Greek Xmas cookies: an easy recipe for Melomakarona vegan

Xmas Greek Cookies, Melomakarona vegan

Every culture has its own sweets for Christmas, for Greece they are Melomakarona and Kourabiedes.
From the beginning of December, these two Greek biscuits will appear in every bakery and pastry shop, and the aroma of Melomakarona and Kourabiedes will fill up almost every house in Greece.
I don’t have a sweet tooth but I love baking! Generally speaking, Greek sweets are too sugary and syrupy for my taste and I have to confess that, till the day I baked my own ones, I had never liked Melomakarona, I am team Kourabiedes, maybe because I love almonds. And something else I need to confess, besides being vegan, I’ve always hated honey, which in Greece is like cursing!

I had already baked vegan Kourabiedes last year, so I decided to give it a try with Melomakarona as well. They are actually vegan apart from the honey.
I consulted Madame Ginger website and I found an easy Melomakarona recipe (I adjusted a bit to my taste) and I loved them! They are fragrant and tasty, not too sugary! For being my first time, this vegan Melomakarona recipe was a success and I want to share it with you.

Melomakarona Ingredients

  • 500 gr all-purpose flour
  • ½ dessert spoon baking powder
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 80gr sugar
  • 1 dessert spoon cinnamon
  • ½ dessert spoon clove powder
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 1 grated orange peel

For the syrup:

  • 200ml water
  • 200gr sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1 spoon of molasses
  • 50gr crushed walnuts

How to make Melomakarona

  1. Start with preparing the syrup: in a small pot add the water, the sugar, the cinnamon stick, the orange peel and the molasses and warm it up for 5 minutes. Then let it cool down.
  2. Mix the flour with the baking powder.
  3. Mix the olive oil, sunflower oil, the orange peel, sugar, cinnamon and clove and add this to the flour.
  4. Mix the dough with your hands until it becomes uniform and soft without falling apart.
  5. Divide the dough into small balls and place them on a baking tray. With a fork carve each ball.
  6. Bake the biscuits for 30 minutes at 170°.
  7. When they’re ready, dip them one by one, for a couple of minutes, into the cold syrup (very important: the syrup needs to be cold and the biscuits hot, just out of the oven).
  8. Place the Melomakarona on a plate and sprinkle with walnuts!

The most difficult thing, besides how to pronounce Melomakarona, is not to eat them all!