Melomakarona Yemista me Sousami
Melomakarona (also called “phoenikia”) are a traditional Greek cookie, a favorite at Christmas. Most recipes call for the cookie to be dipped in a honey-based syrup, but this recipe calls for a powdered sugar, nut, and spice topping. Since they have no syrup, they can be easily stored in tins or plastic containers for long periods of time… however, they are sure to be eaten very quickly!
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH
- 12 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 cups of olive oil
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup of cognac
- 1 cup of lukewarm water
- juice and grated peel of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon of ground cloves
- 1 cup of coarsely ground walnuts (optional)
- FOR THE TOPPING
- 2 1/2 cups of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 2/3 cups of walnut pieces
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- THE FINAL TOUCH
- confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Not dipping the cookies into a syrup is fine for any recipe for Melomakarona. If you have a favorite recipe, try it with this topping.
- Dissolve baking soda in the lemon juice. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder, and whisk until well blended.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the oil, water, lemon juice (with baking soda), cinnamon, cloves, cognac, and grated lemon peel. Beat for 2 minutes until thoroughly combined. Continue beating and add two-thirds of the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low speed until well blended. Change to dough hooks, or use hands when needed. (If using walnuts, add now using dough hooks or hands until well distributed.)
- Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading with hands at the end. Dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the hands, about 5 minutes of kneading.
- Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C).
- To shape the cookies, take a fistful of dough and make it into a log. Press the dough gently with your fingers on one side to flatten slightly. The traditional shapes of the cookies are slightly rounded circles or ovals.
- Place the cookies, finger-marked side down, well spaced in a greased cookie sheet (or on parchment cooking paper, or on a non-stick cookie sheet), place on the middle rack in the oven and bake at 355°F (180°C) until browned (about 30-35 minutes}. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on baking racks or paper towels.
- Combine all topping ingredients and grind coarsely.
- Sprinkle the cookies with the nut mixture and then with confectioner’s (powdered) sugar.
- Yield: about 80 cookies