Melomakarona are Greek honey spiced cookies usually baked for Christmas. They're made with oil and have no eggs, no milk, and no butter. They're covered in walnuts or chocolate!
Make the cookies: In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, the cinnamon, the cloves, the baking soda, the baking powder, the salt, and the zest. Add the oil and mix until the sugar is almost dissolved. Add the orange juice and the brandy and stir until homogenized.
Add the flour and stir gently until just combined (don't mix too much because the oil will start coming out of the dough). The dough should be soft.
Rest: Let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. In the meantime, line your baking pans with parchment paper, and preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Form the cookies: If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour to make it pliable. Make balls the size of a ping pong ball (about 1 ounce / 28 grams), flatten them a little between your palms and place them on the baking pan leaving some space between them.
Traditionally, the cookies are pierced with a fork 3-4 times or a grater is gently press on their surface to create a pattern.
Bake: Bake for 30 minutes or until cookies are well browned. Let them cool on a rack.
Make the honey syrup: Transfer the water, the cinnamon stick and the sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and add the honey. Stir until well combined.
Soak the cookies: Place the cookies upside down in a large pan (or two smaller pans) that just fits them. Spoon the hot syrup over the cookies. Let them soak for about an hour and then flip them. Let them soak the rest of the syrup (it will take sometime but you can also do it overnight).
Coat: Coat the cookies with the nut mixture, or cover them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with some nuts.
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