Last Monday night (Oct 21st) I presented this recipe at Grebe's, in Wausau, WI. Please, contact me if you have any questions. This dessert is one of the "Christmas specials" and among my family's favorites!
Ingredients for the Dough:
480 gr (18oz) Paeleon EVOO
50 gr (1.5oz) Brandy
160 gr (5.8oz) Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
200 gr (7.1oz) Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp Ground Cloves
The Peel of an Orange
900 gr (2 lbs) All Purpose Flour
Medium size pieces of walnut
Ingredients for the Syrup:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Honey
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Small Lemon
Ground Walnut (not too thin or thick!)
Directions for the Dough:
Put the flour and the baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
In a large bowl, add the Paeleon EVOO, the brandy, the sugar, the cinnamon and the orange peel and mix well. In a smaller bowl mix the orange juice and the baking soda. When the baking soda is dissolved, empty it into the bowl that has the olive oil and the other ingredients. Mix well.
Slowly empty the flour into the bowl that has the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir slowly. The mixture is supposed to be oily.
Preheat oven at 320 F (with the fan on).
Take small chunks of the mixture and work them a little in your hands until they take the shape of a ball. Stick a small piece of walnut at the side and roll the mixture in your hands, making it oval in shape. The walnut should be roughly in the center of the dough. Place on an ungreased tray. Do the same with the rest of the mixture. After you are done, use a fork to poke holes on the surface of the dough. This will give it a small design and also help the cookie to absorb syrup after it is cooked.
Cook for 30-35 minutes (30 min will make the cookies soft, 35 min will make the cookies crispy). Remove from the oven and let them cool down completely.
Directions for the Syrup:
Add all the ingredients for the syrup in a small deep pot. Bring to boil and let it boil for 4-5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick. Take each Melomakarono and dip it in the syrup for 15-20 seconds. Remove and put in a plate. Sprinkle some ground walnut on top of it. Enjoy!!!
This is a very common dessert in Greece during Christmas!