Delight in Melomakarona: The Sweet Essence of Greek Christmas

 Melomakarona, the beloved Greek honey cookies, share a place of honor with kourabiedes as cherished traditional Christmas desserts. The aroma of these egg-shaped cookies, lovingly prepared by generations, signals the joyous arrival of Christmas.

These cookies have a fascinating history rooted in ancient makaria, initially consumed during funerals. Over time, they evolved, taking a dip in honey—'meli' in Greek. Thus, melomakarona was born, merging 'meli' (honey) and 'makaria.'

To craft this authentic melomakarona recipe, gather olive oil, vegetable oil, freshly squeezed orange juice, cognac, sugar, cinnamon powder, clove powder, baking powder, baking soda, all-purpose flour, Greek honey, water, and crushed walnuts. For this once-a-year treat, quality ingredients elevate the experience. Note that standard measuring cups (250 milliliters) were used in this recipe.

Creating these delightful melomakarona yields around 50 cookies, with 1 hour and 10 minutes of preparation and 25-30 minutes of baking time. The Greek word for melomakarona is 'μελομακάρονα' (plural) and 'μελαμακάρονο' (singular). Embrace the sweet traditions of Greece this Christmas with melomakarona, a timeless symbol of warmth and celebration.

Melomakarona Recipe

Melomakarona Recipe- Ingredients

  •  1 cup of olive oil
  •  2 cups vegetable oil
  •  1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  •  3 tablespoons of cognac or whisky
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  •  ½ teaspoon clove powder
  •  3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  7 cups all-purpose flour, divided

 For the syrup and garnish:

  •  1 cup Greek honey
  •  2 cups sugar
  •  3 cups water
  •  1 cup crushed walnuts
  •  cinnamon powder (sprinkle)
  •  clove powder (sprinkle)

Melomakarona Recipe- How to Make

  1. Start this traditional melomakarona recipe by taking a bowl and combining the olive and vegetable oils. 
  2. Blend with a hand mixer starting on low speed and slowly working up to medium speed. 
  3. Slowly pour in the orange juice and cognac, and continue mixing. 
  4. Add in the sugar, cinnamon powder, clove powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix for a total of 10 minutes.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, start with 3 cups of flour, then pour in the oil mixture. 
  6. With the help of your hand mix all the ingredients. Gradually add additional 4 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. This will allow you to knead the melomakarona dough uniformly until it feels like bread dough. This process takes about 10 minutes.
  7. It may require a touch more flour, depending on how tight so trust your judgment. 
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 
  9. Grease a couple of baking sheets with vegetable oil or line them with parchment paper. 
  10. Roll out the melomakarona with your fingers, shaping them into 3-inch long by 1½-inch wide cookies, and arrange them onto the greased baking trays. 
  11. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and baked through. 
  12. Allow the melomakarona to cool properly before proceeding to coat it with honey and nuts.
  13. To make the syrup, combine the honey, sugar, and water in a saucepan. 
  14. Stir while bringing to a boil, then cook on low heat for 5 minutes. 
  15. Skim the foam off the top. 
  16. Take a skimmer and fully immerse the melomakarona into the pan (about 5 to 6 cookies at a time) for about 2 minutes so the hot syrup thoroughly soaks through the cookies. 
  17. Remove the melomakarona from the pan, place them on a plate, and immediately garnish it with crushed walnuts, then cinnamon powder and clove powder. 
  18. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  19. Allow the melomakarona to cool.

As you embark on the journey of making melomakarona, remember that this recipe carries the essence of generations, the warmth of family kitchens, and the joy of festive traditions. The sweet scent of these honey-infused cookies not only fills your home but also your heart with the spirit of Christmas. Each bite connects you to a legacy of love, passed down from one generation to the next. May your melomakarona be a testament to the enduring bonds of family and the sweet moments that make the holiday season truly special. If you like melomakarona, you should try this delicious melomakarona with chocolate recipe. From our kitchen to yours, Merry Christmas.