Last year I did the Ultimate Kourambies tutorial. This year I’m doing the Ultimate Melomakarona tutorial. (The tutorial nests on Flickr, the ingredients are on the set description). This is a traditional greek Christmas cookie made with oil and honey. This cookie is very easy to make, I’d say it’s as easy as whipping instant pudding or something.  It uses oil instead of butter and honey instead of sugar, so it’s healthier too.

My recipe is based on a recipe by Stelios Parliaros, but I made some changes with the oils. I recommend using olive oil and thyme honey. That’s my favorite combination. The final taste of this cookie depends on the oil and the honey. So you oughta get good quality. And be sure you like the taste and smell of your two ingredients when raw. If you do, you’ll also like the result they will give you. The recipe will make 25 cookies. It’s half the normal recipe because I don’t have a family, neither too many guests to eat them all and I’d hate to throw them away (or eat them all!). Be warned, noone will eat just one of them…

There is a mystery surrounding these cookies. Even though I searched the internet, I haven’t found their exact origin. It’s most likely that they came to Greece from the refugees of  Smyrna, Asia Minor. There are many recipes and a lot more techniques to make these cookies. The original technique got lost in novelty recipes books and newpaper cuts. There are many versions. There are versions with shortening, for god’s sake! What a disgrace… There are undescribed store-bought versions using some undefined kind of oil, or even butter. Terrible. Some people will insist on beating sugar and oil in the mixer (you don’t have to do that if you use icing sugar, as I do), others will let the cookies cool and then drip hot syrup on top of them and let them soak in it, others will tell you that both syrup and cookies have to be hot. There are versions that substitute flour for semolina (corn meal). I have tried most of these to save you from the fatigue. Except usign shortening, I’d never do that. This version, powered by the most important and creative pastry chef in Greece, is the best. Trust me.