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Courses: Dessert

Recipe Ingredients

400   Olive oil
120   Unsalted butter - (at room temperature)
250   Beer
4   Ground cinnamon
1   Ground cloves
1   Orange, peel of, grated
200   Sugar
350   Finely ground semolina
600   Flour
2 1/2   Baking soda
2 1/2   Baking powder
5   Salt
300   Sugar - (for the syrup)
500   Honey
250   Water
60   Chopped walnuts

Recipe Instructions

1. Put the olive oil, butter, beer, cinnamon, cloves, orange peel and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until they are thoroughly blended.

2. Sift about one cup of flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt, and blend into the mixture.

3. Add the semolina, a cup at a time, into the mixture.

4. Add the enough of the remaining flour, a cup at a time, until you get a rather firm dough (you may need a bit more or less than the amount mentioned in the ingredients list). Use your hands to do the mixing, as an electric mixer will be useless after the first two or three cups of flour have been added.

5. Roll the dough into cylinders, about 5 cm long and 2-3 cm in diameter, flatten them with your hands, and place them on cookie sheets greased with a little olive oil. Bake at 175C for half an hour.

6. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let them cool for about half an hour.

7. Make the syrup: mix the sugar, honey and water, and bring them to a boil. Cook on low heat for three minutes and skim off the foam that forms on top.

8. Pour the hot syrup over the cookies, sprinkle them with the chopped walnuts and let them soak overnight.

Author's Notes: This is one of the two kinds of confection that are traditionally consumed in large quantities in Greece during the holiday season (the other is kourabiedes). I suppose the name translates to something like ``honey macaroons'', except that they are not really macaroons. I got the recipe from a Greek cookbook.

You can use flour instead of semolina, but only as a last resort, as you won't be able to get that wonderful grainy texture which you get if you use semolina. The amounts given here are for only half a recipe. Considering that it is very hard to eat only one melomacarono, making the full recipe may not be as outrageous as it sounds!

Kriton Kyrimis


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