- Plain flour 6.5 cups
- Olive oil 1 cup
- vegetable oil/canola oil* 1 cup
- Sugar 0.75 cups • 470 kcal
- Zest of an orange
- Orange juice 0.75 cups
- cups brandy 0.25 (optional)
- Baking powder 2 teaspoons • 156 kcal
- Baking soda 1 teaspoon
- walnuts chopped 0.75 cups
- Ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon
- runny honey 1 cup
- Sugar 1 cup • 470 kcal
- Water 1.5 cups
- Stick 1 cinnamon
- Cloves 4
- Zest of a lemon
- lemon juice a few squeezes
These cookies are a traditional Greek treat at Christmas time. Think of a nutty, warmly-spiced cookie drenched with an aromatic honey syrup and topped with walnuts and cinnamon. The syrup is left to soak into the cookies, giving a truly wonderful taste and chewy texture.
Make these cookies up to a month in advance, as they keep very well at room temperature in an airtight tin. You’ll have your Christmas cookies sorted well ahead of the big day!
Preheat the oven to 350F/160C fan/gas mark 4.
Zest the orange, then combine the zest with the sugar in a large bowl.
Pour the oils into the sugar/orange mixture and beat until well combined. Then add the orange juice and brandy and beat again.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda, then add to the liquid little by little until a stiff, wet dough forms.
Pull off a small piece of dough and shape it into a ball / oval in your hands, then place it on a baking sheet.
Use a fork to flatten the dough and make a criss-cross pattern on it. Keep shaping and flattening balls of dough until it is all used up.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cookies are lightly browned.
While they are in the oven, make the syrup. Combine the honey, sugar, water, cinnamon, lemon peel and cloves in a saucepan, then bring to the boil.
At this point, simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the syrup has thickened slightly. Then take out the cinnamon, lemon peel and cloves and stir in the lemon juice.
Then, while the cookies are still very warm, float them in the syrup a few at a time, turning them over to make sure they soak up plenty of liquid. After about 30 seconds on each side, take the cookies out with a fork or spoon with holes in, put them on a serving plate and press some walnuts into the top.
Lastly, sprinkle some cinnamon over them and arrange on a dish.
* Canola oil is called rapeseed oil in the UK.
Don’t pour away any leftover syrup. Simply drizzle it all over the top of the cookies so that they absorb even more of it. The more syrup these cookies soak up, the chewier and more heavenly they’ll be.