To begin with, It is never too early to celebrate Christmas, especially if we think about special sweets in Greece. One tradition is the preparation of cookies. Two Christmas sweets can’t be unnoticed each December. These are “melomakarona” and “kourampiedes”. Even if both are tasty, there is a dispute among them. Undoubtedly, some people prefer the first ones, others like the second ones. Besides, it is based on each one’s preferences. Moreover, everyone is thrilled, when Christmas is coming. This corresponds to everyone’s festive mood. As a result, many people consider Christmas as the most ideal time of the year. In this article, we will see what all this noise is about.
Special Christmas Sweets : Melomakarona History
Melomakarona has a greek origin in etymological terms, no matter how it may resemble the “italian” food macaroni. Dictionaries declare that there was a medieval Greek word “macaronia” and it was referred as a dinner at the funeral of deceased people. In addition, “macaronia” comes from the ancient greek word “macaria” and it was a piece of bread, in a round shape. When the people spilled honey syrup on it, they came up with this name: honey+macaronia= melomakarono.
Additionaly, the Latins and the Italians established the word “macaronia” as spaghetti. Particularly, in France and England, they have an almond biscuit, which is called nowadays macaron.
Thereupon it is time to pass the knowledge on you about special Christmas Sweets in Greece.
Special Christmas Sweets: Traditional Recipe for Melomakarona
- 500gr water
- 800gr sugar
- 150gr honey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cloves
- 1 orange, cut in half
- 400gr orange juice
- 400gr seed oil
- 180gr olive oil
- 50gr icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp of spoon clove
- 2-3 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- orange zest, from 2 oranges
- 1kg flour
- 200gr semolina fine
Special Christmas Sweets: Method of Execution
- Firstly, put the ingredients, except the honey, to boil.
- Secondly, be aware that the syrup has to be cold when the cookies are baked. So start making syrup 3-4 hours before them.
- Thirdly, once the syrup boils a little, withdraw from the fire and then add the honey. Blend and let the syrup to be cold.
- Before you start, preheat the oven at 190ο C.
- After the previous step, put all the ingredients of mixture 1 in a big bowl and stir them.
- In a second bowl stir the ingredients of the mixture 2.
- Furthermore, add the mixture with liquids in the mixture with solids and stir gently with hands, for a little time.
- Shape the cookies, based on your options, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Throw the hot cookies in the cold syrup and let them for 10-15 seconds. Finally, drizzle and sprinkle with honey and walnuts.
Special Christmas Sweets : Kourampiedes History
In brief, the kourampies originates from Persia, where it first appeared in the 7th century alongside the spread of sugar in the region. This sweet is famous in Greece, Turkey and the Balkan countries. Also, a similar kind of sweet is known at hispanic countries and south Texas. Following, the word “kourampies” comes from the albanian word kurabiye or gurable. The name “cookie” was established in the Middle Age, etymologically originated from the Latin bis – cult, which means double-baked. In conclusion, it belongs to the category : Shortbread cookie. To explain, it is all about a technique that uses three ingredients. These are a portion of sugar, 2 portions of butter, and three portions of flour. Moreover, the origin of the koyrampies is what makes it special, in comparison with the european cookies. It is highly recommended to use butter and almonds.
Special Christmas Sweets: Traditional Recipe for Kourampiedes
- 500gr butter
- 220gr powdered sugar
- 1 vanilla
- 1tsp of rosewater
- 30gr bitter-almond liquer, or cognac or rum
- 200-280gr almond roasted and without salt
- 900gr flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of rosewater
- 300gr powdered sugar
Special Christmas Sweets: Method of Execution
- Preheat the oven at 180ο C.
- Put in the mixer the butter and powdered sugar. After mix for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture gets white.
- Τhen add vanilla powder, flower water and bitter-almond liqueur and keep blending.
- Break the almond with hands and put it in a bowl. Add flour and salt and put it in the mixer.
- Stir the mixture very gently.
- Of course, shape the cookies as little balls and transfer at the baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Extract them from the oven and let them cool off.
- Finally, spray each cookie with flower water and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
To sum up, that was the whole story about two special Christmas sweets in Greece. Firstly, it is very fun to make the recipes with your children at Christmas, because everything is festive. Secondly, Christmas is all about spending time with your family. After all, one question remains unanswered. That is: melomakarona or koyrampiedes? So we will leave that up to you!
Meanwhile, you can see more articles about traditional sweets
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