Greek Honey Christmas Cookies

The melomakarono is an egg-shaped Greek dessert made mainly from flour, olive oil, and honey.
Along with the kourabiedes it is a traditional dessert prepared primarily during the Christmas holiday season. They are also known as finikia.
Historically, melomakarona are thought to be derived from the ancient and medieval makaria, which were eaten during funerals. Gradual changes in the recipe and the addition of dipping them in honey led to melomakarona which etymologically is derived from the Greek word for honey “meli” and “makaria”.

Typical ingredients of the melomakarono are flour or semolina, sugar, orange zest and/or fresh juice, cognac (or similar beverage), cinnamon, crushed or ground clove and olive oil. During rolling they are often filled with ground walnuts. Immediately after baking, they are immersed for a few seconds in cold syrup made of honey and sugar dissolved in water. Finally, they are decorated with ground, as well as bigger pieces of walnut. Dark chocolate-covered melomakarona are also a more recent variation of the traditional recipe.


For syrup:

500 ml water
800 g granulated sugar
150 g honey
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
1 orange, cut in half


300g olive oil
300g sunflower oil
50g cognac liquor
160g fresh orange juice
50g of sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground clove
2 tsp cinnamon
2 oranges (zest)


1 kg  all purpose flour
200 g fine semolina



For the syrup

Boil all of the ingredients for the syrup, apart from honey, until sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add the honey and mix till combined.
let syrup cool for 3-4 hours. It must be cold by the time the cookies come out from the oven.
You can prepare the syrup from the day before…

For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 190* C (370*F) Fan.
To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.
For the first mixture, add all of the ingredients, except orange juice and soda, in a large bowl.

Mix, using a hand whisk.

Add the soda in the orange juice and pour it into the mixture.

In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients for the second mixture, ( flour and semolina).

Combine the first and second mixture.
Mix by hand, very gently and for a very short time (10 seconds at the most). If you mix longer the mixture will split or curdle.
Mold cookie dough into oval shapes, 3-4 cm in long, 30 g each. Try to keep them as similar as possible.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until they are crunchy and dark golden brown.
As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the syrup for 10 seconds.
Allow them to drain on a wire rack.  Drizzle with honey and chopped walnuts.

Note: Be careful not to overwork the cookie dough because the oil may start to seep out and then they won’t turn out crispy! The orange used for the syrup should a whole fresh orange, cut in half!

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on  Instagram a d Facebook with the hashtag #mygreekitchen

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