Bake, dunk, sprinkle. Everyone had a specific role in the kitchen when Yiayia Sofia came over this week to share her famous Greek Melomakarona recipe with us. My role was to madly scribble down ingredients, take measurements and make a few gluten free tweaks along the way as mum tossed aromatic spices into the bowl. Greek grandmothers don’t measure anything you see, it’s a pinch of this and a handful of that. My mother bakes by touching, feeling and tasting as she goes so I was frantically trying to keep up with her. It’s all baked from the heart so you know it’s going to taste great.
These gorgeous honey walnut biscuits feature an aromatic mix of clove, cinnamon, cognac and orange zest and are stuffed with crushed walnuts. When the biscuits come out of the oven you cool them slightly and then dunk into a warm honey syrup. My son Vasili was in charge of the final stage – sprinkling crushed walnuts on the honey soaked biscuits. Yiayia’s heart filled with joy when she saw her grandson take great pride in his very important role.
Melomakorona are traditionally baked during Easter and Christmas celebrations but these biscuits are so scrumptious you will want to bake them year round. My mum uses sunflower oil in her recipe but a light olive oil or grapeseed oil works just as well. Some people also like to garnish their melomakarona with an extra sprinkling of sesame seeds for added texture and flavour.
If you love a honey nut combo these vegan biscuits are definitely for you. The wonderful, sweet spicy aroma will permeate through your home and weave a special place in your heart. Bake with love like a Greek yiayia and they will taste amazing!
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbs cognac
- 650g or 5 cups plain gluten free flour*
- 2 tbs baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground clove
- ½ tsp vanilla sugar
- 1 cup crushed walnuts
- 1 tbs caster sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1½ cups raw honey
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup water
- 5 cloves
- Lemon wedge
- Extra crushed walnuts for sprinkling
* I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 plain gluten free baking flour
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Combine oil, sugar, orange juice, orange zest and cognac in a large bowl and mix with your hands or a spoon to dissolve the sugar.
- Sift dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Slowly add flour mixture into wet mixture until you form a soft, pliable dough. You will need to use your hands to shape the dough at the end. If your dough is too sticky add more flour.
- Roll dough into 6cm flat rounds. Place a teaspoon of walnut filling in the centre and fold dough to seal. Roll into a smooth log and shape into an oval or diamond. Create a criss cross indent on top of the biscuits by pressing with a fork or knife.
- Bake the biscuits for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy.
- While the biscuits are baking prepare the syrup by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmering for a few minutes. Remove scum off surface with a spoon.
- Dunk slightly cooled biscuits in warm syrup for 5 seconds. Remove and sprinkle with extra walnuts.