Melomakarona (traditional Greek Christmas cookies - gluten free)
Updated: Dec 24, 2019
I love cookies. Like, loooooooove cookies. So much so I can never bake a full batch of these because no joke, I will proceed to eat 80 cookies over the course of two days. It's that bad.
& yes, I really did just say "80 cookies". Trust me, you want to make a giant batch of these because everyone will be eating them.
Normally I'm not a fan of Greek desserts (even if I am greek). For me, it's all far too sweet. These cookies are not the exception to that rule. They are sweet. Very sweet. Deliciously sweet. & you will eat enough to hate yourself afterwards. But you'll make them any way because they are amazing.
About two months before christmas, these things start showing up in every bakery from coast to boarder in this country. You can find various variations of them - Panagiotis favourite are the ones dipped in chocolate - but me, I like them just as they are.
Below is the recipe to make these for yourself. It sounds like a whole mess of stuff, but really it's an easy recipe to do so don't sweat it.
Ingredients - syrup:
1 liter - water
1.6kg - sugar
1 - orange, quartered
4 - cinnamon sticks
5 - cloves
200g - honey (good quality honey)
Directions - syrup:
1. Combine everything except the honey into a medium sized pot & bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium & let it simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat & allow to cool. 2. Once the syrups has cooled completely, you can fish out the orange, clove & cinnamon, & add in the honey. Give everything a good stir & then set it aside for later. Then you can proceed onto the next half.
Ingredients - cookies: makes 80 400g - orange juice
400g - sunflower oil
180g - olive oil
50g - icing sugar
2 - oranges, zest only
1 tsp - xanthin gum
2 - egg whites
1 tsp - ground clove
4 tsp - ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp - ground nutmeg
1 tsp - bicarbonate of soda
500g - all purpose gluten free white flour
500g - gluten free oat flour (make sure it's certified)
200g - almond flour
100g - good quality honey
100g - finely chopped toasted walnuts
Directions - cookies:
1. pre-heat the oven to 190C
2. combine everything except the 3 types of flour into a large bowl & give it all a really good whisk.
3. Add in the white flour, oat flour & almond flour & switch over to a spatula. Mix everything thoroughly util there are no more chunks of flour in the dough. Really make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula too.
4. line three baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a spoon, transfer pieces of dough into your hand & roll them into a ball, flattening them slightly before transferring them onto the parchment paper. You want to space them about 2cm apart. Each ball should be about the size of a walnut still in its shell. Keep going & rolling until you've created & placed all 80 cookies.
5. you want to bake the trays one at a time to make sure everything gets evenly baked. Each tray needs between 20-25 minutes depending on how consistently your oven holds temperature.
6. as soon as a tray of cookies comes out of the oven, you want to transfer the entire batch into the pot of syrup you made earlier, & then fish them all out with a slotted spoon 30 seconds later & transfer them back onto the baking tray.
7. once all the cookies have been baked & had their syrupy bath, you can begin to transfer them onto a large plate & drizzle them with as much (or as little) honey as you want. Then sprinkle them generously with the chopped walnuts. 8. leave the cookies undisturbed for 24 hours before you start to devour them. You really want that syrup to seep all the way into the cookie to give it that authentic taste & texture that they are meant to have.
By the way...
If you're interested in the type of stuff I keep stocked in my kitchen or the equipment that I use regularly... here's a pretty comprehensive list.
Tools/ Equipment/ Machinery/ Ingredients:
Electric Scale - Etekcity - http://amzn.to/2xkKpQk
Hand Mixer - Kenwood - http://amzn.to/2xkjowh
Candy Thermometer - Etekcity - http://amzn.to/2xklw7k
Food Processor - Cuisinart - http://amzn.to/2xkkZqK
Silicone Spatula - Zyliss - http://amzn.to/2y3Srkw
Pots & Pans: Cast Iron Pot 5.5 Quart - La Cocotte Staub - http://amzn.to/2fUqxAG
Almond Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2xkP3xI
Bicarbonate of Soda - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2yL7Lj4
Oat Flour - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2fNUuyZ
White Flour GF - Dove's Farm - http://amzn.to/2z1b5I1
Xanthan Gum - Bob's Red Mill - http://amzn.to/2zoYxuC
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