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Cake Cupcake Sweets Dessert

Spicy Baked Syrup Cakes

Ingredients & Directions

1 1/2 c Honey 2 Oranges’ strained juice
1 1/2 c Sugar; granulated 2 tb Cognac or brandy
1 c -Water 1/4 ts Cloves; ground
1 tb Lemon juice 1/2 ts Nutmeg; ground
1 lb Walnuts; finely chopped 1 ts Baking powder
1 1/4 c Butter ; softened 1/2 ts Baking soda
4 ts Cinnamon; ground (or more) 6 c Flour; all purpose (or more
1 1/2 c Oil; vegetable 2 oz Walnuts; finely chopped
1/2 c Sugar; icing

(Author’s Note): Ancient and traditional small, spicy baked syruped
cakes, these are perfect for a large buffet. The nickname asserts
their introduction into Greece by the Phoenicians, but not with these
ingredients! Within my lifetime I have seen the oil give way to
butter and semolina succumb to flour. Combine the honey, granulated
sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Combine the 1 pound finely chopped walnuts with
1/4 cup of the softened butter, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 5
tablespoons of the syrup. Reserve the remaining syrup and set the
filling aside while you prepare the dough. Using an electric mixer,
cream the remaining butter (1 cup) with the oil until light and
fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating on medium
speed. Add the orange juice slowly to the batter, along with the
Cognac or brandy, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the other spices.
In a small bowl, sift the baking powder, soda, and 2 cups of the
flour together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and beat
for a few minutes. Continuing to mix by hand, add only enough
remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead. Break off small pieces
of the dough and shape with your fingers into oblongs about
2-1/2-inches long and 1-inch high. Flatten between your palms and
place 1 teaspoon of the filling mixture in the center. Work the
dough around the filling to enclose it completely and press firmly to
seal. This procedure sounds difficult, but with many hands it is
quite simple. Place on a cookie sheet and continue until all the
cakes are shaped. Bake in a moderate oven (350 F) for 25 minutes,
then cool on a rack. Bring the syrup back to a boil. Dip each cake
into the syrup and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining
chopped walnuts and teaspoon cinnamon, or more if desired. Cool
before storing.

Note: You may bake and cool melomakarona, store a few days in advance
and dip in syrup as described above a day or so before serving. The
flavor improves after a few days.

40 servings

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