When I was growing up, I was very close to a cousin of mine who used to live in Bristol, I had no sisters, so I suppose she was the closest thing to a sister to me. We’d stay up at night talking for hours about how life would be, and how we’d stay close, and have kiddies and hubbies and huge wedding cakes….
We were so close, and so young.
When my cousin was 16, she was taken to Cyprus on holiday and introduced to a very nice man, who ended up becoming her husband. My cousin never returned home to England, but as far as I’m aware she’s very happy living out there, and she has gone on to have 2 lovely daughters, who are themselves all grown up now.
This cousin of mine is a fantastic cook, adventurous in the kitchen, and you can tell that she loves cooking!
About 10-15 years ago she sent some recipes to me, recipes for traditional Greek Christmas cookies, and almost every year I take out her hand-written recipes and make the Christmas cookies, and while I’m mixing and shaping I remember the two little girls who used to share their innermost secrets and smile…
Here’s to you Cuz, far away in miles, but never far from my heart.
melomacarona are plain cookies, dunked in a syrup made from Greek honey, sugar and water, then sprinkled with chopped walnuts. They’re better a couple of days after being made as the honey has a chance to really seep into the cookie and make it lovely and soft.
1 cup of oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mixed orange & lemon juice
3-4 cups plain flour
1 espresso coffee cup of brandy
2tsp Baking powder
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup honey
1 cup water.
Bring syrup ingredients to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
1 cup chopped walnuts.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Mix the oil with the sugar, add the Brandy and juices. Mix into the flour.
Mix well and form into oval shaped cookies. You should get around 30 from this mixture.
Cook in a medium oven, until golden brown. About 180deg.C. Approx 25 minutes.
When the cookies have cooled to about room temperature, but when there is still a trace of warmth within them, dip into the cooled syrup and sprinkle with nuts.
The kourabiedhes are butter cookies with mixed chopped nuts in the mixture, cooked, cooled and covered in icing sugar.
You should get about 50-60 from this recipe.
1 espresso coffee cup of sugar
1 egg yolk
1 espresso coffee cup of Brandy
1 sachet of vanilla sugar, or 1tsp vanilla extract
3 cups mixed chopped nuts, or any ratio of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pistachios that you like.
1 tsp Baking powder
Approx 3.5 cups of sieved self-raising flour.
Toast the nuts until golden brown.
Beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy.
Add the rest of ingredients in order listed, adding enough of the flour to make a soft, but not sticky dough.
Leave in the fridge for half an hour to firm up.
Shape into small balls, about the size of a large walnut.
Place on a baking tray and pat each ball slightly on top, or use the prongs of a fork, so that the top is slightly flattened.
Cook in a preheated oven, about 180deg.C until a very pale gold.
When they are completely cold, roll in ample amounts of icing sugar.