Travel to Greece with these Honey-Soaked Christmas Cookies

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Christmas in Greece would not be complete without its two hallmark Christmas cookies: Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. You can see them in the display window of every bakery, and you can smell the sweet aroma of their two main ingredients, honey and cinnamon, given off from every household. And I’m not even exaggerating. It is near impossible to find a household that has not stocked up on Melomakarona and Kourabiedes near Christmas time. So, what exactly are these Greek Christmas cookies? And what makes them so delicious?


Melomakarona are soft, egg-shaped cookies whose main ingredients are flour, orange juice, and spices. After baking, the are drenched in honey, which gives them their delightfully rich sweetness. Intrigued? Learn how to make these delicious cookies for an authentically Greek Christmas!


What you need to know

Difficulty: Medium

Preparation Time: 1 Hour

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Makes: 80 Cookies




For the Cookies:

  • 400 ml orange juice
  • 400 ml sunflower oil
  • 180 ml olive oil
  • 1 kg all-purpose flour
  • 200 g fine semolina (can be substituted for wheat flour)
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 oranges (grated zest)
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking soda

For the Syrup:

  • 500 ml water
  • 800 g granulated sugar
  • 150 g honey
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 orange, cut in half

For the Garnish (optional):

  • 200g chopped walnuts
  • 2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg



The Syrup (the syrup needs to be cool by the time the cookies are ready. Prepare at least 3-4 hours before making the cookies. If possible prepare from the night before):

  • Mix the water, granulated sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange, and bring to boil.
  • Add in the honey and mix well.
  • Let it cool.

The Cookie Mixture:

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Mix the orange juice, sunflower oil, olive oil, caster sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and orange zest with a hard whisk.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the flour and semolina.
  • Bring the two mixtures together.
  • Softly mix the mixtures together for ten seconds at most. Do not mix for longer as the mixture might split.
  • Mold the dough into oval shapes (approx. 3-4 cm long).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are crunchy and golden brown.

For the Finale:

  • As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, soak them in the syrup for ten minutes.
  • Place them on a wire rack to cool.
  • Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped walnut and garnish (optional).


Congratulations! You are halfway to an authentic Greek Christmas. Join us next week, to learn how to make Kourapiedes, and you’ll be all set to impress friends and family with your newly acquired Christmas baking skills.

Recipe Credits: Akis Petretzikis

Recipe Inspiration, Weekly Inspiration

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