Celebrate Greek Easter with these delightfully sweet traditional biscuits infused with orange, spices and finished with a honey syrup.
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To make the syrup, place the sugar, lemon rind and juice, cinnamon, cloves and ½ cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 mins or until the syrup thickens slightly. Set aside for 10 mins to cool. Add the honey and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
Sift the flour, semolina, sugar, cinnamon and cloves into a large bowl. Add the orange rind. Whisk the oil, juice and egg yolk together in a separate bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until a firm dough forms.
Roll 1tbs portions of the mixture into oval shapes and flatten slightly. Lightly press a fork into biscuit to form grooves. Place on the lined trays.
Bake for 20-25 mins or until the biscuits are golden and firm to the touch. Set aside for 5 mins to cool slightly.
Strain cooled syrup into a shallow bowl. Dip 1 biscuit in syrup and turn to coat. Return to lined tray. Sprinkle with a little of the chopped walnuts. Repeat with remaining biscuits, syrup and walnuts. Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Cook. Store. Save.
Store biscuits in an airtight food container or a serving plate covered with baking paper, at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.
Use it up
Looking for a way to use up your orange rind? Try this roast vegetables with whole lemon dressing recipe or stir the rind through your morning porridge for added zing.
Your life is about to get a whole lot sweeter if you’ve not tried melomakarona before. These traditional Greek egg-shaped honey biscuits are often enjoyed during periods of celebration and importance, like Easter and Christmas.
These gorgeous Greek biscuits are lightly spiced and infused with orange, then coated in a spiced honey syrup and sprinkled with crumbled walnuts.
The secret to the juicy texture of these fabulous treats is the inclusion of semolina in the dough. The larger grains of wheat in semolina absorb more of the orange juice and syrup, giving these biscuits great texture. If you’re after an impressive dessert recipe, melomakarona is the one to try.
The first step is making the syrup for melomakarona. This involves combining sugar, lemon rind and juice, a cinnamon stick and cloves, along with half a cup of water in a saucepan. Cook the syrup over a medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, and then boil and simmer to allow the syrup to thicken. Once the syrup has thickened slightly, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool before adding the honey and stirring it through.
With the syrup set aside to cool, it's the perfect time to preheat the oven and line your baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking sheets.
Next grab a large mixing bowl and sift in the flour, then add semolina, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Grate the orange rind directly into the bowl, or if your rind is pre-grated, add to the bowl.
Then whisk the oil, juice and egg yolk together in a smaller bowl, add this to the rest of the mixture and combine until it comes together to create a firm dough.
Roll out tablespoon portions of the dough into small oval shapes and flatten them slightly. Lightly score the biscuits with a fork to create the tell-tale grooves. These grooves not only make the biscuits look great, they also allow the syrup to soak into the biscuits.
Place biscuits onto the lined trays and bake them for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits have turned a golden colour and are firm to the touch. Once cooked you’ll need to set them aside to cool down slightly before dipping them into the syrup.
Take the cooled syrup from the saucepan and strain it into a shallow bowl to remove excess rind and cinnamon. Then dip each biscuit into the strained syrup and return them to the lined tray. If you like your biscuits moist, leave in the syrup longer to allow them to soak up more liquid. Sprinkle the syrup-coated biscuit with some of the chopped walnuts and repeat with the remaining biscuits and allow them to cool.
One of the best variations of this Greek biscuit recipe is to dip the cooled biscuits into melted chocolate. All of that sweet doughy goodness inside a shell of chocolate – yum! Other variations of this recipe use brandy or even beer in the dough to give an extra layer of flavour.
Once you’ve mastered this tasty Greek Easter biscuits recipe you can move onto another well-known Greek almond shortbread recipe, kourambiethes. You can also try Greek Easter bread tsoureki and Greek Easter lamb.