YOWSAHS! Sorry for the hiatus. Had a baby. Wasn’t cooking. Back now, although only in 20-minute intervals. We’ll see how it goes.

My number-one, all-time favorite cookie? Easy. Melomakarona. Melo-ma-kwhoo? It’s a Greek treatsie made with the stuff of the Gods: olive oil, walnuts and honey. Aside from being ridonkulously delicious, if anyone gets on your tail about eating too many cookies, you can tell them that they’re made with olive oil, so they’re cleeeeearly healthy. Puh-lease.

I have wonderful memories of my grandmother making piles of these when she came to visit. The hilarious thing about trying to replicate her recipes is the inexact measurements she’d provide. For example, “one glass olive oil.” A glass? Which glass, Yiayia? To which she’d shrug and reply, “enh…” as she reached for the nearest glass and filled it to whatever arbitrary height she needed… Ah, yes. Sixty-five years in the kitchen’ll do that to ya.

Anywhooooo, I’ve longed for melomakarona since going GF. Finally got up the gumption to try. And how did the first attempt go? Very respectable! A bit more delicate than their gluteny cousins, but I don’t know that I’d change a thing. So here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Melomakarona!!

Gluten-Free Melomakarona!!

Gluten-Free Melomakarona

For the cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1/2 c. ground walnuts
  • 2 2/3 c. oat flour
  • 1 1/3 c. potato starch
  • 2/3 c. tapioca starch
  • 1 T ground chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T brandy

For the syrup

  • 2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. water
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks

For the topping

  • 1 c. finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 T sugar

Cook them cookies: Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the olive oil and beat until smooth-ish. Add O.J., egg, baking soda, and orange peel and beat. Stir in ground nuts, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and brandy. Dough should be softer than your average cookie dough, but not sticky.

Form into oblong logs (turds? Not so appetizing, but, hey – it’s a good way to describe them…) and with a fork, gently press a grid into the top of each cookie. (Alternatively, my yiayia used to press them gently against the textured side of a meat tenderizer. Needless to say, we don’t have one of those in our veggie kitchen.) Bake on the top rack of a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. The cookies will be rather dry and pretty delicate – don’t pick them up with a vice grip or you’ll have melomakarona dust. But the syrup is the antidote to said problem. Onward.

Finishing touches: Combine honey, 1/2 c. sugar, water, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan and heat over med. low heat until sugar dissolves. When cookies come out of the oven, dip each one in the hot syrupy goodness for a second or two, making sure each one is completely submerged. With a slotted spoon, transfer the freshly bathed cookie to a plate and sprinkle with a mixture of chopped walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. Serve with Greek coffee. Try not to eat all at once.