Melomakarona, Greek Walnut Biscuits

Melomakarona are  traditional Greek Christmas biscuits. They are sweet and spicy and you won’t be able to stop at one.

Melomakarona Biscuits

Ingredients

Biscuits

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tblsp ouzo
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of walnuts, finely chopped (reserve a 1/4 cup for the topping)

Syrup

  • 1  cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Topping

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C (a moderate oven temperature).
  2. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  3. With an electric beater, beat together the oil, sugar and orange zest until creamy.
  4. Using a strong wooden spoon add in the ground cinnamon, ground cloves and walnuts. Mix until well combined.
  5. Gradually add in the sifted flour and baking powder mix, alternating by adding in the ouzo and orange juice as you mix. The dough mixture will come together and you should be able to roll balls that keep their shape.
  6. Take a walnut sized amount of dough and roll it into slightly elongated little cakes. I have made them rounded but the traditional shape is a slightly elongated shape.
  7. Place the biscuits on your baking tray about 3 cm apart.
  8. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms.
  9. Allow the cakes to cool completely. While they are cooling, start making the syrup.

Syrup

  1. In a small to medium sized pot, combine all the syrup ingredients. Stirring often, bring to a boil then simmer for ten minutes.
  2. The biscuits should be completely cooled and the syrup should be warm (not hot, it should be  at body temperature ie. comfortable if you put your finger in the syrup). Have a large plate, or plates ready.

    Do not be tempted to dip the biscuits in the syrup before they have cooled completely! They may break apart and/or get too soft.

  3. Put one biscuit into the syrup. Swish it around gently for no more than ten seconds. Eight seconds is fine. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and place on your plate.
  4. Repeat for all remaining biscuits.
  5. Place the biscuits on your plate in a single layer with none overlapping.
  6. Sprinkle the reserved 1/4 cup of finely ground walnuts over the tops of the biscuits.
  7. Makes about 25-30 bicuits

IMG_20151220_110951-melomakarona

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