Melomakarona are one of the most popular treats throughout Greece during the Christmas Holidays and could not miss from our little food blog! Their intense homely smell makes every house smell like Christmas. Melomakarona are a big part of Christmas, baked weekly to treat the guests or get gifted for good luck! These sweet little Greek honey cookies (melomakarona) are super quick to make, so much fun to bake and highly addictive – ask anyone!

Melomakarona recipe – A delicious Greek Christmas tradition

Christmas in Greece lowkey revolves around food! The festive days are a lovely opportunity to make all the cheerful treats, as well as these amazing sweet little honey cookies. Melomakarona is our absolute favorite Greek Christmas cookies. And how couldn’t they be? They are incredibly soft, moist, flavorsome, and soaked in a delicious honey syrup. Once baked, the intense aromas of the sweet spices warm up the house and they bring back childhood memories and a feeling of security! For a more traditional touch, garnish the melomakarona cookies with roughly chopped walnuts (or almonds!) and just a pinch of cinnamon and clove. For a more sophisticated touch, we’re always adding some freshly ground pepper to bring back some spiciness!

For Christmas is tradition time —

Traditions that recall

The precious memories down the years,

The sameness of them all.

Helen Lowrie Marshall

What does “melomakarono” mean?

Melomakarona (μελομακάρονα) are traditional Greek Christmas cookies, that are served during Christmas time throughout Greece. The word “melomakarona” is a combination of the two words “meli”, which means honey and “makarona”. “Makarona” comes from the ancient word “makaria” and means blessed. In some regions “melomakarona” are also called “finikia”. The traditional recipe for melomakarona and finikia is pretty much the same, but some times finikia are deep fried instead of baked.

What you will need for the Melomakarona (Christmas Honey Cookies)

2 cups of vegetable oil

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup cognac

1 cup sugar

2 tsp orange zest

1000 gr all purpose flower

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

pinch of salt

for the honey syrup

2 cups organic honey

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

orange peal

1 cinnamon stick

How to make Melomakarona

In a large bowl mix the oil, sugar, cognac with a wooden spoon. In a separate bowl mix the baking powder with the flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix the baking soda and the orange juice and when it starts to fizzle pour into the wet ingredients. We advise you to mix the soda and the orange juice directly abore the bowl because once it starts fizzling the mixture will start pouring out of the cup. Mix well until smooth and unified. Add the flour mixture in halves and form a smooth dough. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Roll the dough and cut with your cookie cutters after you dusted the surface with some flour. You can also roll your cookies into an oval shape. Bake for 30 minutes.
When you’re baking the cookies, start making the syrup. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil WITHOUT stirring. When it starts boiling let it simmer for 8 minutes and remove it from the fire. Pour it over your cookies immediately after you take them out of the oven and let them sit in the syrup for a couple of hours. Sprinkle them with chopped almonds and walnuts and drizzle them with some honey!

Try and eat just one! You won’t.

The Joy of Christmas

Nothing compares to baking with family and friends on Christmas. It’s a heartwarming experience, filled with the sweetness of companionship, the love, the aromas of the freshly ground spices. Essentially, it’s the feeling of being loves, of being accepted, of being protected. We love baking for our friends, of being the girls with the baskets and the sweets that bring the cheer. Baking Melomakarona and other Christmas treats has become something like a tradition to us, one we will continue forever in sharing what is really important.

Feeling inspired? Check out our Christmas Cookie Recipe for more treats to share this season!

Did you make this recipe?

We’d love to know how it turned out! Let us know by leaving a comment below, or share a photo on Instagram: tag @thelifelaboratories and hashtag it #thelifelabbakes

Good Luck!