Growing up in Cyprus, we would see this cookie everywhere during the holidays. Every year my mother, Thelma, would make plate after plate of these all Christmas long. It's just not the holidays without them. —Paris Paraskeva, San Francisco, California
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1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup Cognac
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
7-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons grated orange zest
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup ground toasted walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and honey; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, for cookies, in a large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar and oil until blended. Beat in Cognac, orange juice and honey. In another bowl, whisk flour, orange zest, baking powder and cinnamon; gradually beat into sugar mixture.
Shape tablespoons of dough into 1-in.-thick ovals. Place 1 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Cool on pans 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks.
Float and turn warm cookies in syrup about 10 seconds; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; sprinkle with walnuts. Let stand until set. Store between pieces of waxed paper in airtight containers.
Melomakarona Cookie Recipe Tips
What variations can I make to this melomakarona recipe?
While this melomakarona recipe is how the cookies are traditionally made, there are some changes you could make to fit them to your tastes. For instance, you can use crushed almonds, pistachios or pecans can be substituted for the ground toasted walnuts. Also, you could swap the Cognac for brandy, or more orange juice to make the cookies completely alcohol-free.