Gluten-free Greek Honey Cookies Cakes (Melomakarona/Μελομακάρονα)
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'Melomakarona' are traditional Greek Christmas cookie-cakes lightly soaked in a spiced syrup and served with honey and walnuts.
The texture is like a soft shortbread and they melt in the mouth with the warming spices of orange, honey, cinnamon and cloves. Your kitchen will smell incredible and every bite is like Christmas! They will sure become a favourite, holiday or not!
For the syrup:
150g Greek honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
150g coconut sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
3 whole cloves
Peel of 1 orange
For the cookies:
120g ground almonds
100g tigernut flour
100g sorghum flour
80g tapioca flour/starch
200g vegetable oil, of choice
60g coconut sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange (organic if possible)
Juice of 1 orange, (60ml)
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
¼tsp ground cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp sea salt
*** You may also substitute the ground almonds, tigernut flour or sorghum flour for 450g all purpose gluten-free flour (like Doves Farm).
150g Greek honey
100g crushed walnuts
For the syrup:
Add all the ingredients excecpt for the honey, into a small suacepan and bring to a boil until the coconut sugar melts.
Then add in the honey and use a whisk to mix well.
Set aside for the syrup to cool. It must be cool by the time the cookies come out from the oven. Remember hot cookies and cold syrup.
You can also make the syrup a day or so before.
For the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 190°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Sift all the flours into a bowl and whisk to combine. Set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the ingredients except from the flour and beat well.
Add the flour in small batches and mix until a dough forms, it wil be quite oily.
Grab the dough and form the cookies in the palms of your hands into an oval shape, approx 30g each.
Gently press down on the top of the cookies with a fork to create a criss-cross pattern.
Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes until crunchy and dark golden brown.
As soon as they come out the oven, carefully soak the hot cookies in the syrup for 10 seconds. They will make a sizzle sound. You may need to do this in batches so do work quick.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cookies from the syrup, and drain on a wire rack.
When cool, transfer the cookies to a serving platter.
Drizzle with Greek honey and a sprinkling of crushed walnuts.
These melomakarona cookies keep well for about 3-4 weeks on a platter or a bit longer in an airtight container.
SERVE THIS WITH.
A drizzle of Greek honey
Almonds - are high in protein and fibre and are an excellent source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. (Source)
Tigernut flour - is naturally gluten-free, high in dietary fibre, rich in iron and has a lower glycemic index than wheat products. Teff is particularly high in lysine, an amino acid which is essential for the production of proteins, hormones, enzymes, collagen, and elastin, lysine also supports calcium absorption, energy production, and immune function. (Source)
Sorghum flour - is a rich source of fibre and anti-oxidants which helps fight the free radicals that cause inflammation and heart disease. It is a low GI food which is slow to digest and helps in balancing blood sugars. (Source)
Oranges - is rich in fibre, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, calcium and other essential nutrients. (Source)
Ceylon (True) Cinnamon - is loaded with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. (Source)
Cloves - are best known as a sweet and aromatic spice which are rich in antioxidants and a source of manganese. (Source)
Walnuts - are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and a good source of Manganese, Copper, Molybdenum and the B vitamin Biotin. (Source)
Greek honey - is nutritionally dense and filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. (Source)
HAVE YOU MADE THIS?
Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.