Greek Christmas Cookies - Melomakarona and Kourambiedes
Melomakarona and Kourambiedes are traditional Greek Christmas cookies and without them Greek house can not be imagined during the Christmas holiday season. These cookies are both popular for children and adults and they are made in large quantities every year. Housewives prepare them up to two months before Christmas. Cookies can stay fresh for a long time and they are made in large quantities. Of course, they can also be bought in every pastry shop.
Melomakarona are cookies with honey, cloves and cinnamon, so the Greek homes in the Christmas holiday season smell beautifully on these sweet spices.
Kourambiedes are similar to simple vanilla cookies. You can bye them in supermarkets in boxes as a gift, but of course, the most beautiful are these homemade.
For syrup: 500g of water, 800g of sugar, 3 cinnamon wicks, 3 cloves and 1 whole orange cut into half.
Boil all the ingredients until sugar melts, than remove from heat and add the 150g of honey. Syrup must be cold by the time the cookies come out from the oven.
For the cookies mixture:
To make the cookies, you need to prepare 2 separate mixtures.
For the first mixture mix in a large bowl 1kg of all-purpose flour and 200g of semolina.
For the second mixture you need: 400ml orange juice, 400ml sunflower oil, 180ml olive oil, 50g caster sugar, 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves, 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking soda and grated zest of 2 oranges.
In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients for the second mixture, then combine the first and second mixture. Mix by hand, very gently and for a very short time because if you mix long the mixture will split or curdle. Mold cookie dough into oval shapes, and bake them in 180*C heated oven. As soon as you remove them from the oven, soak the hot cookies in the syrup, turn them for a little bit with spoon and pull them out from syrup. Drizzle cookies little bit from above with honey and chopped or minced walnuts. (Do not overflow cookies with syrup).
1/2kg of fresh butter made from cows milk
1 cup of oil
8 spoons of icing sugar
1⁄2 of vanilla stick, vanilla extract and bitter almond extract (for a few drops)
1⁄4 cup of cognac
About 200g of almonds, baked for 8 minutes at 100*C
About 1200g of flour
Mix well butter and sugar powder with a mixer, add oil, vanilla extract and almonds extract, slowly add flour and mix in a bowl, add a cognac and the baked almonds and keep mixing… To make soft cookies that melted in the mouth, mixture should not be stiff. From the mixture shape small rounds of about 30g (as in the picture) by gently rolling the dough around between the palms of your hands, and put them to bake at 180*C in preheated oven. Bake them for about 30 minutes.
After baking, let it cool down, then roll them in a cool powdered sugar.