Tonight I am bringing some of my Greek cuisine to the Opera to share with my friends and colleagues. Dress rehearsals for the Ring tend to be long and taxing so there is nothing better than to enjoy some tasty treats in the lounge which not only invigorates us but also inspires wonderful fellowship.
Melomakarona Cookies (Honey Walnut Stuffed Cookies) are a favorite so I am going to give you a sneak peek into how I make these delicacies.
First you must make a delicious Spicy Honey Syrup:
1 cup honey 2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar 3 whole clove
1 cup water Orange zest - more like big strips
In a small saucepan bring all ingredients to a boil and cook on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
The next step is making the stuffing:
1 1/2 to 2 cups walnut bits
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla or vanilla paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Put ingredients in food processor and grind until it has a fine texture.
4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
2 tsp gr. cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp gr. clove
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
sift these ingredients together into a large bowl
1 1/2 cup good quality LIGHT olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of one large orange
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup cognac or Grand Marnier
Beat oil and sugar together for 10 minutes until you get a creamy texture. Add orange juice, zest and cognac and beat for another 5 or 6 minutes. Add flour mixture into liquid slowly and mix together until a soft dough forms. Knead, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is soft but not stiff.
Now for the fun part:
Shape Dough 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp dough into a large round in the palm of your hand, put a small spoonful of the walnut stuffing and wrap dough around it.
Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.
Remove from Oven and cool on a rack.