Melomakarona is one of the most popular treats throughout Greece during the festive season.Their intense homely smell makes every house smell like Christmas! This is an easy, healthy and easy recipe based on olive oil and honey.

Makes: 20-25 cookies

½ cup olive oil (175ml)
½ cup brown sugar (100g)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (120ml)
1 tbs orange zest
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda

2 tbs brandy
4 cups flour (about 450g)
1 cup (120g) chopped walnuts
(½ for the mix ½ for topping)
2 tbs cinnamon (½ for the mix ½ for topping)
½ tsp powder clove (½ for the mix ½ for topping)

For the syrup:
1 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup of water

This is a traditional Christmas cookie recipe. You will find it in every home in Greece at Christmas time.

Mix the flour, baking powder in to a bowl. Mix baking soda into the orange juice. Mix the oil, sugar, orange juice, brandy and orange zest and pour gradually into the flour mixture. Mix all the ingredients gently, without kneading to create a soft dough. Add cinnamon and clove in the mixture.

Make the dough into little cookie balls. Remember that these will rise so keep them small. Put the cookies into a tray covered with greaseproof paper. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Put the honey, sugar and water into a large pot. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes skimming off the froth. Let it cool down a little bit. Take the cookies out of the oven and put them in a large plate. Pour the syrup immediately over them while they are still hot. When all the syrup is absorbed turn them over. Repeat the same procedure a few times until almost all of the syrup is absorbed.

For the topping mix cinnamon, clove and chopped walnuts and sprinkle over the top of the cookies. Let them cool down and store them away. They usually taste better a few days later and as they age. They can last up to 3 weeks.



Let me introduce it to you

You may find it with different names: Sesame seed candy/ bar/crunch, sesame nougat or παστέλι in Greek and different textures, from chewy to crisp. Usually consists of sesame seeds, sugar or honey (but ours are made with sesame and honey, only) and sometimes contains various nuts.

Let me deconstruct it for you 

I am pretty sure you’re familiar with the health benefits of honey; as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal substance and an energy resource, of course. Sesame’s nutty flavour, adds texture to baked goods and ground sesame seeds make delicious spreads such as hummus, tahini and sesame butter. The seeds are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and also a very good source of copper and manganese; very low in cholesterol and sodium; an alkaline food that supports bone and blood vessel health. They offer the most of the nutritional value when the entire seed is used (un-hulled).

Interesting facts and a famous phrase

Sesame snacks mixed with honey or syrup are favoured from the Middle East through South Asia to East Asia. Especially in the Indian cuisine, the Assamese tilor laru is a breakfast snack and the Maharashtran tilgul ladoo is associated with the festival of Mahar Sankranti. In Japanese cuisine, goma-dofu is made from sesame paste and starch.

Apparently, the famous phrase “Open Sesame” in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in One Thousand and One Nights may be inspired by the opening of the fruit capsule, which unlocks the valuable sesame seeds.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and try our delicious snack bars with sesame and honey or sesame, honey, linseed, raisin, almond and hazelnut. When combined with a cup of our olive leaf tea or freshly brewed coffee, a smile on your face is guaranteed!