This year I tried a new recipe for “melomakarona”, an improvised version of a recipe by Eleni Krani combined with the tastefull’s choice of syrup (Parliaros). For my daughter’s sake, our melomakarona are nut free (she did the beautiful star decorations!). As you can see, I made them kind of big and flat. Next time, I’ll go smaller. The batter was soft and it absorbed the honey syrup easily but for a crunchier texture I should have added more flour. You really have to go with your gut and/or experience here to get the batter to be where you like it best.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Ingredients for the biscuit
- 2 cups olive oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in the orange juice)
- 1/2 cup cognac (I used cherry rum)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 pounds all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
Ingredients for the syrup
- 700 grams sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- two orange wedges
- 100 grams honey
How to make the biscuits: In a bowl combine the flour with the baking powder, cinnamon, and clove. In a cup, combine the orange juice with the baking soda. Beat the olive oil with the sugar until the mix becomes whitish. Add the cognac and the orange juice (with the soda). Gradually add the flour mix at low beating speed. Knead with your hands and add more flour if needed until the batter does not stick to your hands. Let the batter “rest” for a few minutes. Shape the “melomakarona” in individual biscuits and arrange them in a lined cookie sheet, leaving some room around them so they won’t get crowded when they rise. Bake them at pre-heated oven 350F/180C for about 25′ until the get a light golden color. Place them in an unlined pan to be ready for the syrup.
How to make the syrup: Boil 500 grams water with the sugar, the cinnamon sticks and the orange wedges (keep the skin on). Add the honey, when the syrup is ready. To test if the syrup is ready, let it drop from the spoon. If you can see the drops falling and the last one drops slowly, it’s ready. Stir well until the honey is folded in and then remove from the fire.
Assemble time: When the melomakarona have cooled, ladle the hot syrup on top. Let them stand for about 15 minutes. Then turn them upside down to allow the top side to absorb syrup. Add some more syrup if you want.
Notes and tips: It’s very unusual for melomakarona to be served without walnuts or other nuts. If you don’t have allergies, sprinkle the melomakarona with chopped walnuts or pistachios.