It is the first time this year that I make Chocolate covered Melomakarona. Not familiar with the term Melomakarona? It's the Greek name of the famous Greek Honey Cookies. The ones that are traditionally served during Christmas in Greece. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, you are in the right place and at the right time to get familiar with these delicious cookies. As I'm really excited to share with you their even more scrumptious, chocolate-covered version.
I was really skeptical of making this modern version of Chocolate Covered Melomakarona as I do like to keep things traditional. But I have really changed my mind once I tried them. They're too good. And well, I did make the non-chocolate ones to keep up with the Christmas tradition.
As for you my friend that knows how these Honey cookies taste like, I'm sure you can imagine how good these taste. The dark chocolate adds a nice contrast to the very sweet flavor of these cookies making them sooo yummy!
But if you haven't yet tasted a Melomakarono cookie let me tell you what it is. It's a cakey-like cookie that's very soft and mellow on the inside and a bit firmer on the outside. The dough for this cookie is made both with flour and semolina. Plus lots of delicious wintry spices. Once this cookie is baked, it gets dipped in honey syrup (hence why it's so soft and mellow on the inside). And traditionally at this point is topped with extra honey as well as lots of ground walnuts on top.
In this recipe though, instead of the honey, it gets coated in chocolate. We don't skip the ground walnuts on top though :D. Unless you want to add any other type of nut of your preference such as pistachios, almonds, or even pecans.
The chocolate coating is added after you dip the cookies in the syrup and have left them to cool down on a cooling rack. You shouldn't skip this step as this gives time for the cookies to get firmer. Therefore easier to dip in the chocolate. But also they get the chance to drain from any excess syrup.
If you would like to see step-by-step picture instructions on how these cookies are made, head over to my Classic Melomakarona Recipe. And take a pick on how they are made up to the point you are about to add the chocolate coating.
Which Type Of Chocolate To Use
You shouldn't use any type of chocolate that has a lot of sugar as these cookies are already too sweet because of the honey syrup. So if you were thinking about making them with white chocolate, for instance, that would be a no-no. Unless you don't mind drinking 5 glasses of water after each cookie 😀
The best type of chocolate to use is Baker's chocolate and preferably 70% cocoa or more. The more bitter the chocolate the better! If you want to use chocolate chips it's the same thing just pay attention to the cocoa ratio.
Bonus Flavor Tip:
You can add 1-2 tablespoons of liqueur or rum to the syrup of the cookies. Such as Amaretto, Bacardi, Triple Sec (orange liqueur), or even brandy! Just make sure you add it to the syrup after taking it off the heat so the alcohol won't evaporate.
Chocolate Honey Cookies (Melomakarona)
For The Syrup:
- 300 grams (10.6 oz) honey
- 300 grams (1 + ½ cup ) sugar
- 300 ml water
- 1 orange peel
- 1 stick of cinnamon
For The Cookies:
- 240 ml olive oil
- 80 ml orange juice fresh
- 1 orange zested
- 100 grams (½ cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅓ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 425 grams (3 +½ cup) all-purpose flour
- 50 grams (5 tablespoons) fine semolina
For The Chocolate Coating:
- 400 grams (14 oz) bakers chocolate or dark chocolate 70% cocoa
- 1 + ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ground walnuts (or any other type of nut you prefer)
For The Syrup:
- Start by making the syrup so it will have time to cool down to room temperature by the time the cookies are baked and ready.
- Add all of the ingredients for the syrup in a medium-sized saucepan and heat over high heat. Once it starts to boil reduce heat to medium. Skim off any dark foam that forms on the surface because of the honey. Let the syrup simmer without stirring for about 6-7 minutes. Then turn the heat off and set the saucepan aside to cool down to room temperature.
For The Cookies:
- In a mixing bowl, add the olive oil, orange juice, sugar, and spices. Stir well with a hand whisk for the sugar to dissolve. In a separate bowl, a small one, add the brandy and soda and stir to dissolve. Then pour this in the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Add the semolina as well, and whisk for everything to combine thoroughly.
- In a different bowl mix together the flour and baking powder. Then start to incorporate it into the mixture as well. At this point, you will need to do the mixing by hand.
- Once all the flour is incorporated into the mixture, you should end up with a soft dough that doesn't stick on your hands. If it still leaves fragments on your hands add a little bit more flour.
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 356°F.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray.
- Take small pieces of the dough (about 1 tablespoon) and squeeze in your palms to remove any air from within the dough. Shape into a round ball, and then give that ball an oval, egg shape. Press it a bit flatten it.
- Proceed on making cookies like these and lay them on the baking tray leaving some space in between.
- Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes. Or until they get a very light brown color all over.
- Dip the cookies in batches in the syrup (that has reached room temperature) right as they get out of the oven. They need to be really hot in order to absorb the syrup properly and get nice and soft. Give them a few turns inside the syrup (using two forks to help you out) until they feel soft when you press them between your fingers.
- Transfer cookies on a cooling rack to drain excess syrup. Let the cookies reach room temperature before coating them with chocolate.
For The Chocolate Coating:
- If using baker's chocolate cut it into as small pieces as possible. Place in a small bowl. Half fill a small saucepan with water. Heat the water in the saucepan over low heat. Don't let the water get to a simmer. Place the bowl containing the chocolate over the saucepan making sure that it doesn't touch the water. And melt the chocolate this way. Stir with a silicone spatula scraping the walls of the bowl thoroughly.
- Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the olive oil.
- Dip each cookie in the chocolate and then using a fork carefully transfer it on a piece of parchment paper.
- Do this for the remaining cookies. Sprinkle the cookies with ground walnuts, or any other type of nut you prefer while the chocolate is still warm.
- Let the chocolate coating cool and then transfer the cookies on a plate and keep them in your fridge. They will keep for up to a month.
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