Melomakarona Cookies
The dough:
  • 1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups semolina flour
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice.
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Honey Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
Nutty topping:
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
To make your cookies:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine your orange zest, lemon zest, orange juice, olive oil, sugar and brandy. Mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients and slowly stir them into your bowl of wet ingredients. (The resulting dough should be very moist and springy/spongy)
  4. Cover the dough and let it chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Scoop out about 1 tbsp of dough at a time and roll it into a ball (or, the more traditional egg-shape). Place rolled dough on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all dough is rolled.
  6. Using a meat mallet or a pastry scorer, gently press down on each ball of dough to flatten it slightly and give it a dimpled/pitted texture (this will help them soak up syrup later).
  7. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden brown.
To make your honey-syrup:
  1. While the cookies are baking, combine your sugar, honey and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stirring periodically, allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, until translucent.
To make your nut topping:
  1. Combine your walnuts in a food processor with sugar and cinnamon. Pulse until nuts are finely chopped.
To finish your cookies:
  1. Transfer the hot cookies fresh out of the oven into a shallow pan and pour your hot syrup over the cookies (or, if you baked your cookies in a high-sided baking sheet/jelly pan like me, just pour the syrup right into the sheet).
  2. Let cookies sit for 5 minutes and then flip them all over and let them sit for another 5 minutes.
  3. Flip them over again and let the cookies sit for another 5 minutes or so.
  4. Sprinkle cookies heavily with your walnut topping.
  5. Enjoy at least a few immediately, with tea.
NOTE #1 - The original recipe says that these cookies can last for a few weeks (in a closed container, I'm guessing) b/c the sugar and syrup act as preservatives. I can't confirm this, because mine didn't last more than two days!

NOTE #2 - Not sure why my cookies turned out to be so much lighter than the ones at the restaurant near work. Those are light brown/orange in color. Possible theories: they used different proportions of ingredients, I didn't bake mine long enough, I didn't let the syrup simmer long enough. Either way, the taste is very very similar!
Recipe by Just Putzing Around the Kitchen at