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Let’s Bake Melomakarona – The ultimate Greek Christmas cookie!

Let’s Bake Melomakarona – The ultimate Greek Christmas cookie!

While we make Melomakarona all year round at Select Bakery, we make triple batches around Christmas! It is truly a special time, with cinnamon, orange and honey smells wafting through the kitchen all day.

The Greek word melomakarona is pronounced meh-loh-mah-kah-roh-nah and comes from the word “meli”, which means honey in Greek and “makaria” which means “to bless”, as this type of cookie was used in various religious ceremonies in antiquity. There is no doubt that Melomakarona is one of the most popular Christmas cookies for the Greek community along with Kourabiedes, which is Christmas Greek butter cookie made with almond and rose water.

If you want to try your hand at baking Melomakarona at home occasionally, we have a quick and simple recipe, inspired by our own Katsamakis family recipe. We also love Eleni Saltas’ recipe from her amazing cookbook “All You Can Greek”. All the ingredients you need, along with the cookbook, are available on our online store where we deliver both to Canada and the USA.

This recipe will make about 50 pieces of Melomakarona depending on the size and shape you create.

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Prep time: 20 mins

Baking time: 20-25 mins

Ingredients for the syrupwe recommend preparing this first, so it has time to cool down by the time the cookies bake.

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 Peel of an Orange

You can also add Greek Honey and/or Cinnamon to the syrup, to your liking.

Ingredients for the dough

You can also add orange juice, vanilla, and whiskey (like Eleni does).

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

Step 1 – The Syrup

Let’s make the syrup. In a stainless-steel pot, add the sugar, water, peel of one orange and the cinnamon and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the honey. Keep it on a low flame/heat until the cookies are baked.

Preheat the oven to 370° F (190° C) and prepare the dough.

Step 2 – The wet ingredients

Mix the olive (or vegetable) oil with the sugar and water in a large bowl and whisk until smooth (2-3 mins).

Add the cinnamon, cloves, orange zest and ground walnuts.

Step 3 – The dry ingredients

Stir the ammonium bicarbonate with the flour in a separate bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix with your hand or mixer to combine. Add additional flour to the dough until it is no longer sticky. The dough should be soft.

Step 5 – Shape the cookies!

Mold the cookie dough into small round or oval shapes and place them on a cookie sheet. Repeat, keeping the same consistency of shape and size for each. We add patterns on the cookie with a fork.

Step 6 – Get ready, set…BAKE!

Bake the cookies for 20-25 mins in a preheated 370° F (190° C) oven

Final Step – Syrup Bath

When the cookies are fully baked, soak them fully in the heavenly syrup for 10-20 seconds to make sure they will be moist and delicious.

You can keep them in a tin box for up to 2 weeks to make sure they stay fresh during the Holidays!

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