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A tray with Melomakarona cookies


  • Author: Beth Bollinger


These aromatic little cookies are a traditional Greek Christmas treat called "Melomakarona". My friend Stavroula lives in Athens, Greece and kindly shared her family’s recipe with me and knowing how much I love a makeover challenge, asked me to make them a little bit healthier. I have made them over using nut flours and excluding refined sugar in favor of coconut sugar and honey. The aroma of orange, honey, cinnamon, and cloves will fill your kitchen. These lovely little cookies will be a new Christmas tradition in our home. Thank you Stavroula and a very Merry Christmas from California to Greece with love.



For the syrup

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1 TBS lemon juice

1/2 cup honey

1st mixture

2 cups almond or cashew flour

3/4 cup arrowroot flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2nd mixture

2/3 cup olive oil

Zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 1/4 tsp cognac

1 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS orange juice 

1/2 tsp baking soda


1/4 cup chopped walnuts


To make the syrup

Boil all of the ingredients for the syrup, apart from the honey, until the sugar melts. Remove from heat. Add the honey and mix until combined. Let the syrup cool for 3-4 hours. The syrup should be completely cooled by the time the cookies come out of the oven. The syrup can be prepared the day before.

To make the cookies

Preheat the oven to 350 F 

To make the cookies, you will need to prepare mixtures in 2 separate bowls.

In the first bowl, mix flours and baking soda using a whisk or a fork.

In a second bowl, add coconut sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cognac, lemon juice, orange juice and baking soda.

In a small saucepan on the stovetop, Bring olive oil and orange zest to a boil and then pour over the ingredients in the second bowl. Mix until sugar has dissolved.

Combine the first and second mixtures together. Mix by hand, very gently and for a very short time using a fork.  Allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes before forming into  cookies.

Mold the cookie dough into oval shapes, 3-4 cm in length using your hands. I rolled each little oval against my wire baking rack to add a bit a of a design. The dough will be oily. 

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until they are golden brown.


When you remove them from the oven, allow them to cool just long enough so that they are not too hot to touch. Soak the warm cookies in the syrup for 10 seconds. Allow them to drain on a wire rack. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on the cookies while syrup is still “wet” so the nuts stick to the tops of the cookies. 

  • Category: Sweet Treats