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Christmas hosting alert: how to make melomakarona and how to pick Greek wine

December 22, 2017

It’s only 3 days until Christmas and that means that the hosting duties craze is probably kicking in and shopping lists are in the making. Once you’ve played tetris with the gifts under the tree so that they all fit, but the really pretty-packaged are standing out (is it only me?) it’s the time to start planning your Christmas tables.

 

Every lunch or dinner these day in Greece, finishes up with the traditional Christmas desserts. Kourabiedes are light as air shortbread with roasted almonds, buttery and sugar powdered.

 

photo courtesy of: www.funkycook.gr/

 

Melomakarona are honey-dipped biscuits, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with spices and chopped walnuts topping them. There’s no such thing as having just one!

 

Enough with the intro, time for some kitchen action!

Here’s the original melomakarona recipe.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

1st mix

400 ml fresh orange juice

400 ml sunflower oil

180 ml Olive oil

½ teaspoon ground cloves

2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

grated zest of 2 oranges

2nd mix

1 kilo all-purpose flower

200 g fine semolina

 

FOR THE SYRUP

500 ml water

800 gr granulated sugar

150 gr honey

3 cinnamon sticks

3 whole cloves

1 orange, cut in half

 

METHOD

 

For the syrup

Boil in a pot all the ingredients except the honey, until the sugar melts. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey. Let it cool for about 3-4 hours. It needs to be cold by the time you dip the melomakarona otherwise they will turn soft and fall apart.

 

For the melomakarona

Preheat the oven to 170 C (370 F fan)

Start by making the first mixture. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and and whisk together. In a separate bowl combine the ingredients of the second mixture and then put the two mixtures together. Knead them with your hands slightly and for about 10 seconds only, otherwise they will get crumbly. Shape your cookies oval or round, about 3-4 inches long, and place them in a baking tray. Bake them for about 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown. When you remove them from the heat instantly dip them in the syrup for 10 seconds and allow them to cool in a wire.

 

Drizzle your melomakara with finely chopped walnuts and voila!

Thumbs up you just made melomakarona!

 

For all of you who are entertaining at home, your guests will be in for a treat! Arrange them in a beautiful platter, drizzle some extra walnuts or put some whole ones on the side for décor.

photo courtesy of: www.funkycook.gr/

 

Don’t forget to seek some Greek wines for your dinner tables. There are sold everywhere, from supermarkets with a proper wine alley to specialty wine shops. If native varieties on the labels are way too Greek for you to understand, just seek Agiorgitiko which is Nemea’s P.D.O variety or a crisp Assyrtiko from Santorini.

 

You will definitely be this year’s hostess with the mostest.

 

 

Tip: Keep the corks, slice them slightly and turn them into beautiful name card holders for your tablescapes. For a Christmas-y touch, place a stick of fresh fir on your napkins and on top of it the cork name card holder. 

 

Rustic Art de la table sorted!

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

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