Melomakarona (Greek Christmas Cookies)


"Home smells like Christmas". When I was listening to this sentence, years ago, I was wondering how could that happen. I got my answer when I made these Christmas cookies for the first time. These were some ugly cookies, so hard to bite, and seem not even close to the traditional cookies that all others were creating. Despite that, the aroma of the spices were there in the kitchen to declare that Christmas was coming.

It's unbelievable that a certain smell can bring back memories and connect you with facts and situations in your life and even more to be the trademark of the holidays. This exactly is the case with melomakarona and kourabiedes. We might have our Christmas tree ready, bought Christmas gifts but only when the smell of these freshly baked cookies hits our noses we can feel like Christmas is on the way.

Since that first bake, I made more attempts to have the perfect melomakarona. Finally I did the ones that family loves.

Melomakarona that are baked as much as needed in order to have crusty outer and be syrupy enough to melt in mouth. The perfect combination for my family.

Let me offer you some and wish all of you Merry Christmas.



Ingredients :

  • 500 gr water
  • 700 gr sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange
  • 100 gr honey
  • 400 gr orange juice
  • 530 gr sunflower oil
  • 1200 gr all purpose flour
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 30 gr icing sugar
  • 50 gr butter (melted)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (powder)
  • 1/6 tsp clove (powder)
  • honey and finely chopped walnuts for decoration

Preparation :

  1. In a saucepan put the water, the sugar, the cinnamon and the orange (washed, peel on, cut in half)
  2. Boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, add honey, stir and put aside to cool down.
  1. In a bowl put the oil, the zest, the sugar, all spices, orange juice, butter and stir gently.
  2. Add flour at once.
  3. Knead lightly with your hands till flour is incorporated. Don't use a mixer for kneading as it may tighten dough and doff the oil.
  4. Take a piece of dough at the size of big walnut and shape a ball.
  5. On a wire rack, lightly press and roll the ball to form the shapes on top.
  6. Place in a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  7. Bake at preheated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes, till cookies get a dark golden colour.
  1. As soon as you remove the tray from the oven, place cookies in the saucepan with the cold syrup.
  2. Turn them upside down so that they are covered with syrup.
  3. Leave them in syrup for as many minutes as you need, depending on how juicy you like them.
  4. Remove them from the syrup with a slotted spoon.
  5. Place them in a platter in layers, pour honey over them, and sprinkle with chopped walnut.

Recipe S.Parliaros