(Honey Macaroons) Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies
Practically all of Greece smells like a melomakarona at Christmastime because practically everybody is baking it. This is a rare recipe from the Karpathos Islands.
INGREDIENTS: For the filling: 4 cups walnuts
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tablespoon sugar
For the syrup: 3 cups sugar
2 cups water
juice and zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons honey
For the cookies: 36 ounces all purpose flour, hold back one cup
1 cup unsalted butter, Maria prefers Land O' Lakes
1 cup corn oil
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For the topping: 2/3 cup crushed walnuts
METHOD: Prepare the Filling
1) In a food processor bowl add the ingredients and pulse 3-4 times for 2 seconds, until the nuts are slightly broken up and the sugar and spices are mixed well.
Prepare the Syrup
2) Boil the sugar, water, lemon zest, and juice for 5 minutes.
3) Remove from heat and stir n honey until completely incorporated.
4) Let cool to room temperature.
Prepare the Cookies: 5) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
6) In a large mixing bowl, add 28 oz. of flour holding back about 1 cup.
7) In a blender or food processor bowl, add all wet cookie ingredients, and process for 2-3 minutes.
8) Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing by hand into a dough and lightly knead.
9) If the dough is sticky, add a little flour.
10) Gently mix and knead the dough to create a fluffy consistency.
11) Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
12) Form into balls about the size of a walnut.
13) Fill the balls with 1 teaspoon of the filling and gently form into a small football shape to cover the filling.
14) Take care not to compress the dough too much.
15) Bake the cookies on parchment lined trays at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
16) While the cookies bake, ready the crushed walnuts and syrup.
17) Remove the hot cookies from the oven.
18) While still hot, carefully float the hot cookies in the cooled syrup using a slotted spoon for a few seconds, allowing each of them to absorb the syrup.
19) Set the cookies on a tray and top with crushed walnuts and allow to cool.
Once cooled, store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container.