Christmas in Greece means Kourabiedes and Melomakarona. These are the traditional cookies of the season. You can usually recognise if someone has been given a kourabiedes to eat from the drifts of powdered (icing) sugar that dusts their clothes. Kourabiedes are almond biscuits covered in (you guessed it) white confctioner’s sugar. They are more common than their more prosaic partner – the melomakarona – honey “macaroon” I think would be the literal translation. For our holiday celebrations, masses of these sweet cinnamon biscuits dipped in a honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts were produced.
Greek Christmas Honey Soaked Cinnamon Cookies with Walnuts.
- 500g water
- 800g sugar
- 150g honey
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 orange
- 400g orange juice
- 400g light oil such as sunflower oil of canola
- 180g olive oil
- 50g Confectioner’s (powered) sugar
- 1/2 tea. ground cloves
- 3 tea. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tea. ground nutmeg
- 1 tea. baking soda
- Zest from two oranges
- 1 kilo flour
- 200g fine semolina
- 200g walnuts
First make syrup by combining the water, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Cut the orange in half and add this. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the honey. Place in a cool place for at least 2 to 3 hours. The syrup must be cool.
To make cookies: mix all the liquids and then add the flour and other dry ingredients. Mix with a light hand until the flour is just incorporated.
Preheat oven to 190degrees C. Form the cookies into elongated walnut shapes. The cookie will expand in the oven so place apart on a lined baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and then, while still hot, put into the syrup for 20 seconds. Work in small batches.
Place on cooling rack and sprinkle chopped walnuts while the cookie is still warm.
Let cool. Place on a platter and cover with clingfilm until ready to serve.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!