Traditional Christmas Honey Cookies with Walnuts – Melomakarona

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Prepare time: 1 hr
Bake time: 25 min
Syrup time: 1 hr
Ready in: 2 hr 25 min
Yield: about 55 cookies

These cookies are the main reason why I am so excited about Christmas. It’ s really amazing how a simple cinnamon-walnut cookie turns into a delicious treat, after a hot “bath” in honey syrup. This is an old recipe that works every time. Just make sure to use good quality olive oil & honey and be exact with the time when you dip them in the syrup. Two minutes for each side, are enough to give them this wonderfully moist texture. Nor dry, neither muddy; just moist. Enjoy!


  • 280 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 140 ml melted butter
  • 140 ml fresh orange juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 700 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 200 g finely chopped walnuts
  • 420 g pure honey
  • 130 g sugar
  • 300 ml water
  • peel of an orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick


In a large bowl, mix olive oil, melted butter and orange juice with a whisk. Add the egg and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk about ⅓ of the flour, cinnamon, clove, baking soda & sugar. Add this flour mixture to the bowl with the liquids and whisk well.

Add ⅓ of the remaining flour and start mixing with your hand. It’s important to feel when to stop adding flour.

Continue adding flour gradually and knead gently. When the dough is soft but not sticky, it means it’s ready. Stop adding flour.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 min.

Shape the dough into small balls, about 25g each (or the size of a walnut). Give each ball a cylindrical shape and make a pit in the center. Put ½ tsp of walnuts and pinch to seal it.

Arrange them on a paper lined baking tray, seam side down. Prick them with a fork. This will help them absorb the syrup easily.


Bake in a preheated oven, at 200⁰C / 400⁰F for 23 to 25 min. Let them cool completely before putting them in the syrup.


Put water, sugar & honey in a medium pot, over medium heat. Stir and add the orange peel and the cinnamon stick.


Let it come to a boil and remove the foam with a slotted spoon.


After 4 min remove the peel and the cinnamon stick. Lower the heat.


Put some cookies in the syrup, curved side down. Let them simmer for exactly 2 minutes!


Flip and let them simmer for another 2 min.


Take them out of the syrup with the slotted spoon and transfer on a paper lined baking tray.


Sprinkle with walnuts while they’re still wet from the syrup.


Repeat the process for the rest of the cookies.


Let them cool completely before serving.

Recipe Video


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