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Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden tray surrounded by christmas decorations on a red satin cloth

Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread cookies! I make them together with the traditional Greek christmas cookies, Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. They also make really nice gifts, too, because they keep so well!

This year, though, I wanted to experiment and make something we could also have during the Orthodox Christian Nativity fast, which is mostly vegan. So, this recipe is vegan, although you could adapt it for non-vegans, as well. For example, you could use regular butter instead of vegan butter/margarine, or regular milk instead of vegan/plant-based milk.

I introduced a Greek flavor to this recipe by adding some Mavrodaphne wine. In my opinion, the result is extraordinary! 

Mavrodaphne wine gives these cookies a beautiful subtle flavor. It really pairs well with the spices, too! It’s a unique flavor combination!

grek gingerbread cookies on a plate with a candy cane and candle in the background

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES:

  • NO CHILLING REQUIRED! Unlike classic gingerbread cookie recipes where you need to chill the dough, this recipe is pretty quick and convenient because you don’t have to do that. Just roll it out, cut out the cookies and bake! It’s a HUGE timesaver! How many of us actually have a couple of hours to spare to wait for the dough to chill??
  • You don’t need a stand mixer OR a hand mixer! No creaming the butter and sugar here! You just fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones! It really couldn’t be any easier than that!
  • You don’t have to flour your work surface or rolling pin! Just roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. No extra flour, no mess, no fuss! This also makes cleanup a breeze! 
  • Amazing dough! The dough is a DREAM to work with! It doesn’t even crack while you roll it out (*check out the picture tutorial below)!
  • The cookies DO NOT spread! The cookies really hold their shape well. They don’t really puff up or spread at all. I took pictures of the cookies before and after I baked them. As you can see, there’s not much of a difference – they really maintained their shape! Check out the photos below!

greek gingerbread cookies on tray before and after baking

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Mavrodaphne wine?

Mavrodaphne wine is a traditional Greek wine. It’s sweet and dark brownish red in color. It’s also known as a dessert wine, similar to Port. It’s most commonly made from a dark grape variety from the Peloponnese, an area in Greece that is famous for its wine-making since ancient times. It is an excellent aperitif, but it’s also used in cooking and baking today.

What does Mavrodaphne wine taste like?

Mavrodaphne wine has a unique exotic aroma and flavor. It’s rich and sweet with subtle hints of caramelized raisins.

Can I omit the wine?

Of course! If you don’t want any alcohol, you could easily replace the Mavrodaphne wine with regular milk or a plant-based, non-dairy milk for a vegan option.

What’s a good substitute for molasses?

If you don’t have molasses, you could replace it with equal amounts of good-quality honey. The taste will be different, though, as molasses has a very distinct flavor. I’ve made these cookies with honey and they were much lighter in flavor, but I much prefer them made with molasses! Molasses and Mavrodaphne wine really compliment each other!

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes! Just wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. You can freeze the dough for about a month.

Can I make these gingerbread cookies crunchy?

Sure! There are 2 ways to get crunchier cookies. You could either roll the dough really thin before cutting them out and baking them. Or, you can bake them a few minutes longer.

How long will these gingerbread cookies stay fresh?

These cookies will last for about 2 ½ weeks in an airtight container.

How do you store these gingerbread cookies?

I store them in an airtight container. You could also put a small piece of parchment paper between each cookie to prevent them from sticking together.

Can I freeze these gingerbread cookies?

Yes! I always freeze my cookies undecorated. I wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then I put them in a freezer-safe container. You can store them in the freezer for a couple of months.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THESE GREEK STYLE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

  • Flour: I  use all-purpose flour. 
  • Margarine: I always use block margarine, not the spreadable tub kind because there’s too much moisture in it. Margarine makes the dough really pliable. If you want, you could use vegan butter or regular butter.
  • Mavrodaphne wine : This is the secret ingredient! If you don’t have it, you could omit it from the recipe, but it will have a different flavor. I’ve tried it with and without the Mavrodaphne wine and it’s still delicious, but the Mavrodaphne wine really gives it a richer flavor!
  • Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, of course!
  • Sweeteners: I use molasses and dark brown sugar.
  • Salt: I use a little to boost the flavors.
  • For the Eggless Icing I use powdered sugar, cornstarch, and some milk.

5 IMPORTANT SUPER TIPS! 

SUPER TIP #1: MAKING THE DOUGH 

In the recipe, I started off with 2 ½ cups flour and ended up adding ½ cup more to get the right consistency. You should just add enough flour, a little at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. This dough should be thick enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial below). 

SUPER TIP #2: PREP YOUR COOKIE CUTTERS 

Have a small bowl of flour nearby and dip each cookie cutter in it before placing it on the dough to cut out shapes. This will help prevent any dough from sticking to the cookie cutters.

SUPER TIP #3: HOW TO MAKE USE OF AS MUCH DOUGH AS POSSIBLE

Whenever I make these cookies (or any cut out cookies), I need to use up as much dough as I possibly can, because I don’t want to roll it out too many times, as this would risk overworking the dough. If you overwork the dough, it can make the cookies tough and hard.

Here’s what I do to avoid this:

After I roll out the dough, I place my cookie cutters as close together as I can. That way I make use of as much dough as possible because I have fewer scraps to re-roll.

SUPER TIP #4: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM SPREADING WHILE BAKING

I don’t use any baking powder or baking soda in this recipe, so they aren’t very light and airy. However, I found that omitting the leaveners made a stronger cookie – perfect for packing and shipping them without sacrificing the flavor.

SUPER TIP #5: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM LOSING THEIR SHAPE WHEN TRANSFERRING THEM TO A BAKING SHEET

Here’s a trick I do that keeps the cookies from falling apart or getting misshapen when I transfer them onto a baking sheet! It’s really simple! 

First, cut some parchment paper the same size as your baking sheet.

Place your dough on top of the parchment paper and then place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. If you want, you could use plastic wrap on top, instead.

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness.

Then LIFT OR SLIDE the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.

Remove the top parchment paper & cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters.

Then carefully remove all the scraps.

Voila! 

This trick is perfect for whenever you’re making really intricate cookies, too, because you don’t touch the cookies at all!

HOW TO MAKE THESE GREEK STYLE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps1-3

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps4-5

ABOUT THIS EGGLESS ICING

This eggless icing isn’t runny like a glaze, it’s much, much thicker.

The reason why I wanted to make it thick is because I wanted to make detailed designs on the cookies, like I would with royal icing. However, whenever I made regular glazes (which are great to use in squeeze bottles), the design would often spread on the cookie. 

This was never a big deal for me when I made really big cookies, but for smaller ones, I could never get the intricate details I wanted and I didn’t want to make traditional royal icing because it uses egg whites.

So, after a lot of experimenting, I came up with this eggless, vegan icing. 

One thing to keep in mind with this icing is that it’s really thick. As a result, it doesn’t spread on the cookie and the design dries hard. The consistency needs to be so thick that it won’t come off the spoon unless you shake it off! 

Then you can use a pastry bag to decorate the cookies. I used a Wilton tip #4 for the cookies in the pictures.

Here’s a picture tutorial:

HOW TO MAKE EGGLESS ICING

eggless icing four steps

MORE TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • The size of the cookies will affect the overall baking time. Smaller cookies will need less time as opposed to larger ones.
  • Don’t bake them longer than 10 minutes unless you want really crunchy cookies. The cookies will harden as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • The egg free icing can be colored. I would suggest using a thick gel paste, so it doesn’t affect the consistency of the icing. I use Wilton gel food coloring. You only need a really tiny amount. Start off with a small amount using a toothpick.

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden table with some kitchen twine

MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES!

Let me know how these Greek style gingerbread cookies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Have a Merry Christmas!

~Voula

Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: greek, gingerbread, vegan, cookies, Christmas, holidays, mavrodaphne wine, eggles icing, icing
Servings: 30 cookies, approximately*

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 2 ½ cups (254 g / 9 oz) all purpose flour (+ up to ½ cup more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cups (113 g / 4 oz) block margarine (not spreadable kind)  
  • ¾ cup (150 g / 5.3 oz) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons / 2 fl oz) mavrodaphne wine

For the eggless icing

  • ½ cup (60 g / 2.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegan/plant-based milk

Instructions

For the cookies

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and spices together. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add the margarine, sugar, molasses and wine and whisk everything together over low heat until the margarine melts and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones (I start byusing a spatula & then I use my hands). If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. You may need up to ½ cup more to get the right consistency. The dough should be just stiff enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial in the post). Don’t overwork the dough.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to your desired thickness (I roll out mine about ¼ inch / 0.5 cm thick).
  • Then lift or slide the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.
  • Dip your cookie cutter in some flour.
  • Remove the top parchment paper and cut out different shapes as close as possible.
  • Carefully remove all the dough scraps.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with icing.

For the eggless icing

  • Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
  • Stir in the milk, a FEW DROPS at a time, until it’s smooth, but thick. Use the back of the spoon to remove any lumps. If necessary, add more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk, just add more powdered sugar. The consistency is perfect when the icing doesn’t fall off the spoon unless you shake it off (see the picture tutorial in the post).
  • Put the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a tip and decorate.
  • Allow the icing to dry, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for about 2 ½ weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The number of cookies will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • If you bake these cookies longer than 10 minutes, they become harder and crunchier.
  • The cookies harden as they cool on the baking sheet. 
Freezing Options
  • The dough can be frozen for up to a month. Just wrap it in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. 
  • Undecorated cookies can be frozen for a couple of months. Just wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer-safe container. 
© Pastry Wishes
Adapted from  https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2014/11/06/gingerbread-snowflakes/
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Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies

Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies (Easy! + tips & variations)

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, these heavenly, festive almond cookies are just what you need! They are deliciously light and buttery and will make your Christmas cookie plate look amazing! Learn the secrets to making these melt-in-your-mouth cookies!

Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies

Kourabiedes (pronounced kou – rab – YE – des) are traditional Greek cookies made during Christmas. In some parts of Greece they are also handed out to guests at christenings and weddings.

They are a type of shortbread cookie filled with chopped almonds. A Christmas in Greece is not complete without melomakarona and kourabiedes!

They are one of the tastiest gifts I make for family and friends every year! And, kourabiedes are absolutely FANTASTIC with coffee!

You’ll only need 5 ingredients:

  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Flour
  • Almonds

HOW TO MAKE KOURABIEDES – GREEK BUTTER COOKIES IN 5 EASY STEPS:

STEP 1: BEAT THE BUTTER AND POWDERED SUGAR

Beat the butter and powdered sugar on high speed for about 20 – 25 minutes. Then add the vanilla extract and mix.

STEP 2: ADD THE ALMONDS AND THE FLOUR

Add the almonds by hand and mix until just combined. Then add the flour, ½ cup at a time, and gently mix by hand until the dough forms into a ball and is pliable. If necessary, add more flour (you may need up to 4 cups). The dough should easily come off the sides of the bowl without sticking to it. Don’t overmix.

STEP 3: SHAPE

Divide the dough in half. Put half of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of about an inch (2.5 cm). Cut out different shapes with a cookie cutter. Repeat with the remaining dough.

STEP 4: BAKE

Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated oven until just light brown. Allow the cookies to cool slightly.

STEP 5: DUST WITH SUGAR

Generously dust a cookie plate with powdered sugar. Add the cookies and dust with powdered sugar while they’re warm.

Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  1. Butter: Make sure the butter is at room temperature. You also really need to beat the butter and sugar together until it’s light and fluffy and that takes around 20 – 25 minutes on high speed. You want to incorporate as much air in it as possible.
  2. Flour: Mix the flour in by hand, but don’t overmix it because the cookie will become tough. Use just enough flour to make a pliable dough, so there may be extra flour that won’t be used. If you accidentally add too much flour and the dough becomes crumbly, just add a little melted butter until it comes together.
  3. Almonds: Traditionally, almonds are roasted and then added to the dough, but I never roast them because they tend to become really hard after the cookies are baked. I always use chopped, blanched almonds in the dough.
  4. Dough: Cover the dough and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to work with. I always chill my sugar cookie dough to prevent spreading, but it’s not necessary for this recipe! These cookies will not spread because there are no leaveners, so you can bake them straight away without chilling the dough and save time! Without any leaveners, I found that these cookies are sturdier – this is especially important if you’re packaging cookies!
  5. Parchment paper: This is one of my favorite things in the kitchen. It makes baking easier! Traditionally, these cookies are shaped by hand into small mounds or crescent moon shapes, but I use parchment paper, instead! I roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and then use cookie cutters to cut out the cookies. This saves me so much time in the kitchen! First of all, there’s no mess because I don’t have to flour my work surface and it’s a lot faster and easier than shaping the cookies by hand.
  6. Baking: These cookies should be baked until JUST light brown in color, otherwise they can get hard.
  7. Dusting with powdered sugar: Allow the cookies to cool slightly before adding the powdered sugar. If you add the powdered sugar when the cookies come straight out of the oven, a damp layer of sugar will form, making them soggy on top.

 Variations

  • You could use almond extract or even ouzo instead of vanilla extract!
  • For chocolate kourabiedes, add 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the dough and mix by hand.
  • Many traditional Greek kourabiedes recipes call for rose water. If you’d like to add it to the kourabiedes, just sprinkle some rose water on the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. Then let them cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar.

Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies

Have a very Merry Christmas!

MORE GREEK AND CHRISTMAS RECIPES!

Please let me know how these kourabiedes turn out for you in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

KOURABIEDES - Greek Butter Cookies

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, these heavenly, festive almond cookies are just what you need! They are deliciously light and buttery and will make your Christmas cookie plate look amazing! Learn the secrets to making these melt-in-your-mouth cookies!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: best, Kourabiedes Greek Butter Cookies Christmas Easy, shortbread, cookies
Servings: 45 cookies*

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 g / 8.8 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (60 g / 2.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 cup (5.3 oz / 150 g) blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (381 g) (you may need an extra cup (127 g)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (480 g / 17 oz) for dusting after baking

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter and the sugar on high speed for about 20 - 25 minutes. 
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Add the almonds by hand and mix until it’s well combined. 
  • Add the flour**, ½ cup at a time, and gently mix by hand until the dough forms into a ball and is pliable. If necessary, add more flour (you may need up to 4 cups). The dough should easily come off the sides of the bowl without sticking to it. Don’t overmix. If you accidentally add too much flour and the dough becomes crumbly, just add a little melted butter until it comes together.
  • Divide the dough in half. Put half of the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of about an inch (2.5 cm) . Cut out different shapes with a cookie cutter. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Transfer the cookies onto the baking sheets and bake until just light brown, about 10 – 20 minutes. 
  • Allow the cookies to cool slightly.
  • Generously dust a cookie plate with powdered sugar. Put the cookies on top and dust with the remaining powdered sugar while they’re warm. 
  • Enjoy!

Notes

These cookies will keep for up to 3 weeks stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
* The number of cookies this recipe makes depends on the size of your cookie cutter(s).
** Don’t add the flour all at once. Add about ½ cup flour at a time until the dough forms into a ball and is pliable. If necessary, add more flour. The dough should easily come off the sides of the bowl without sticking to it.
© Pastry Wishes
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Greek Christmas Cookies

Melomakarona – Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas honey cookies that are mildly spiced and dipped in a thick honey syrup. These classic Greek cookies will fill your house with a warm aroma of spices!  

MELOMAKARONA – Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

Melomakarona (pronounced mel-o-ma-KA-ro-na) are traditional Christmas cookies that are popular all over Greece. They are thick cookies spiced with clove, nutmeg and cinnamon, and lightly soaked in syrup.

If you haven’t made them before, you should definitely give them a try! I’ll show you all the steps and give you all the tips and tricks you need to make the perfect Greek honey cookies!

What you’ll need:

  • Flour: I use sifted, all-purpose flour together with fine semolina flour. 
  • Oil: I always use light vegetable oil, but you could use a very light olive oil, if you prefer.
  • Spices: A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Fruit: Some lemon and orange juice, and some orange zest.
  • Alcohol: Cognac or Brandy (optional).
  • Sweeteners: I use powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and honey.
  • Nuts: Chopped walnuts.

Making melomakarona is pretty straightforward and simple. You don’t even need a mixer!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make melomakarona without semolina flour?

Traditionally, melomakarona are made with a combination of all-purpose flour and fine semolina flour, but you could make them with just all-purpose flour. Keep in mind, though, that if you don’t use semolina flour, the texture inside will NOT be the same – it will be a bit crumbly. Semolina flour also helps absorb the syrup better as opposed to cookies made with just all-purpose flour.

Can I omit the alcohol?

Sure! Cognac really goes well with the spices in these cookies, but you can leave it out and still have great melomakarona! 

Why do you use powdered sugar in the dough instead of granulated sugar?

Powdered sugar dissolves a lot better than granulated sugar and results in a more denser cookie consistency, which is perfect for soaking up the syrup. Powdered sugar also contains cornstarch which helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much.

Should the syrup be hot or cold?

Many Greek desserts are made with syrup, which is either used hot or cold, depending on the recipe. In my post Easy Greek Baklava Rolls – Refined Sugar Free , I mention how opinions differ among chefs on whether or not a dessert should be hot when pouring cold syrup on it or the other way around. Some like it hot and some like it cold! I have tried both ways and found that this cookie is sturdier when it’s hot and then dipped into really cold syrup.

MELOMAKARONA – Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

How to make melomakarona in 10 simple steps:

STEP 1: MAKE THE SYRUP FIRST & PREP THE BAKING SHEETS

Make the syrup first, allow it to cool, then put it in the refrigerator. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

STEP 2: MIX THE FLOURS

Mix the all-purpose flour with the fine semolina flour and set aside.

STEP 3: MIX REMAINING INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH

Whisk together the wet ingredients with the remaining ingredients for the dough.

STEP 4: MIX WET AND DRY INGREDIENTS

Gently add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix by hand until JUST combined. Do not overmix the dough.

STEP 5: REST

Cover the dough and let it rest for about half an hour.

STEP 6: PREHEAT THE OVEN 

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F (190 ° C).

STEP 7: WEIGH EACH PIECE OF DOUGH & SHAPE

Take a piece of dough and weigh it using a digital scale. Each piece should be about 0.9 oz (25 g). Make each piece oval and thick. If you don’t have a digital scale, try and make each piece of dough the same size before baking. If you want, you can make a pattern on top using a fork or a closed scalloped crimper.

Tip: The pattern helps absorb the syrup and hold the walnuts on top.

STEP 8: BAKE

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-35 minutes until they’re golden brown.

STEP 9: SOAK IN SYRUP

When cookies are done, take 5-6 of them and immediately dunk them into the cold syrup. Let them soak for about 40 seconds ta minute, dunking them so that they’re submerged in the syrup. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a serving platter. Repeat with the other cookies.

STEP 10: ADD THE TOPPINGS

Drizzle some honey over the cookies and add the chopped walnuts.

These cookies will last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature as long as they’re covered.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I usually make the syrup a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Do not overmix the dough; otherwise the cookies will become tough and hard. Mix until just combined. I usually count up to 15 seconds as I gently mix by hand and then stop and let it rest.
  • I always use a digital scale to weigh the dough for each cookie BEFORE I bake them. That way they ALL bake evenly at the same time. I think they also look nicer when I put them on a serving platter because they’re all the same size. If you don’t have a digital scale, try and make each piece of dough the same size before baking.
  • You can make these cookies a bit softer or crunchier. If you prefer softer cookies, just bake them for about 20-25 minutes. For crunchier cookies, bake them for 30-35 minutes. I actually do both because some people in my family prefer the softer ones, while others prefer the crunchier ones!
  • Don’t put too many cookies in the syrup at the same time, because you won’t have enough room to remove them with the slotted spoon.
  • The dough is greasy, so you might want to wear gloves.
  • Save any extra syrup in the fridge for your coffee or tea! Or, if you want more syrup in your melomakarona, just pour some more on the bottom of the plate the next day and let the cookies soak it up. Personally, I always use all the syrup!

MORE GREEK RECIPES!

Please let me know how these melomakarona turn out for you in the comments below!

I would love to hear from you!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Melomakarona Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

MELOMAKARONA – Greek Christmas Honey Cookies

Melomakarona are traditional Greek Christmas honey cookies that are mildly spiced and dipped in a thick honey syrup. These classic Greek cookies will fill your house with a warm aroma of spices! 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: christmas, festive, traditional Greek, Greek Christmas Honey Cookies, melomakarona, honey
Servings: 45 cookies
Author: Voula

Ingredients

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup water (250 ml / 8 oz)
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar (250 g)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 - 6 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 orange, cut in half
  • 6.5 oz good quality honey (125 ml)

For the Dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (500 g)
  • ½ cup fine semolina flour (100 g)
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (200 ml)
  • ¾ cup light vegetable oil (200 ml)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar (30 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons cognac or brandy (optional)
  • grated orange zest from 1 large orange (about 1 ½ tablespoons)

For the Topping

  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (120 g)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality honey (optional)

Instructions

  • Make the syrup: Cut the orange in half and put it in a saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients for the syrup, except for the honey. Boil for 5 minutes. Then take off the heat and discard the orange halves and spices. Stir in the honey and set aside to cool. Then refrigerate.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, mix the all-purpose flour with the fine semolina flour and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dough.
  • Gently add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix by hand. Mix until just combined. Don't overmix.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for about half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 ° F (190 ° C).  
  • If you have a digital scale, take a piece of dough and weigh it. Each piece should be about 0.9 oz (25 g ). If you don’t have a digital scale, try and make each piece of dough the same size before baking.
  • Make each piece oval and thick. If you want, you can make a pattern on top using a fork or a closed scalloped crimper.
  • Place the cookies on the baking sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. I fit about 20 on a tray.
  • Bake for about 20-25’ for softer cookies, or 30 - 35' for crunchier cookies, until they’re golden brown.
  • When cookies are done, take 5-6 of them and immediately dunk them into the cold syrup. Let them soak for about 40 seconds to a minute, flipping them over halfway through. Don't soak them too long, though, because they'll fall apart.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a serving platter. Repeat with the other cookies.
  • Drizzle some honey over the cookies (if using) and top with the chopped walnuts.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • You could make the syrup a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator.
  • Do not overmix the dough; otherwise the cookies will become tough and hard. Mix until just combined. I usually count up to 15 seconds as I gently mix by hand and then stop.
  • Don’t put too many cookies in the syrup at the same time, because you won’t have enough room to remove them with the slotted spoon. 
  • Save any extra syrup in the fridge for your coffee or tea! Or, if you want more syrup in your melomakarona, just pour some more on the bottom of the plate the next day and let the cookies soak it up.
  • These cookies will last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature as long as they’re covered.
©Pastry Wishes

 

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