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Melomakarona are delicious honey cookies that the Greeks treat themselves to during the holidays and especially during the Christmas period. They are syruped with honey and sprinkled with nuts. This festive dessert has become synonymous - along with kourabiedes and diples - of the Christmas table, one of the most welcomed Greek recipes during the holiday season. And despite the fact that we enjoy kourabiedes more or less all year round, we only prepare melomakarona at Christmas. With melomakarona, your home will be filled with wintery flavors, aromas of orange, honey, cinnamon and cloves!
For the syrup:
For the dough:
For the composition:
It's not Christmas in Greece until the pastry chefs start stacking mounds of Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. And this divides Greek society into two groups: those who prefer melomakarona and those who prefer kourabiedes. But how did these sweet and honeyed Christmas cookies get their name?
The word "melomakarona" comes from the ancient Greek μακαρία (makaria) which were cakes that were offered after the funeral.
The Latins and later the Italians used the word μακαρωνία (makaronia) as maccarone, which eventually meant spaghetti.
Finally, as early as the Middle Ages in France and England, a type of macaroon was called a “macaroon” (the well-known “macaroon”).
Today, with the prefix "melo" which means "honey", these cookies, soaked in honey syrup, have lost all connotation of mourning and sadness and rightly claim their place at the holiday table.
From the beginning of November, pastry shops across the country begin to bake fresh melomakarona, officially kicking off the Christmas season ... at least in the kitchen!
Prepare the syrup first, which will need to be cold to put the melomakarona in.
Kourabiedes are small almond and butter cookies sprinkled with icing sugar, a must-have of Greek origin during Christmas time. This festive dessert has become synonymous - along with melomakarona and diples - of the Christmas table. It's the perfect cookie, easy to make, tastes great and the sugar makes it look "snowy". It is the perfect homemade treat to give or share!