(Greek Cypriot Honey Walnut Cookies)
These cookies are another traditional Greek Holiday Sweet. They are flavoured with warm spices of cinnamon, clove, orange, cognac and topped with a honey orange syrup and walnuts for a melt in your mouth cookie. I have added a Holiday twist of Ginger for a Gingerbread flavour!
½ lb Crisco Shortening
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp ground ginger
Zest of two medium oranges
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup cognac
3 tsp. baking powder
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
½ cup semolina flour
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
1 orange slice, ¼ inch thick round
1 cinnamon stick, 1 inch long
½ cup quality honey
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, water, orange slice and cinnamon and bring to a boil over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.
Add honey and cook for an additional 5 mins. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl of a mixer, add crisco, beat at high speed for 10-15 minutes until fluffy. This is a very important step that the mixture is beaten that long for a fluffy cookie result.
Add the oil and beat until incorporated. Add the spices and orange zest beat again until incorporated.
Stir baking soda into cognac and add to mixture. Stir baking powder into orange juice and add to mixture. Beat for a few minutes until incorporated.
Add semolina and mix well. Gradually add the flour a bit at a time until mixture does not stick to bowl or your hands. You want to ensure the dough texture is soft and just rolls off your hands. You might not need to use all the flour as you do not want to over flour the dough as it will ruin the cookie when baked.
Take two tbsps. of the dough and shape into round balls. Press gently to flatten to 1/2 inch thick. Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. With a pairing knife, gently cut a X shape just on top, for the syrup to absorb through the cookie after baking. Bake for 25-35 mins until medium golden.
When cookies are done and still hot, using a large spoon, drizzle each cookie well with cold syrup.
In a bowl, mix walnuts with spices and sprinkle on top of each cook.
Repeat with remaining cookies.
SERVINGS 40-50 cookies| PREP & COOK TIME approx. 2 hours