It’s time to start making cookies for cookie exchanges! Litsa is from Greece and she is sharing one of her favorite cookie recipes with us. She made these cookies with her family over Thanksgiving.
1 cup olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of one orange
3/4 cup orange juice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup walnuts, ground coarsely
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
1 cup honey
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 whole cloves
1-2-inch piece lemon rind
1 tsp. lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine the orange zest with the sugar. Using a mixer, beat the oil with the orange sugar until well mixed. Add the orange juice mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Go cup by cup until the mixture forms a dough that is dense and wet but not sticky. Once the flour is incorporated fully stop mixing.
Pinch a portion of dough off about the size of a walnut. Shape in your hands into a smooth egg shape. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue to shape and roll cookies until the sheet is filled.
Take a fork and press the tines over the center of the cookie in a crosshatch pattern. The cookies should resemble lightly flattened ovals when they go in the oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned.
While the cookies are baking, prepare the syrup.
In a saucepan, combine the honey, sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon rind. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon, cloves, and lemon rind and stir in lemon juice.
When the cookies come out of the oven and while they are still very warm, carefully float the cookies in the syrup and allow the cookies to absorb syrup on both sides. Place the ground walnuts in a shallow bowl.
Using a fork, remove the cookie from the syrup and place on a plate. Press ground walnuts lightly into the tops of the cookies and sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon.
Store the cookies in a container- do not refrigerate.
It’s a little bit of a process for these cookies but it is well worth it!