Melomakarona …..Greek honey and orange cookies …

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I am in the mood for making more Greek sweets and I am going to carry on until i have exhausted all possibilities from my stack of recipes collected when I lived in Cyprus.

These orange cookies soaked in a honey syrup are delicious and they are traditionally made by families during Christmas or special occasions. The dough freezes well so you can double the ingredients and freeze half the dough for use at a later time. The recipe requires beating the oil and orange juice for 15 minutes and it may seem a long time, but it just makes a lighter, more crumbly cookie. …..

You will need :

3 cups olive oil
1 cup orange juice
1 cup brandy
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 2 oranges
1 1/2 kg plain flour
Pinch of cloves, pinch of cinnamon
Some chopped nuts for inserting a piece before baking

For the syrup
1 1/2 cups honey
1 1/w cups sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
Pinch of cinnamon

To top
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup caster sugar
Combine these ingredients and leave in a bowl to dip the cookies in

Preheat oven to 180°C.

I froze half the dough and filled two flat baking trays with the cookies.

Using an electric mixer, beat oil, sugar and orange juice on high speed for 10 minutes or until thick and creamy.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda and combine with oil mixture. Fold gently and you should have a light doughy mixture. If you need add more flour,

Using hands, roll tablespoons mixture into oval shapes. Insert a small piece of nut into each cookie. Place on prepared trays. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool on trays.

Make syrup by combining ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly.

Using a slotted spoon, dip cooled biscuits, 1 at a time, into hot syrup for about 30 seconds, turning over often until well coated. Dip the top into the walnut and sugar mixture, Combine walnuts and Allow to cool and arrange on a large plate.

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Ready for baking !
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