RECIPE: Spiced Honey Nut Syrup Cookies

khandiNovember 29, 2007

This sounds so good!

Spiced Honey Nut Syrup Cookies

A co-worker gave me this recipe. She said it was a favorite in her home at Christmas. A spiced up soft cookie filled with nuts and soaked in honey. Delicious! - SynDee RobinSyn

Syrup:

8 Tbsp honey

½ cup sugar

½ cup water

¼ cup orange juice

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Filling:

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp of prepared syrup

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of ginger

Cookie:

8 Tbsp butter

½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup icing sugar

¼ cup orange juice

¼ tsp orange zest

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp brandy

2 1/3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

Topping:

4 Tbsp walnuts, finely chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

Syrup:

Place the honey, sugar, water, orange juice and lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes.

Filling:

Combine the walnuts, butter, cinnamon, ginger and syrup in a bowl.

Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Beat the butter, oil and confectioners sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.

Add the orange juice, zest, cloves, nutmeg and brandy and beat for a few more minutes.

Sift together flour and baking powder then slowly add to wet mixture, beating continuously until smooth.

Knead the mixture by hand into a smooth dough, adding a little more flour if necessary.

Take small pieces of the dough and form into small egg shapes.

Flatten each biscuit and place a tsp of filling in the center.

Carefully work the dough around the filling, pressing the dough to seal it.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.

Dip each cookie in the syrup and transfer to a serving platter.

Sprinkle with the walnuts and cinnamon.

Allow to cool completely so syrup is absorbed before serving.

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ginger_st_thomas

Be sure to post how they turn out.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 4:09PM
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shambo

Khandi, the cookies probably are a Greek Christmas specialty called melomacarona. They're a wonderful treat, though quite rich. My grandmother & mother made them and passed down the family recipe to me. I even served them at my wedding reception.

Because of the syrup and the ample amount of oil in the dough, the cookie stays moist and keeps well. Its flavor improves with aging, so it's a perfect make ahead sweet for parties & dinners. It's a bit labor intensive but I think it's worth it.

My family recipe differs from the one you posted. I think it might be a bit easier too. Rather than having a walnut filling, the syrup dipped cookies are only sprinkled with finely ground walnuts.

Although baklava is the most famous Greek sweet, I think melomacarona is tastier. If you like, I can post my recipe too.

Sue

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 6:41PM
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khandi

Yes, I would like your recipe if you don't mind posting it!
Thank you!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 10:45PM
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shambo

Khandi, here's my family recipe. This make a pile of cookies! Because the cookies are handled so much -- baked, cooled a bit, dipped in syrup, topped with ground walnuts -- there's always the possibility of a few crumbling. However, I don't consider that a problem since the cook and her helper(s) have the solemn duty of eating all the mistakes. My daughter & I have made these together several times, especially for church youth group fundraisers. I hope you have good luck with them.

Sue

Melomacarona
(Greek Honey/Walnut Cookies)

Traditional Greek Christmas cookies soaked in honey syrup and topped with crushed walnuts. This is one of the sweets associated with the holiday season. This cookie is perfect for a large party. Because the flavor improves upon standing, it may be made days ahead.

Cookies:
3 eggs
1¾ cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ cube melted butter
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup orange juice
5½-6 cups flour
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Syrup:
1½ cups honey
2 cups sugar
1½ cups water
Juice of ½ lemon
Combine all syrup ingredients in large, wide-bodied saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Topping:
2 cups finely ground walnuts

Melomacarona Preparation:
In large bowl, combine melted butter and oil. Add eggs, honey, and orange juice.

In another bowl, combine baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and only 4 cups flour. Gradually add combined dry ingredients to liquid mixture. Add additional flour (up to two more cups) until a soft dough is formed. Knead dough until it feels soft and pliable and it no longer sticks to fingers or sides of the bowl. (Note: The dough will be oily.)

Shape dough into rounded 2 inch ovals. (Note: The dough will not make smooth cookies; the ovals will be craggy with a rustic texture.) Place ovals 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with palm of hand, fingers, or fork tines. Bake cookies at 350° for 25 minutes until lightly browned. Let cookies cool slightly.

While cookies are still warm, dip several at a time in warm syrup using slotted spoon. Be certain that all surfaces of cookies are coated with syrup. Do not keep cookies in syrup more than two minutes. (Note: Don't use a quick dip; I usually keep them in the syrup about 15-20 seconds per side.)

Remove cookies and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Sprinkle immediately with finely ground walnuts. Press walnuts lightly onto cookies.

Let stand at least 2 hours to overnight before serving. Store in airtight container lined with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If keeping cookies longer than a few days, refrigerate and then bring to room temperature before serving. Neither taste nor texture will suffer from the refrigeration. (Note: Leftover syrup may be strained and stored in the refrigerator and used again.)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2007 at 11:30PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I really enjoyed your website and recipes Sue!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2007 at 8:23PM
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shambo

Thanks for the compliment. I haven't actually looked at that website for several years now, and I know there are some typos. I've got the "perfected" recipes saved in Word & Publisher, and I've got some spiral bound cookbook copies too. I wanted to preserve our family recipes. My grandmother, mother, & I would just cook from memory & experience. But I wanted to create actual recipes that my children could follow. It's the only Greek legacy I can leave them.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2007 at 12:23AM
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