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  • Writer's pictureKyveli Papaioannou

Melomakarona Recipe: Shaping our happiness as we dream it!

Updated: Sep 3


star shaped christmas cookies

As 2023 approaches in just a few days, we may find ourselves on the cusp of this new year, either unprepared or caught in a perpetual race to express our affection in the way that resonates with each of us. Some of us purchase gifts, others craft heartfelt cards, while some embark on journeys to be with their cherished ones. And yet, others may be planning meals that will serve as an occasion to gather around the table. In this spirit, I felt compelled to offer a gift to my dear readers – a recipe for a variety of melomakarona, wholesome treats that both nourish and transform into delectable snacks for the road, or perhaps even a delightful indulgence to savor alongside our coffee.


 

Melomakarona without sugar with whole wheat flour and olive oil
melomakarona in a baking tray and a hand with a fork

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice

1 cup olive oil

1 cup honey

2 big spoons Cognac (type of brandy)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon baking soda

600g whole wheat flour (the dough should be very soft but moldable. If it sticks, add a little more flour).


Instructions

mixing in a bowl a liquid

We mix in a bowl the olive oil with honey and orange juice until it becomes a thick, homogeneous liquid.


Note: Many salad dressings are based on the above mixture. Add a few drops of vinegar and spices such as ginger, salt, pepper, garlic, and turmeric to it, and enhance the flavor of your Christmas salad with this sweet and sour aromatic sauce. You can also add nuts like pistachios, pine nuts, raisins, and pomegranates.




a hand holding a melomakarono

We add cloves, cinnamon, cognac, and baking soda, stirring thoroughly. Then, we add the flour and continue mixing until it forms a soft dough.

Note: For added flavor and texture, you can optionally include finely chopped walnuts or raisins in the mixture.


We shape the mixture into oval balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.








a fork pressing melomakarona in a baking tray

We gently press each unbaked melomakarono with a fork. When we feel that the fork is starting to stick to the dough, we dip it in a bowl of water and continue the process.









round baked melomakarona

Alternatively, we have the option to shape them into round balls and create six small indentations in each piece using a fork, or we can fashion star-shaped cookies by using cookie cutters.

Bake them in the oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. The cookies will still be soft when we remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool, and they will firm up nicely. Store them in airtight containers to maintain their freshness. Over time, they will develop more flavors, becoming even more delectable.

 

As we shaped our melomakarona and placed them in the oven to bake, perhaps afterward, after tidying up our surroundings and erasing the traces of our culinary magic, we felt the urge to take a moment in our favorite spot to savor the aroma of our creations. Twenty minutes of baking offered us a chance to pause and contemplate the departing year – reflecting on what we've achieved, what we've left behind, what requires our attention, and what to carry with us into the coming year.

Perhaps, amid all our endeavors, we contemplated what truly matters, something that transcends the confines of wealth, the size of our homes, the material possessions we own. And as we delved deeper into these thoughts, we may have revisited the simpler needs we had as children.

In this way, perhaps our minds unveiled the most essential truth—one that relies solely on us, our presence. It's not just about our physical presence but our entire being, accompanied by undivided attention and all our emotions—a complete self alongside the people we cherish and hold dear. It's the ability to say, 'I hear you' and 'I see you,' without the intrusion of other thoughts, without our minds wandering into the realms of worries and anxieties. It's about being fully present in a moment of love that can either provide solace and embrace or amplify your joy in celebrating the things you hold dear.

Ultimately, our very presence may serve as the ingredients for shaping our happiness as we dream it, right beside our cherished ones.


I wish you a Merry Christmas with health and a beautiful 2023 filled with wholehearted presence, warm embraces, and cherished moments shared!

gift boxes with red ribbons under a christmas tree

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