Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies

I remember my grandmother making these when I was young. I distinctly remember the occasion when she came over showing my mother how to flatten the cookies in your palm, add the filling and then shape them into ovals. I was very young around 5-6 years old. From then on my mother used to make these honey morsels every Christmas. When I started my own family, I too began the tradition of making these cookies.  

Melomakarona or Greek walnut-cinnamon-honey cookies are very traditional cookies during the Christmas holidays. They are also healthy since there is no butter in the recipe. You can substitute the vegetable oil with olive oil. I always used vegetable oil when I made these cookies. Now I make sure that the vegetable oil I use is free of soy, so I use canola oil. I am hesitant in using olive oil for desert type cooking, since olive oil can be a bit overwhelming. Even though the olive oil in the United States comes from some European countries, I find it a bit stronger than the Greek olive oil that’s produced in Greece.  

You can substitute 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 cup melted butter. But even with the vegetable oil these cookies are delicious. Enjoy!

Melomakarona – Greek walnut cinnamon honey cookies                       

Makes 56 cookies (approximately 1.3oz each)

Filling and topping
15 tbsp ground or finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar

Cookie batter
2 cups vegetable oil (like canola oil)
1 cup sugar
½ cup orange juice
½ cup brandy or cognac
1 tbsp orange zest (peel of 1 orange) 
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
6 cups flours
2 tbsp extra flour for kneading

Syrup
2 cups honey
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick

Finely chop the walnuts. Add the ground cloves, cinnamon and sugar. Mix well and set aside.  

Beat together the vegetable oil with the sugar, orange juice, brandy, cinnamon and orange zest. Shift together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the wet ingredients. Blend. Knead with your hands and add flour, as needed (about 2 tbsps). Take portion of the dough about 2” ball and roll it between your hands. Flatten it in the hollow of your palm and add about ¼ tsp of the filling. Pinch the dough together to seal it and shape it into an oval shape. Place the cookies in a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350° oven for 25 minutes until coppery brown.  

Make the syrup
Bring honey and water to a boil – about 5 minutes. Skim off any foam. Lower the heat and drop the cookies one at a time in the honey. Do not overcrowd. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place them in a platter. Continue simmering the cookies in honey until done. Sprinkle with the rest walnut-cinnamon mixture. Drizzle the cookies with any syrup that might be left over. 

Nutrition Facts 
Serving Size 1 serving (38.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 81
Total Fat 9.0g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 45mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.3g
Sugars 14.0g
Protein 0.6g



Right out of the oven



Dipped and drizzled with the honey syrup and the nuts. 
Merry Christmas! Enjoy!

















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