Melomakarona (pronounced meh-loh-mah-KAH-roh-nah) is one of the most popular Greek desserts prepared exclusively for the Christmas period. Historically, melomakarona were prepared and exclusivly consumed during Christmas day at the end of the 40 days feast. For the first day of the new year, housewives were preparing the other seasonal dessert kourambiedes. With the pass of the year this tradition extincted and nowadays Greeks consume melomakarona and kourambiedes at Christmas and New Year day. The other charactiristic is that melomakarona is a dessert that is prepared all over Greece from the most North to the most South part of Crete.
Melomakarona is realy easy to be prepared and we suggest you to try them at home (it is sure that your house will smell delicious)
- 1 1⁄2cups light olive oil or 1 1⁄2 cups corn oil
- 1⁄2cup butter, at room temperature
- 1cup beer (or more) or 1 cup orange juice (or more)
- 1tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1⁄2teaspoons ground cloves
- 2oranges, zest of, grated
- 1cup sugar
- 2cups fine ground semolina(cream of wheat or farina)
- 6cups flour
- 1⁄2teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2teaspoon baking powder
- 1teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2cups sugar
- 1 1⁄2cups greek thyme honey
- 1cup water
- 3⁄4cup walnuts, finely chopped
How will you prepare the melomakarona
- Put the corn oil, butter, beer (or orange juice), cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until they are thoroughly blended.
- Sift about one cup of flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt and blend into the oil mixture.
- Add the semolina, a cup at a time, into this mixture.
- Add enough of the remaining flour, a cup at a time, until you get a rather firm dough (you may need a bit more or less than the amount of flour mentioned in the ingredients list).
- Use your hands to do the mixing, as an electric mixer will be useless after the first two or three cups of flour have been added.
- Roll the dough into cylinders, about two inches long and one inch in diameter, flatten them with your hands, and place them on cookie sheets that have been greased with a little olive oil.
- Bake at 180 degree Celsius or 350 degree Fahrenheit for half an hour.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and pour hot syrup over them.
- Lay the cookies out in a rimmed baking pan large enough to contain them and pour the hot syrup over the cookies, sprinkle them with the chopped walnuts and let them soak overnight.
- (Alternatively, if you do not have enough rimmed baking sheets to accommodate all the cookies, you can dip them in batches directly into the hot syrup – keeping the syrup at the lowest possible simmer – and allow to soak in the syrup for 8-10 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon).
- For the syrup: mix the sugar, honey and water, and bring to a boil.
- Cook on low heat for four minutes and skim off the foam that forms on top.
- The next day put them on your prettiest platter, sprinkle each layer evenly with the finely chopped walnuts and wrap with plastic wrap (or put in an airtight container) and serve.
Enjoy and Seasons Greetings from Aldemar Resorts!