Melomakarona (Greek holiday cookies)
These cookies really amazed me, I could not believe I was able to bake wonderful cookies without any eggs or butter. They are dipped in syrup, but I still like to think they're healthier than your ordinary (butter & Eggs) cookies. After reading my *The complete book of Greek cooking* cookbook I learned they're served during the Easter holiday. Since Easter is not a holiday I celebrate, I will serve these during my holidays. So whatever holidays you may or may not celebrate these cookies will still make your cookie platter shine....
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
2/3 cup Olive oil
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom water (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups self rising flour sifted with a pinch of salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
For the Syrup
1 cup clear honey
1/2 cup caster (superfine Sugar)
Mix together the baking soda with the orange juice and zest. Beat the oil and sugar with a hand or electric mixer until blended. Beat in the orange blossom (optional) and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, then add and beat in the orange juice and baking soda. Using your hand gradually work the flour and salt into the mixture. As soon as it becomes possible, knead the dough until it becomes pliable.
Preheat the oven to 350*. Flour your hands and pinch off small pieces of the dough, shape them into 2 1/2 inch ovals and place on non stick baking sheets.
Using a fork dipped in water, flatten each oval dough a little. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly then transfer to a wire rack to harden.
Meanwhile make the syrup. Place the honey, sugar and 2/3 cup of water in a small pan. Bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously. Then skim any surface foam, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Immerse the cold Melomakarona into the hot syrup (about six at a time) and leave them cooking for about 1 minute.
Lift them out with a slotted spoon and place on a platter in single layer. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and remaining cinnamon.