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Krystina Kalapothakos, aka Kouzounas Kitchen, is a successful food blogger and cookbook author and part of the Greek Women in Business that we admire. Krystina shares with us a twist to classic melomakarona, the most traditional of Greek Christmas cookies. This is a delicious cookie soaked in honey syrup that Greeks traditionally enjoy only during Christmas (well, some of us make them throughout the year, too!)
Now in Greece you can find chocolate-dipped melomakárona, but, to be honest, I find those a little too much. What I love about Krystina's recipe is that she uses cocoa powder, which gives that hint of rich chocolate flavor without going overboard. Try this and give a little twist to your holiday baking!
Honey syrup, finely chopped walnuts, and cinnamon powder.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the oil, orange juice, orange zest, brandy, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla in a mixer. Whisk for a few minutes or until combined.
Whisk together the semolina, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while the mixer is running. Once the dough starts to form then stop the mixer and place the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
Prepare the syrup. Place the syrup ingredients into a medium-sized pot. When the mixture starts to simmer place it on low and let it cook for 5 minutes until thickened.
Once the dough has rested prepare to shape dough into oblong shapes. Gather about 1.5 tablespoons of dough and roll it into an oblong shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough then place it onto the baking sheet. With a fork make little divets or criss-cross patterns into the cookie dough.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. Once the cookies are done, remove the pan and pour the hot syrup over the top of the cookies. I let the cookies get drenched in syrup so that each side is soaked in the syrup. You can flip the cookies to ensure they get syrup on both sides.
To serve: Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and powdered cinnamon.
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