Melomakarona are moist honey-soaked cookies (made with olive oil, no butter, no eggs) that have all of the flavors of baklava. In this recipe, I made them heart-shaped and dipped them in melted chocolate. You may use dark, semi-sweet, or a combination of both chocolates. Garnish them with ground walnuts or candied mini hearts and serve the decadent treats with some hot tea.
If you follow these helpful tips your Greek honey cookies will come out perfect:
- make sure that both the syrup and the cookies are hot
- Soak the cookies in the hot syrup as soon as they come out of the oven
- Soak the cookies for at least 30 seconds. I prefer to soak them for a whole minute, at least…
- Allow the excess syrup to drain from the cookies. The best way to do this is to set them on a cooling rack.
- Melomakarona cookie dough traditionally does not have ground cinnamon and cloves in it. Instead, those spices are in the walnut garnish. I opted to add the spices to the dough since I wanted to keep the walnut topping clean. Leave the spices out if desired.
- A combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate is ideal and pairs well with the sweet cookies.
- Use baking chocolate instead of cholcolate chips. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and the melted chocolate will be too thick.
- Sprinkle the garnish (ground nuts, candied hearts, candied pears, sprinkles…) before the chocolate sets
- Leave a few without chocolate to serve to those who prefer the classic melomakarona
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner so, I made the cookies heart-shaped. Feel free to make them whatever shape you like. Traditionally these cookies are formed by hand into ovals. Also, the size of your cookie cutter will alter the amount of cookies that this recipe makes. My cookie cutter is 2 inches wide and I was able to make 36 hearts.
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My classic Melomakarona recipe can be printed HERE.
For the syrup:
- • 2 cups of sugar
- • 2 cups honey
- • 2 cups of water
- • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the cookies:
- • 4 cups (570 grams) all-purpose flour
- • 1 teaspoon baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon baking soda
- • The zest of 2 small oranges
- • 1 cup of vegetable oil
- • ½ cup granulated sugar
- • ½ cup of orange juice
- • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- • ¼ teaspoon salt
For the chocolate glaze:
- • 250 grams semi-sweet chocolate
- • 250 grams bittersweet chocolate
- • 2 tablespoons olive oil/vegetable oil
- • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- • Ground walnuts
- • Ground almonds
- • Candied pearls, hearts, sprinkles…
- Preheat oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.
- Place the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest into a bowl. Whisk together to combine.
- Always zest citrus before juicing.
- Combine the oil, sugar, and orange juice in the bowl of a tabletop mixer with the paddle attachment and mix to combine.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. It will still appear a bit crumbly, but you will know it is ready by squeezing a portion in your palm. If it sticks together it is ready, if it still appears crumbly add 1-2 tablespoons water or juice and mix some more.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface, compress it and form a circle. Roll out to a little less than a ½ inch in thickness. Do not use any additional flour to do this.
- Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking make the syrup. Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the honey and the vanilla extract. Stir until incorporated.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, dunk them in the syrup and keep them in there for at least 45 seconds. Place the soaked cookies onto a cooling rack.
- Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (in 10-second increments). Add the olive oil and vanilla extract and whisk together until smooth and shiny.
- Use 2 forks to dip each cookie into the melted chocolate. Drain excess chocolate in the same bowl and set the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Garnish the cookies with your favorite toppings (if desired) while the chocolate is still wet.
- Set aside at room temperature until the chocolate sets.
- Serve the cookies with tea or coffee. These also make beautiful gifts!
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated. Enjoy!