“MELOMAKARONA” – A traditional Greek delicacy for Christmas

(already plural) Greek honey macaroons with crushed walnuts.

They are traditionally served at Christmas in all over Greece.

Now that Christmas is on the way, why not ventouring a delicious Greek dessert.

400 gr. Orange juice (fresh or bottled)
530 gr. sunflower (for a healthier, “Mediterranean” flavor, use olive oil or half sunflower-half olive oil)
1.200 gr. flour
30 gr. powdered sugar
½ teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/6 teaspoon clove (no more because it has strong flavor)
50 gr. butter melted
one orange zest
nuts cut into chubby chunks

500 gr. water
700 gr. sugar
1 orange cut in two pieces
2-3 small cinnamon sticks
100 gr. honey
Tools: A sieve (like the one for powder)

I feel like no matter which recipe’s variation you will choose, the delight is guaranteed. “Melomakarona” ‘s catch is in their sweetening process. They must be well covered with syrup but crunchy inside. They are considered to be the top Christmas delicacy and no Greek house can do without them. Try them and good luck.

For the syrup:
In a casserole, we boil the water with the sugar, the orange and the cinnamon sticks. We boil them for only 1 minute and we withdraw from fire. We add the honey and let aside to cool down. We can prepare the syrup from the previous day, if we want to.

For the “Melomakarona”:
In a large, deep bowl we pour all the liquids with the butter. We add the powdered sugar and all the spices. We mix them together with our hands adding the flour. We continue to hand-mix “gently”. At this point we don’t use a mixer so that our pastry won’t thicken.

We give our “melomakarona” a small oval shape.  

Then, we “gently” press them onto the sieve to give them the characteristic shape    

(they will look as if they have been squeezed onto a sports-racket).

We place them on a greaseproof cooking paper and we bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes at 180oC (we must see a dark golden color).

As soon as we take them out of the oven and they are still very hot, we deep them into the cold syrup.

We make sure that they are covered with the syrup on all sides and we let them for 1 minute. We take them out and we let them on the sieve to drain.

Final touch: On a large Christmas (or not) plate we pour some honey and sprinkle a lot of the chubby cut nuts.

We roll over the upper side of the “melomakarona” so that it is covered completely with the honey and nuts.

We continue this process with all of our “melomakarona”.

*TIP: Due to the syrup, the “melomakarona” can stay fresh and juicy only 8 to 10 days. So, if you want to have fresh “melomakarona” every week, you can do this: After you take them out of the oven, continue with the sweetening process only with half of them. The rest of them, keep them in the refrigerator. When it’s time to serve them too, don’t forget to heat them in the oven before you deep them in the cold syrup. Remember: they must always be hot in order to deep into the cold syrup. Otherwise, the moisture will not let them become crunchy on the inside.


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