Also known as the Christmas cookie, Melomakarona are a popular treat any time of the year. Use your favorite honey (we love our local NY Buzz summer and fall variety).
They are also one of the easiest cookies to make. Traditionally, they are formed in a sort of flattened oblong shape but we make them in small bites. You really just need one to be satisfied but, heck, it's the holidays, have a bunch!
Melomakarona (Honey and olive oil cookies)
For the cookies For the syrup
1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar 1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cognac* 1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
zest from one orange For topping
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
3 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Warm oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine extra virgin olive oil, sugar, cognac, orange juice, zest and cinnamon. Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture a cup at a time. Knead dough for a few minutes (by hand or with a dough attachment if using a mixer) until smooth. Check consistency and add more flour if needed. Form dough into oblong shape (about a quarter of cup at a time) and place on baking sheet; press to slightly flatten the cookie. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes.
While cookies bake, combine ingredients for the syrup and bring to a boil on the stovetop; boil for 5 minutes. Remove the foam that will form on top. Remove cookies from oven and place in a rimmed dish, pour hot syrup so that the cookies are half immersed in syrup. Let stand for 10 minutes. Drizzle more syrup over the cookies and immediately sprinkle with crushed walnuts. Enjoy!
* If preferred, 1/4 orange juice can be sustituted for the cognac.