Greek Melomakarona

1 stick unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups unrefined or regular granulated cane sugar, divided
2 eggs
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 cups olive oil
6 1/2 cups spelt flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
3/8 teaspoon ground cloves, divided
1/2 pound shelled walnuts, coarsely ground

Preheat oven to 350 F.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter with 1 cup of the sugar. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until just incorporated. Add the orange juice, brandy and oil, mixing until smooth and combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, orange zest, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of the cloves; mix well. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Add more flour if necessary to make a workable dough. Knead dough 7 or 8 times on a floured surface. Roll cookies into walnut-sized balls then shape into ovals.

Using zester side of a box grater, lightly press a cookie down onto holes to form a grid pattern on top of cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet.

While cookies are baking, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar, the honey with 1 1/2 cups water in a pot. Bring syrup to a boil. After it has boiled a minute or 2 and thickened slightly, skim foam off top. Turn burner to low just to keep syrup warm.

Mix the walnuts with remaining cinnamon and cloves; set aside.

When cookies are completely cool, dunk them into warm syrup and leave them for about a minute before removing with a slotted spatula and placing sticky-sides up on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Top dipped cookies with walnut mixture.

Store in an airtight container. Makes about 36 cookies.

— Recipe courtesy of Ashland Food Co-op.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.