Every December, there’s one hot topic known to draw most Greeks into a healthy debate: which cookie is more delicious, melomakarona or kourabiedes? Thankfully, the holiday cheer is never ruined in the end, as everyone usually agrees that while they may favor one, both cookies are ultimately scrumptious. It also wouldn’t be Christmas without either.
Melomakarona are soft and moist, flavored with classic holiday spices and soaked in honey syrup. Kourabiedes, meanwhile, are tender, delicate, and covered in piles of powdered sugar.
Below you’ll find our recipes for Greece’s most popular holiday treats, made with some of our favorite ingredients from Navarino Icons.
- 1 kg of self-rising flour
- 150 g of fine semolina
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 tsp of ground cloves
- 60 ml of brandy
- 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar
- 1 cup of fresh orange juice
- zest from 1 orange
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 cups of Navarino Icons extra virgin olive oil
- cinnamon, to taste
- chopped walnuts, to taste
for the honey syrup:
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 cups of Navarino Icons Pure Greek Honey
- 3 cups of sugar
Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C.
Combine the Navarino Icons extra virgin olive oil, brandy, orange zest and juice, and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.
Sift the flour along with the baking powder and baking soda into a second bowl.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and knead into a dough for 8 minutes.
Keep kneading the dough with your hands, and finally shape it into small rounds or oval shapes. Each melomakarono should be about 3 inches/7 centimeters long.
Place the melomakarona on a baking sheet (the baking sheet should not be greased).
Gently poke little holes into the cookies using a fork.
Bake the melomakarona for about 30 minutes, until golden.
Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool on the baking sheet.
For the honey syrup:
Meanwhile, combine the Navarino Icons Pure Greek honey, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.
Skim the foam off the top, add the cinnamon sticks, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the syrup is thick.
When the melomakarona are cold and the syrup is hot, soak each cookie in the syrup for 10 seconds.
Give the cookies some time to drain. Finally, top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts.
- 1/2 kg of butter, room-tempered
- 1 kg all-purpose flour
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white
- 1 cup of Navarino Icons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup of ouzo
- 200 g of chopped almonds
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- for topping: 3 cups of powdered sugar
Melt the butter over very low heat.
Add the granulated sugar to the butter, and beat until white, light, and fluffy.
Heat up your oven to 320°F/160°C, and roast the almonds for 8-10 minutes.
Carefully add the Navarino Icons extra virgin olive oil, the chopped almonds, the egg white, yolks, and 1/2 cup of ouzo to the butter mix, and combine using an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes.
Combine the flour and the baking powder in a second bowl.
Carefully add the flour and baking powder to the butter mixture, and stir to combine.
Heat the oven to 356°F/180°C.
Shape the dough into little balls using your hands, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
Allow the cookies to rest and cool for 5-10 minutes and then drizzle them with the rest of the ouzo.
Wait another 15-20 minutes before finally dusting your kourabiedes generously with the powdered sugar.