Melomakárona is the name of our traditional Greek Christmas cookies. They go back in time, in Ancient Greece, when they were usually served after a funeral. But those cookies were made without honey, whereas the ones we eat today are dropped for a few seconds in a syrup made with honey. Thus the first part of the word “melo” deriving from the word “méli” meaning honey in Greek.


Here’s the recipe


Melomakárona (Traditional Greek Christmas cookies)


For the dough:

7 cups flour (more or less)

2 cups esti olive oil

1 cup caster sugar

1 cup orange juice

½ cup cognac

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground clove

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

You will also need:

150 gr ground walnuts

For the syrup:

2 cups honey

2 cups caster sugar

2 cups water



Preheat the oven at 180 degrees

In a large bowl mix the flour with baking powder & baking soda. Put the oil, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon, clove and cognac in a mixing bowl and beat until thoroughly blended.


Sift about one cup of flour mixture and blend with the oil mixture. Use your hands from now on in order to mix the dough. Add one cup flour at a time until you get a rather firm dough (you may need a bit more or a bit less flour)


Roll the dough into cylinders about 5 cm long and 3 cm in diameter flatten them with your hands (or a fork) and place them on a baking sheet. Bake at 180 Celsius for about 20-25 minutes.

For the syrup, put in a large pot water, sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 4 minutes, and then leave it on the fire in order to keep it hot. Lay each cookie in the syrup for a few seconds, take it out (don’t leave it more than a few seconds in the syrup) then place it on a plate and sprinkle some ground walnut on top of it. Continue until all cookies have been dropped in syrup and sprinkled with walnut.


Keep in mind that melomakárona are great keepers. They can last for at least two weeks!






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