Recipe: Honey Cookies Melomakarona

Title: Honey Cookies (Melomakarona)
Categories: Cookies, Greek
Servings: 60

1 c Butter
3/4 c Caster sugar
3/4 c Maize or peanut oil
1 Orange; grated rind only
6 c Plain flour
4 ts Baking powder
3/4 c Orange juice

---------------------------NUT FILLING (OPTIONAL)---------------------------
1 tb Honey
2 ts Orange juice
1 1/2 ts Ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c Finely chopped walnuts
2 dr Almond essence

--------------------------------HONEY SYRUP--------------------------------
1 c Sugar
1 c Water
1/2 Cinnamon stick
1 1/2 ts Lemon juice
1 Thin strip of lemon rind
1/4 c Honey

Oven temperature: 180 C (350 F)

Beat butter and sugar with orange rind until creamy. Gradually add oil
and continue beating until mixture is very light and fluffy. Stir in
flour alternately with orange juice. Knead dough lightly with hands for 1
minute.

Take a scant tablespoon of dough and flatten it a little. Place a
teaspoon of the nut filling in the centre and fold dough over to enclose
filling.

Shape into ovals, pinching ends to a point. Decorate tops with tines of
fork or by crimping cookies diagonally across top in four rows with
special crimper (see NOTE), or leave them plain.

Place on lightly greased baking trays and bake in a moderate oven for
20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Dip in boiling syrup, four at a time, turning cookies once. Leave in
syrup 10 seconds in all, longer if well-soaked cookies are preferred.
Lift out onto a plate and leave until cool.

(If no nut filling is used, sprinkle tops with crushed walnuts or toasted
sesame seeds and cinnamon. Only those which are to be served should be
dipped; store remainder in an airtight container and dip when required.

TO MAKE NUT FILLING: Thin honey down with orange juice and blend into
remaining ingredients.

TO MAKE HONEY SYRUP: Place ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan and stir
over heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil over
moderately high heat for 10 minutes and skim. Let syrup boil on a
moderate heat while dipping cookies. Add a little water to syrup when it
thickens too much during dipping.

NOTE: Icing crimpers will be familiar to many pastrycooks and cake
decorators who work with icing. If you don't own a crimper (or have never
seen one), have the family handyman cut a piece of tin or aluminium plate
about 2.5 x 10 cm (1 x 4 inches). Bend metal in half over a thin rod and
cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced saw-like teeth on the narrow edges. Curl the
"teeth" slightly inwards.

Source: The Greek Cookbook, by Tess Mallos
Typos courtesy of: Karen Mintzias



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