You may know these fabulous cookies as the Greek specialty melomdakarona, but the mother of my friend Connecticut chef Matt Wick likes to call them Honey Dainties. Whatever you call them, they’re kind of remarkable: the ingredient list looks plain to the point of drab — definitely unpromising — and the dough itself doesn’t look like anything special. But what happens in the oven is magical. Under heat, the cookies become sandy, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture that borders on evanescent — they melt so quickly, you almost expect to hear them go, “Pouf!” Once the cookies are baked and cooled, you spoon over a honey syrup that works its way into them — but not all the way, so that you get the moist honey layer and then that lovely sandy texture. The cookies are finished with chopped walnuts.
In the “Playing Around” sidebar, Dorie suggests “Christmas-Spiced” version which I thought might be nice, given the time of year etc.. I found the dough came together pretty easily – it was soft but I used a small cookie scoop to shape them – my smallest cookie scoop is roughly 1 tablespoon and I made half the recipe and this made 16 cookies. Dorie uses a 2 TEAspoon scoop and suggests for the full batch of dough, it makes 18. Hmmm…
These baked up no problem (though I didn’t manage to successfully keep the indentation in the middle – they kind of puffed up a bit) – I topped them with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds as a nod to the season’s colours and doused them with the honey (and Christmas spice) syrup. Here’s where things got messy. These are, indeed, melt-in-your-mouth but mine were also melt-in-your-hand. They were impossible to pick up until I had put them in the fridge – and even then, they were pretty fragile. I had to store them in the fridge to keep them together!
I loved the flavours of these but would hesitate to make them again given how fragile they are 🙁 Or maybe I need to refrigerate the BATTER before I bake (as a few other TWD bakers seemed to do) which helped keep them together a bit more. In any case, they were a lovely gift for neighbours (and, um, us!) on a chilly weekend in December!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Greek Honey Dainties on page 277 of Dorie’s Cookies.
Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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