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MAKES 20-24


For the cookies:
200g fine semolina
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
100ml orange juice
100g caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
90ml water
150ml olive oil
100ml vegetable oil
zest of 1 orange
50g runny honey

For the syrup:
200ml water
200g caster sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
150g runny honey

To decorate:
chopped walnuts


First make the syrup. Put the water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and orange slices in a saucepan and set over a high heat. Boil for 6-8 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has thickened slightly. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the honey and leave to cool completely. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Line two large baking trays with baking paper. In a large bowl stir together the semolina, flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk the orange juice, sugar and ground spices until well combined.

Add the baking soda and briskly whisk for 10 seconds more until the mixture starts to foam.  Pour in the water, oils, orange zest and honey and whisk again to combine. Add this mixture to the bowl with flour and semolina and stir to form a dough. Turn out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour and knead until smooth. Break off walnut-sized pieces of dough and shape into an oblong shape. Place on the prepared baking tray and flatten lightly with a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and just cooked through. Remove from the oven and while still warm place a few of the melomakarona in the syrup for 20 seconds or so, turning halfway.

Transfer to a wire rack and dust with chopped walnuts. Repeat with the remaining cookies.


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