)
From the Kitchen of Home of Cooks
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes Cook Time: 75 minutes Servings: 50-55
For the cookie: 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar ½ cup orange juice ½ cup cognac 2 teaspoons cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda orange zest of 1 orange 5 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ cup fine semolina For the syrup: 1 ½ cups water 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cinnamon stick 3 to 4 cloves 1 orange cut in half 1 cup of honey Topping: chopped walnuts Cooking Method
Prepare the syrup: In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Set the syrup aside and let cool completely. The syrup must be room temperature by the time the cookies come out of the oven. You can prepare the syrup from the day before.
To Make the cookies: In a large mixing bowl, use a hand whisk to combine oil, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix to combine.
In another bowl, sift the flour, semolina, baking powder and baking soda.
Slowly, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (⅓ of the flour mixture at a time), while mixing with a wooden spoon or by hand.
Once all the dry ingredients have been added, use your hands to knead the dough (20 seconds at the most) until smooth. If you knead longer, the mixture will split or curdle.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Take 1 ½ tablespoons (about 40 grams) of dough and shape it between your palms into an oval shape (like a small egg).
Place one inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. With a fork, lightly pierce the top of each cookie three times (to allow the honey to soak in after the cookies are baked).
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden in color but they should not brown too much.
Remove the orange, cloves and cinnamon stick from the syrup.
As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, dip them into the cold syrup, flipping them around for 20 to 30 seconds or so. You will need to do this in batches, making sure that all the cookies are able to absorb enough syrup.
With a slotted spoon, remove the cookies from the syrup and arrange them onto a tray or directly onto your serving dish.
Sprinkle each cookie with a generous pinch of the chopped walnuts. Pat the walnuts lightly so they will stick to the cookies.
If you are preparing the syrup the same day you are making the cookies, do not remove the cinnamon, cloves and oranges until you are ready to use the syrup. If you are making the syrup the day before, remove them.
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