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Monday, October 29, 2018

Nuts filled Finikia/Melomakarona: Greek Orange Cookies Dipped in Honey Syrup.

As I mentioned in my previous egg-less recipe of these Melomakarona/ Finikia greek Cookies that I will be posting recipe with eggs next.  I made these stuffed with walnuts. You can make the eggless recipe with nut filled as well.

 


This cookie is made using flour, baking powder, orange juice, and oil.  After baking in the oven, the Finikia are rolled in a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and ground walnuts. Melomakarona, another type of Greek cookie dessert, is made with the same ingredients, but after baking, is dipped into a syrup mixture consisting of sugar, honey, water, orange zest, and cloves. Then it is rolled in the ground walnut, sugar and cinnamon mixture.



Ingredients
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)
• Grated zest of one orange
• 1 cup   oil
• 2 eggs yolk
• 5 and 1/2   cups all-purpose flour
• 1  cup of Almond flour or you can use  1  cups semolina or just all purpose flour



•  2 teaspoons baking powder
•  1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/2 cup orange juice from 1 large naval orange, and rind from it.
• 2 tsp vanilla
• 1 oz brandy (optional)
Syrup: 
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup  sugar
• 1 cup honey
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• 4-5 cloves
• 2-3 pieces of Orange and Lemon rind
Topping and filling:
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
Method:
  • Peel the orange skin in rind.
  • Squeeze fresh juice from Orange and chop the remaining orange with skin in small pieces.
  • Dilute the baking soda in orange juice.


  • In a food processor cream butter and oil well.
  • Add sugar and continue creaming.
  •  Add salt.
  • Add egg yolks, continue creaming.
  • Add orange juice with baking soda, continue mixing in food processor
  • Add orange piece and rind and continue creaming in food processor with chopping blade. 


  • Add baking powder and mix well until every thing is well blended and there are no more big chunks of orange pieces.
  • Add vanilla, mix well, add cinnamon and clove powder and mix well. 


























  • Mix the creamed content with both flours.
  • Kneed until the dough is pliable and does not stick to hands. 
  • It is will be little greasy.
  • Do not over work the dough, but kneed until smooth and everything is well incorporated.
  • Set aside.
  • Prepare the filling and syrup.

Prepare filling:
  • Place walnuts in food processor.
  • Add cinnamon, clove powder and sugar.
  • Chop walnut with sugar, clove powder and cinnamon in to coarse powder and set aside.



Prepare Syrup: 
  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Bring it to boil on stove at medium heat. 
  • Boil for 10 min.
  • Turn the stove off.










Preheat the oven at 360 F.  Will have to turn the heat down to 350 F once you place the cookies in the oven, I prefer to preheat at 360 Fbecause when you open the oven to place the cookies the temp goes down, this way it will remain at 350 F





  • Roll the filled cookies in following manner.
  • Take one tblspoon of dough and place 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the middle then place another tablespoon of dough on top, pinch it close  and roll the cookie in an oval shape roll.
  • Place them on cookie sheet 1" apart and make and indentation with back of the fork.








  • Bake the cookies at 350 F for 20-25 min or until golden brown.
  • In the mean time prepare your dipping station with space for baked  cookies, syrup, parchment paper lined platter and walnut topping.
  • Once the batch is done take the cookies out of oven.
  • Set aside for few min. 
  • Separate them.
  • Strain the syrup to take out all the rind, cinnamon stick and cloves.
  • Dip the warm cookie in the syrup with a slotted spoon. Soak for few seconds, then flip the cookie over and soak for few more seconds.
It would be better to bake them in two batches, I baked them in one batch therefore it did not retain the oval shape and became somewhat hexagon rectangles :)






  • Place them on parchment paper line platter.
  • Sprinkle the topping on each cookie.
  • Once cool you can transfer them in to serving paper cups.








  • For best result wait for few hours or one day before serving.
  • These will keep for up to 5 wks if they last that long. 
  •  Keep finished cookies in a sealed container at room temperature.
  • I store mine in the fridge.

 

  • You can also bake the cookies and freeze them without dipping them in syrup
  • When you want to serve them you can make fresh syrup and dip the thawed cookies in the warm syrup.
  • The result would be same.
Enjoy !
"Delicious Greek pastries...probably one of my favorites because of the orange and cinnamon combination. Worth the time they take!"
Here is the recipe with using egg yolks.

Info on Finikia source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finikia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License

Recipe adapted by Surekha from a recipe given to her by a  friend "Maria"
Photographs by Surekha.

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