Melomakarona (Honey-Spice Cookies)

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Swapped at the 2012 SE cookie swap by Hally Wolhandler.

Adapted from the Washington Post.

Melomakarona (Honey-Spice Cookies)

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 30 cookies


  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 to 7 cups flour, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. 1

    Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 or 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. 2

    Combine the oil, sugar, cognac, orange juice and citrus zests in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on medium speed to dissolve the sugar.

  3. 3

    Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves on a large piece of wax paper. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the bowl until a very soft dough forms.

  4. 4

    Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix in flour as needed until the dough is quite stiff.

  5. 5

    Roll pieces of the dough into ovals about 2 inches long. Place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.

  6. 6

    Bake 2 sheets at a time for a total of 20 minutes; about halfway through the baking, rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back. The cookies shall barely be browned. Keep them on their baking sheets.

  7. 7

    Combine the honey, sugar and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then cook for 5 minutes, using a slotted spoon to skim off and discard the foam that forms on the top. Cook for a few minutes; the syrup will thicken slightly and deepen in color. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting to keep the syrup warm.

  8. 8

    Spread the crushed walnuts on a large shallow plate and sprinkle with the cinnamon, stirring to combine.

  9. 9

    Place 6 or 7 of the cookies at a time in the saucepan; allow them to sit long enough (2 to 3 minutes) to absorb some of the syrup, turning them as needed to coat evenly. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cookies, and let them sit for a minute or so before rolling them in the walnut mixture. Let cool and eat at room temperature.


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