Christmas is the most favorite period of the year, when everything is decorated. There are blinking lights everywhere and the dominant aromas are cinnamon and cloves. In general, it is a celebration of joy and opportunity to gather together with the whole family, relatives and of course, good friends.

Melomakarona are the most favorite Christmas honey cookies!

Melomakarona together with kourabiedes (for gluten-free, see the recipe here) are classified as Greek traditional sweets that are considered essential in every home during the Christmas season.

There is a small conflict between the ones that have as the kourabies and sthe one that prefer most the melomakarona. Personally, I love both, or rather, I love all sweets and I’m a sweet tooth in general.

Melomakarona recipe are based on honey and walnuts which are considered superfoods. Walnuts are one of the most beneficial nuts. They contain twice the amount of antioxidants compared to other nuts. Among all the good things that walnuts have, such as fiber, vitamin B, melatonin, manganese, zinc, iron, etc., they are delicious!!!

The period before Christmas is a period of fasting for Greek Orthodox, that begins on November 15 and lasts 40 days, until Christmas Eve, December 24. In this period we also celebrate most name days. Since melomakarona are fasting sweets, I have the impression that was created as a treat for guests who were visiting people for the celebration of the name day but were fasting.

The recipe I am sharing with you is based on my mom Katerina’s recipe. This dose is half of my mom’s dose because in the past all the old recipes were made in larger doses probably because the families were very large with more children, and if they were married they also had their children and so they were all together grandparents, children, and grandchildren.

I also made sure that it is a one-bowl recipe, but the truth is that has enough ingredients that it is worth trying to have the best gluten-free homemade melomakarona. The better quality ingredients you use, the taster will be.


Yields40 ServingsDifficultyIntermediate

Prep Time25 minsCook Time23 minsTotal Time48 mins

Tip: Check off the ingredients you have used in the recipe or note the ingredients you have and add the rest to you shopping list to buy them. - Attention: All ingredients  must be checked that are Gluten-Free and without traces of gluten.

For the syrup
 1 cup water
 1 cup sugar
 1 stick cinnamon
 3 sticks cloves
 1 orange, quartered chopped
  cup honey
For the melomakarona
 500 g gluten-free pastry flour
 150 g white polenta (*see tip for replacement)
 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
 100 g gluten-free icing sugar
 1 tbsp grated cinnamon
 ½ tsp grated cloves
 ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
 1 orange, the zest only
 1 pinch salt (optional)
 1 cup sunflower oil (*see tip for replacement)
  cup brandy/cognac (*see tip for replacement)
 ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
 2 tsp baking soda
For serving / decoration
 3 tbsp honey
 50 g walnuts coarsely chopped

Abbreviations: g=grams kg= kilograms cup=250 ml tsp= teaspoon=5 ml  tbsp= tablespoon=3 tsp=15 ml ml= millilitre= (1ml=0.034 fl oz / 1fl oz=29.6 ml) l=litre/liter=1000ml

For the syrup
1

Fist make the syrup, several hours before, so that it will have the time to cool at a room temperature before baking the melomakarona.

2

Combine all the ingredients for the syrup, except the honey, for boiling.

3

As soon as the syrup comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the honey. Mix and let the syrup come to a room temperature.

For the melomakarona
4

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

5

Put the polenta in a bowl and sift the flour, baking powder and icing sugar on top. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and orange zest and mix it.

6

Then add the oil and cognac/brandy.

7

Put the freshly squeezed orange juice and baking soda in a large glass, mixing them with a fork directly above the bowl with our mixture, until the baking soda foams and pours into the mixture.. Add the rest that it is left in the glass and mix with an eggbeater at the beginning.

8

Continue with your hands until the ingredients are well combined and have a fairly pliable dough. The dough is quite oily and the melomakarona will form just fine.

9

Shape the melomakarona cookies about 3-4 cm / 1-1 ½ inches diameter.

10

Press lightly on top with a fork or potatoes smasher tool or whatever else you have so that they have texture on their surface. It helps to hold the honey and walnuts that you will put on top.

11

You get about 40 cookies and you will need 2 baking trays and 2 times to bake.

12

Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 23 minutes or until crisp and nicely coloured.

13

As soon as you take the melomakarona out of the oven, and there are still hot, drop them into the syrup for 15 seconds and leave them at baking tray again until they cool down.

14

When they cool down, sprinkle them with coarsely chopped walnuts and honey.

15

Storage them out of the fridge for all the days of the season holidays.

Ingredients

For the syrup
 1 cup water
 1 cup sugar
 1 stick cinnamon
 3 sticks cloves
 1 orange, quartered chopped
  cup honey
For the melomakarona
 500 g gluten-free pastry flour
 150 g white polenta (*see tip for replacement)
 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
 100 g gluten-free icing sugar
 1 tbsp grated cinnamon
 ½ tsp grated cloves
 ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
 1 orange, the zest only
 1 pinch salt (optional)
 1 cup sunflower oil (*see tip for replacement)
  cup brandy/cognac (*see tip for replacement)
 ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
 2 tsp baking soda
For serving / decoration
 3 tbsp honey
 50 g walnuts coarsely chopped

Directions

For the syrup
1

Fist make the syrup, several hours before, so that it will have the time to cool at a room temperature before baking the melomakarona.

2

Combine all the ingredients for the syrup, except the honey, for boiling.

3

As soon as the syrup comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add the honey. Mix and let the syrup come to a room temperature.

For the melomakarona
4

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.

5

Put the polenta in a bowl and sift the flour, baking powder and icing sugar on top. Add the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and orange zest and mix it.

6

Then add the oil and cognac/brandy.

7

Put the freshly squeezed orange juice and baking soda in a large glass, mixing them with a fork directly above the bowl with our mixture, until the baking soda foams and pours into the mixture.. Add the rest that it is left in the glass and mix with an eggbeater at the beginning.

8

Continue with your hands until the ingredients are well combined and have a fairly pliable dough. The dough is quite oily and the melomakarona will form just fine.

9

Shape the melomakarona cookies about 3-4 cm / 1-1 ½ inches diameter.

10

Press lightly on top with a fork or potatoes smasher tool or whatever else you have so that they have texture on their surface. It helps to hold the honey and walnuts that you will put on top.

11

You get about 40 cookies and you will need 2 baking trays and 2 times to bake.

12

Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 23 minutes or until crisp and nicely coloured.

13

As soon as you take the melomakarona out of the oven, and there are still hot, drop them into the syrup for 15 seconds and leave them at baking tray again until they cool down.

14

When they cool down, sprinkle them with coarsely chopped walnuts and honey.

15

Storage them out of the fridge for all the days of the season holidays.

Gluten Free Melomakarona – Greek Christmas Honey Cookies
  • Instead of sunflower oil you can use any other seed oil like canola oil which I used. The old recipes were normally with olive oil but it might have stronger smell a bit, and of course olive oil are too expensive. Also most recipes say the oil should be half and half with olive oil or 2/3 seed oil and 1/3 olive oil.
  • If you don’t like the smell of polenta (the corn often have strong smells) replace it with gluten-free flour. I have tried the recipe and instead of  white polenta I used gluten free rice flour.
  • Instead of cognac/brandy you can use white wine. However, cognac/brandy has more distinctive taste and goes well with cinnamon and cloves.
  • Note that you need to start the syrup at least 3-4 hours before making the melomakarona so that it will has the time to cool down to room temperature. I did the syrup from the previous day.
  • If you want to make them with a chocolate coating, then melt 200g chocolate couverture with 1 tbsp. sunflower oil and you can flavor it with orange zest or cinnamon powder or both.
  • Storage the melomakarona out of the fridge and you can keep them for many days (2 weeks). They have sugar and honey that are natural preservatives.

Good Luck and Bon Appétit!!!

Did you make this recipe?

I don’t want to miss any of your creations!
Take a photo & upload it to Instagram tagging me @vivoglutenfreecom so I can also be proud  for you.

   

What a better way to make easier your days, by keeping all recipes you like, organised. SHOP NOW

 
20
(Visited 1,203 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *