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Festive Greek biscuits (melomakarona)

Melomakarona Source: supplied by Angela Nicolettou

Melomakarona is a traditional Greek dessert, a type of biscuit softened in a honey syrup, which is synonymous with the Festive Season. It's delicious and keeps well. Follow Angela Nicolettou's recipe and you'll be in for a surprise!



1 ¼ cups olive oil

⅓ cup caster sugar

1 cup orange juice

3 ½ cups plain flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ cup brandy

1 ½ cups fine semolina

zest of an orange and a lemon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon


¾ cup sugar

¾ cup honey

1 cup water

1 strip of lemon and 1 of orange rind


1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cloves 


Sift flour and baking powder and set aside.

Beat the oil and sugar using a kitchen mixer until well combined – about 5 minutes. Add the brandy and orange juice and mix for a further minute. Add the semolina, orange and lemon zests, clove and cinnamon powders and mix to combine. Fold through the flour and then knead the dough lightly. It should be soft, a bit oily but not overly be sticky.

Heat oven to 180C and oil the baking trays.

Take a small amount of dough (about 35g or the size of a walnut) and roll with your hands into a ball and then press onto the coarse side of a grater to create an imprint of the pattern on one side of the biscuit. The biscuit shape should be oblong with a slight curve underneath where your fingers pressed into the grater. Leave this slight indentation and place the biscuits on the prepared tray with the grater pattern facing up. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly in the trays while you prepare the syrup.

Place the sugar, water, honey and peels in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir to ensure sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Place biscuits in small batches in the hot syrup for 30 seconds, making sure you turn them so they soak evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a rack to drain. Left over syrup can be stored in the fridge and used again.

Mix the chopped walnuts with the clove powder and sprinkle over the biscuits. Store cooled biscuits in an airtight container.

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