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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 30 to 35 cookies
These Greek cookies, scented with warm spices like cinnamon and cloves, are traditionally served around Christmas. The dough, made with semolina flour and olive oil, has a tender, crumbly texture. Once baked, the cookies are soaked in an aromatic orange honey syrup which makes them even more delicious. Most recipes for melomakarona don’t call for salt so it's not included here. However, some call for brandy while others just add orange juice. Melomakarona keep well for a long time and can be prepared well in advance of serving. As an added bonus, they just happen to be egg- and dairy-free.


Honey Orange Syrup:




  1. For the honey orange syrup: Stir to combine the honey, sugar, whole cloves, cinnamon stick and orange zest with 1 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Set aside at room temperature until cooled completely, about 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; set aside.
  2. For the dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  3. Whisk together the flour, semolina, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk the olive oil, vegetable oil, sugar, orange juice, honey and 1/4 cup water in another large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the dry ingredients and mix with your hands, without overworking the dough, until slightly sticky but soft and smooth.
  5. Grab about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the dough (about 1 ounce) and form it into an oval-shape cookie about 1/2 inch thick. Press the top of the cookie gently on a wire rack to create a diamond pattern then place it, pattern-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Bake until the cookies are lightly brown, about 25 minutes. Immediately transfer one cookie at a time to the cooled honey orange syrup, flipping a couple of times with a slotted spoon, just until absorbed and fully coated, 5 to 10 seconds. Use the slotted spoon to transfer the cookies to a serving platter.
  7. For the topping: Immediately sprinkle the chopped walnuts over the soaked cookies.

Cook’s Note

Any leftover syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month. The cookies can be re-dipped in the syrup for a glossier appearance. You can easily double the recipe for the syrup and the cookies if you'd like to have more for gifting. Make sure the cookies are hot and the syrup is completely cool when dipping.