MELOMAKARONA, HONEY SPICED CHRISTMAS BISCUITS
Melomakarona are spiced with cinnamon and clove and a hint of orange zest. The dough for these bite sized biscuits is very easy to prepare and is not made with egg or butter, but with plant oils like our favourite olive oil. Olive oil helps distribute the aromas of the spices and gives the dough a very smooth texture. The warming spices of cinnamon and clove are met with fragrant orange peel and a touch of cognac, but their festive charm is not just the spices or the splash of alcohol. It’s all about the honey syrup. Topped with coarsely chopped walnuts, these bite sized biscuits are very hard to resist.
250 ml olive oil
250 ml sunflower oil
50 ml cognac or brandy
160 ml fresh orange juice, approximately 2 oranges
1 tsp baking soda
200 gr of sugar
1 tsp ground clove
2 tsp cinnamon
2 unwaxed oranges, for their zest
900 gr all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
300 ml water
300 ml thyme honey
300 gr sugar
1 lemon, for peel and juice
1 cinnamon stick
100 gr walnuts, ground
¼ tsp of cinnamon
¼ tsp of clove
- For this dough you won’t need a food processor. In a large mixing bowl add the olive oil, sunflower oil, cognac and sugar and stir well. Then add the orange juice and orange zest and baking soda.
- Use a separate mixing bowl for the dry goods: flour, baking powder, clove and cinnamon.
- Start adding the dry goods bit by bit into the mixing bowl with the liquid goods, using an egg-whisk. Be careful not to over-kneed the dough, just enough to fully incorporate the materials.
- Start shaping the honey cookies. Use a walnut size portion of the dough and form into oval shape. Pinch lightly with a fork to decorate.
- Preheat your oven at 160° C and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- The syrup
- The syrup is a very straight-forward to make, but make sure your biscuits are ready and cooled before you start. Mix the water and honey in a deep pot. Add a cinnamon stick, a couple of rinds of lemon peel and the juice of half a lemon. Bring the mix to the boil and skim the foam. Let it to boil for 4-5 minutes and lower the heat to 1.
- Start dipping the melomakarona into the syrup in small batches. Leave for approximately 30 seconds each side and work through the rest of them in the same way.
- For decoration we use walnuts. Crush them coarsely and mix the walnuts with a bit of cinnamon and clove. Once the honey biscuits are syruped, sprinkle a bit of your walnut mix over the top.